Talk for Writing is a unique approach that uses spoken activities to develop writing skills.
“Unsurprisingly, the best writers in any class are always readers. Reading influences writing- the richness, depth and breadth of reading determines the writer that we become.” Pie Corbett, Talk For Writing.
As children read and are read to, they store patterns that form the building blocks of written expression. In order to write sentence patterns appropriate to a given text (e.g. a recount starts with ‘when, who, what and where’ elements) children need to have these patterns modelled with multiple opportunities to say them before being expected to write them. In Talk For Writing, the process of “Imitation – Innovation – Invention” is explored. Students learn to orally recite and act out popular stories through listening and reading. The teacher maps out the story using pictures to aid students’ memory. The repetition allows the students to interact with the text and helps them to internalise the language patterns and text features. Students are then taught to use the underlying structure of the original text to create their own version on a different topic. Over time, they move towards independent writing as they create texts about their own topics.
Listen to Pie Corbett, the developer of the Talk for Writing discuss the T4W approach and the success of this program in classrooms across the UK and Australia.