Skip to content ↓
Phoenix Infant Academy


Talk for Writing – the key to raising attainment

Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett supported by Julia Strong, is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn.

The Method

Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. The basic principle of Talk for Writing builds on 3 key stages:

  • Imitation

    • Once the teaching team has engaged the learners in the context, the children internalise the pattern of the language required by talking an exemplar text supported by a visual text map and movements to help children recall the story or non-fiction piece.  Having internalised the language of the text, they are then in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. In this way the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves.
  • Innovation

    • They are then ready to start innovating the text, orally rehearsing the changes they want to make which could be based on another text they have used before, altering the text maps possibly. The key activity here is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by "doing one together" first. Throughout this process the children develop their toolkit and broaden their vocabulary range as well as focusing on improving their editing skills.
  • Independent application

    • This is the opportunity for the teaching team to assess the children’s work and to adapt their planning in light of what the children can actually do. This stage could begin with some activities focused on helping the children understand aspects that they were having difficulty with and should include time for the children to have a go at altering their work in the light of what they have just learnt so that they start to make progress. There is continued focus throughout this stage on supporting children to become independent speakers and writers of this text type. Following time to 'polish' their work, the children will have the opportunity to showcase their writing.