‘Talk for Writing’ (T4W) is based on the thinking and creative processes involved in ‘being a writer’. Children use pictures and actions to learn a model text, immersing themselves in the features. This provides children with a rich and varied language bank which in turn supports the writing process.
Talk for Writing fundamentally teaches children how to be writers – not just how to write. It supports children to be able to generate ideas, draw upon their reading and write confidently for a variety of audiences and purposes. The methodology follows a three-tier pattern: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application. During the imitation stage, children get to know a text really well by orally learning it, exploring it through drama and then reading it for vocabulary, comprehension and writing tools. The Innovation stage is grounded in the processes of shared writing, with a strong and systematic focus on securing the basics of handwriting, phonics/spelling and grammar in relation to what is needed for the text type being taught. The final stage, Independent Application, promotes children to draft, edit and publish their own independent versions.
At the heart of Talk for Writing is the principle that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to. We have a ‘literature spine’ which identifies key stories, picture books, poems and non-fiction which will be read and drawn upon and referred to when teaching writing.