All Talk

All Talk supports English GCSE and A level students in the study of Spoken Language and Speaking and Listening. It includes interaction with all forms of digital media and has a 116 page downloadable workbook with accompanying online video clips to support a range of engaging classroom activities. All of the materials, plus extras, are free to download. A printed workbook and DVD is being sent free of charge to all state secondary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The resource is part of BT’s growing range of free educational resources, and has been developed in close consultation with people working in teaching, assessment, teacher education and research, and has been piloted in schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK.

"a fantastic resource, brilliantly conceived and executed. It's an inspiration (on so many levels) to everyone interested in language study in schools."

Professor Ronald Carter, School of English Studies, University of Nottingham SEE MORE REVIEWS

Nominet Internet Awards - 2012 shortlisted
 

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1. Name stories

Explore the different names people use when they talk to you. Who calls you a shortened form of your name? Where or when are you called by your full name? Why do your friends use a particular nickname? What do your different names mean? Are our names important? What do you think of different public debates about names?

What will I learn?

  • How to generate data about names using a set of questions and prompts
  • About social, cultural and historical variation in the meanings of names
  • About different public attitudes in current debates about names
Video

Name stories: context and identity

An introduction to what our names can tell us about the nature of spoken language.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. Me me me

Explore your unique spoken language style. What words and phrases do you use a lot? How much slang do you use in conversation with different people? Have you adopted particular expressions from TV or film? What greetings do you usually use with friends or family? Do you have an accent or a particular way of pronouncing words?

What will I learn?

  • How to generate different layers of data about your spoken language style
  • How to investigate your data in different ways
  • About the ways comedians and impressionists work with individual speech styles
Video

Me me me: Kara

A student from the South West explores the distinctive features of her unique spoken language “fingerprint”.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


3. Multilingual me

Explore diverse experiences of what it’s like to speak more than one language. Which languages do you speak or understand at least a little? Where and when do you use the languages you know, and who with? Is it important to speak more than one language? How do you make use of the mix of languages you know?

What will I learn?

  • Key questions for interviewing people about their languages other than English
  • How to make structured notes about people’s experiences
  • How to organise interview material and other research to make a podcast
Video

Multilingual me: talking heads

Six multilingual students talk about the relationship between language, culture, creativity and identity.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


4. Family talk over time

Explore family talk as it has been represented in sitcoms and soaps over time. How realistic are these representations? How has spoken language changed over time? What influence has the mass media had? How have expectations of formality changed? What expectations do we have today about taboo language or jargon? How did English vocabulary expand in the 20th century?

What will I learn?

  • About the influence of mass media on 20th century spoken English
  • About changing expectations in spoken language
  • About vocabulary changes in 20th century spoken English
Video

BBC soap: The Grove Family

Scripted spoken language change from a 1957 perspective.


Video

BBC sitcom: Only Fools and Horses

Scripted spoken language change from a 1983 perspective.


Video

BBC sitcom: The Royle Family

Scripted spoken language change from a 1998 perspective.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. Offline/online talk
1. Poke message tweet

Explore how online and mobile talk really work. What does it mean to “talk” by tapping into a keyboard, when the people involved can’t see or hear each other, and when there may be quite long time-lags between comments? What else is going on in the places from which the people are communicating? How do people style their online self-image?

What will I learn?

  • About the variety of language and context in online and mobile talk
  • How to create a video observation transcript for multimodal talk
  • How to analyse multimodal talk data
Video

Poke message tweet

Students perform four different varieties of multimodal talk “in real life”.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. F2F chat

Explore how co-operative conversation works face to face. How much difference does non-verbal communication make? How do deaf people communicate by signing? How do people work together to get the conversation started and keep it going? How do people manage the complexity of chat happening in real-time and with other people right there in front of us?

What will I learn?

  • How to make effective use of body language to communicate
  • About communication in British Sign Language
  • Some key terminology for talking about the features of talk
Video

F2F chat: learning to drive

Signing students chat in British Sign Language about the perils of learning to drive.


Video

F2F chat: breakfast

Hearing students chat during their lunch break about what they had for breakfast.


Video

F2F chat: poet interview

Richard Carter talks about the way that sign language works in different contexts, including poetry performance.


Video

F2f chat: signed poetry

Richard Carter performs two poems in British Sign Language, The Surprise Apple and The Mirror.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


3. Txt talk

Explore the fast-changing world of technology and communication. What do you use for online and mobile talk? Email? Facebook? MSN? Txting? How do the devices and interfaces shape the way you use language? How has that changed? What txt spellings do you use now? What txt spellings did you use when you were younger? What attitudes does society have to txt-talk?

What will I learn?

  • What “multimodal talk” is
  • Some methods for recording and transcribing txt-talk
  • Different explanations people have for txt-talk
Video

Txt talk: vox pops

Market traders, tourists and passers by in London’s Portobello Market talk about txt.


Video

Txt talk: online chat 1

Two students, Jess and George, chat online to make arrangements for a weekend camping trip.


Video

Txt talk: Mobile phones

The owner of a mobile phone repair shop explores changes in mobile phone technology over time.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


1. Going local

Explore how local accents and dialects get represented in popular artefacts and public attitudes. What “classic” words and phrases would you choose to represent your area? What makes them iconic? Are they a fair representation of local talk? Are they funny? Are they a stereotype? How do other people see your accent or dialect? How funny or fair is that?

What will I learn?

  • Some "classic" Bristolian dialect words and phrases
  • How to investigate the dialect of your area
  • About the prejudice and discrimination of some public attitudes to accents and dialects
Video

Going local: t-shirts

Two Bristolian speakers celebrate the representation of their dialect on locally produced t-shirts.


Video

Going local: attitudes

Two Bristolian speakers discuss the different reactions they have encountered to their accent and dialect.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. Style shifter

Explore how people use stylised forms of different accents to express themselves creatively in conversation. Do you or people you know turn on an ultra-strong version of your accent for stylistic effect? Do you or people you know do a kind of mock-posh to make a point in conversation? What are the many reasons that people do this?

What will I learn?

  • About styling, the idea that we shift our accent styles for conversational effect
  • Some ways of representing stylised accents in transcripts
  • About the different effects that styling can create in conversation
Video

Style shifter: examples

Bite-size ethnographic research samples of young people styling their accents.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


3. Accent reaction

Explore how you respond to speakers with different accents. How trustworthy does someone from South Wales sound to you? How friendly does someone sound who speaks “posh” Received Pronunciation? What about intelligence, attractiveness or honesty? How do these attitudes shape the way we interact with new people? What difference do these attitudes make to people’s lives?

What will I learn?

  • About differences between accents of the United Kingdom
  • About your own attitudes and assumptions about speakers of these accents
  • About positive and negative public attitudes and assumptions
Video

Street talk: Accent reaction

A journey around the spoken language variety of the United Kingdom in ten different accents.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


1. Trouble talk

Explore how talk can get people into and out of trouble in one to one interactions at school. What do students and teachers say to each other that helps communication about difficult situations? What do students and teachers say to each other that blocks the path to a successful conversation? What techniques can we learn to do it better?

What will I learn?

  • How to recognize the impact of key words and phrases on the shape of an interaction
  • Where and how one to one teacher-student talk can go wrong
  • 10 techniques for improving difficult conversations
Video

School talk: Trouble talk A

A scripted performance of a teacher and student trying to resolve a problem – without much success.


Video

School talk: Trouble talk B

A scripted performance of a teacher and students making a much better job of resolving the same problem.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. Talk on task

Explore how group discussions at school can be made more productive. Are you the person who always talks over the top of other people? Or the person who says nothing but complains afterwards that no-one listened to you? How do we need to talk and listen in group discussions that get the job done in a way we can all feel satisfied with?

What will I learn?

  • About the different ways group discussions can take a turn for the worst
  • What good group discussion looks and sounds like
  • 13 techniques for improving how you operate in group discussions
Video

School talk: Talk on task A - performance

A scripted performance of a group of students trying to organise a school party – without much success.


Video

School talk: Talk on task A - analysis

An expert talks through the different problems in the way the students were trying to communicate.


Video

School talk: Talk on task B - performance

A scripted performance of a group of students making a much better job of organising a school party.


Video

School talk: Talk on task B - analysis

An expert talks through the successful features of the way the students communicated.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


1. Comedy coach

Explore how talk can be used to motivate people to achieve their best in sports and fitness activities, and how it can be used badly to dishearten and demotivate people. How do coaches give feedback, ask questions, issue instructions? What tone of voice do they use, and what body language? What gestures help or hinder in a coaching session?

What will I learn?

  • What effective and ineffective coaching talk looks and sounds like
  • How to develop a detailed analysis of video data in a series of passes
  • About the kinds of questions that are useful in analyzing coaching talk
Video

Sport talk: Comedy coach

A scripted parody of a football coach leading a de-motivating coaching session with a primary school team


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


2. Slam!

Talk up a storm with spoken word poetry, slam-style. What have you got to say about the world that you live in? How would you express this on the stage not the page? What can you do with voice, pace and timing? How will you create an interaction with your audience? What words and phrases will have a powerful impact?

What will I learn?

  • Ways of getting started with spoken word poetry
  • Techniques spoken word performers use to create impact
  • How to take part in a poetry slam
Video

Public Talk: Slam! poetry

Four young people perform poems about slang and street talk, the multilingual city, and female identity.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes


3. Job done

Explore how people communicate when they are at work. In what ways do people in different jobs need to be able to communicate effectively? What kinds of conversations do they have? What do they need to get done by talk? What complex repertoires of talk do skilful employees use in their interactions with each other and with customers?

What will I learn?

  • The variety of ways in which people in different jobs need to be able to communicate effectively
  • How to make observations about an individual’s work-talk repertoire
  • How to use evidence to support evaluations of talk
Video

Public talk: Job done - vox pops

A variety of people who work in central London describe what part talk plays in their jobs.


Video

Public talk: Job done - hair salon
 

Two hair stylists use different kinds of talk to do a good job and keep the customers happy.


Student activity
Student activity
 
Teacher guide
Teacher guide
 
Teacher notes
Teacher notes