Uses of Oracy Conference - Roundtable 5 - How are young people's spoken identities embraced within UK education? 


How are young people's selves embraced within UK education? 

This roundtable discussion focuses on the theme of UK pupils' multiple identities and oracy acquisition in school. It asks to what degree spaces currently exist for students to explore and construct their cultural identities as part of their acquisition of language skills. The roundtable draws on diverse perspectives from different contexts around the UK, including inner-city primary schools in England and Gaelic-medium immersion in Scotland. Our panellists also reflect on the types of speech and discourse that students presently produce to reflect their identities and spoken selves in our multicultural society, and consider how teachers’ engagement with oracy can contribute to encouraging students’ exploration and development of a sense of self.
Who were the speakers?
Matteo Bergamini is founder and CEO of ShoutOut UK, a social enterprise that aims to strengthen democracy by providing training and programmes on media and political literacy.
Stuart Dunmore (chair) is a research fellow in sociolinguistics at the University of Sussex and visiting Fulbright scholar at Harvard University. His research has examined ‘new’ speakers’ language use and identities in the context of Gaelic-medium education in Scotland.
Rupert Higham is associate professor at UCL Institute of Education, and has published extensively on oracy, values and dialogic education in UK school settings.
Lee Jerome is associate professor of education at Middlesex University; his teaching and research has examined oracy in UK education from diverse perspectives over several decades.
Maeve MacKinnon is Gaelic education officer at Education Scotland. Maeve worked in the Gaelic-medium sector for many years before joining Education Scotland to support teachers and students in the acquisition of Gaelic oracy and literacy in immersion education settings throughout Scotland.
Sonia Thompson is headteacher at St Matthews CE Primary School in Birmingham. Under Sonia’s leadership St Matthews is currently engaged in research and outreach work to support the development of oracy elsewhere in UK education.


Where can I find out more? 
A visual explainer of School and pupil identities from The Sociology Guy is available here
A video on "Wellbeing For Children: Identity And Values" from ClickView resources here
For more information on Gaelic-medium education in Scotland click here and in Nova Scotia click here
Lecture from Alexandra Sugden of Heathfield Community College on 'Pupils Identities and Schooling'
Stuart Dunmore 2019: Language Revitalisation in Gaelic Scotland: Linguistic Practice and Ideology (Edinburgh: EUP)
Ofelia García, Nelson Flores, Kate Seltzer, Li Wei, Ricardo Otheguy & Jonathan Rosa, 2021. ‘Rejecting abyssal thinking in the language and education of racialized bilinguals: A manifesto’, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies. DOI: 10.1080/15427587.2021.1935957.
Lee Jerome & Hugh Starkey 2021: Children's Rights Education in Diverse Classrooms: Pedagogy, Principles and Practice (London: Bloomsbury)