Frequently Asked Questions



Q: I can't find all the books I need for the oracy program. What can I do?

A:  The problem with basing a program on children's literature is that books will inevitably go off the publishers' list. In some cases these books are replaced with new ones. However, sometimes the books are republished, so establish a good rapport with a friendly bookstore owner and ask him or her to keep a check on the list. In other cases the books have been kept in the program because they have such a special theme or style.

One example of this is the book Sunshine by Jan Ormerod. It is a wordless book based on the idea of getting ready for school/work in the morning. There is no other book that can replace this, as it has such a simple story line and unique style. So, try as much as possible to source this book. 

In the meantime though, you can do one of a number of things:

  1. Skip it, and either replace it with another book that seems suitable, or buy one of the other lesson plans to replace it.
  2. Find a book with a similar theme or story line and adapt / modify the original lesson plan to your book.
  3. Look for a copy of the book in the local council library and borrow theirs.
  4. In the program Friend's Talk books that can't be found can be presented as a personal recount as if the story had happened to you. Take some photos to the session, tell a personal version of the story and work from that.

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Q:  I’ve just bought an Oracy Program.  How do I get started?

A: If you have recently purchased an oracy program and intend to establish an oral language group in your school, then the following sections will help you work through everything you need to know about them to set one up easily and quickly. 

The first thing you will need is to get together a set of the books covered in the Oracy Program. Most of the books used in the program were chosen because they of their popularity with the children, and because many school would already have them in the library.

It is not a good idea to leave them in the library, as there will no doubt be at least one time when you are relying on a book for a weekly session, only to find it has been borrowed out. Perhaps the librarian can set the books aside for you, and in fact most schools would actually buy a set of the books specifically for the program. Most of the books can be purchased at a good bookstore, although they may have to be ordered in.

It’s best to establish a pre-program baseline.  A couple of the programs have a suggested tool that can be used to collect samples of children’s language level as a baseline.  At the end of the program you can go through the post-program tool, and then compare the results.  

There is no particular order to run through the program, so just find a book that you think the kids will enjoy and start there.  In the section “Talking Points” there is a power point that you can go through from the oracy program workshops that might give some extra guidance on running a group.

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Coming Soon

New Oracy packs for emotional literacy, based on early childhood books to help develop the language of feelings.