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22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Talking to write: using metalinguistic talk to support children’s writing

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Professional audiences

What’s on offer?

This workshop will provide insights into ongoing research which explores how metalinguistic talk - talk about language - can be used in the classroom to support the development of children’s writing. Sharing strategies developed in the classroom, the teacher-researcher team will also lead a talking-to-write workshop which makes use of authentic texts written for young people. This is an opportunity for educators and those interested in the teaching of writing to explore the potential of talk for developing young writers' repertoire of meaning-making resources.

What’s it about?

Literacy learning empowers humans with the language and skills necessary for communication and expression, whilst supporting personal, social and economic wellbeing. Learning to write is part of becoming literate, yet writing is an extraordinarily demanding activity: writing does not simply involve transferring words-in-the-head to words on paper, but involves making deliberate choices according to purpose, audience and intended effect. There is a particular need to understand more about how children become competent writers, and to develop pedagogical approaches which support writing in the classroom. This workshop draws on findings from an ongoing ESRC funded project which is investigating how metalinguistic talk (talk about language) can be used in the classroom to support the development of writing.

Who’s leading the event?

This workshop will be led by Ruth Newman, Associate Professor in Language and Literacy Education at the School of Education, University of Exeter, and by teachers participating in the ESRC funded Metatalk about Writing project.

Metatalk for Writing | Metatalk for writing | University of Exeter

The event will be held at the historic Exeter Custom House on Exeter Quayside, the base for Quay Words: Literature Works, a programme which explores stories and creative writing. There will be an opportunity during the event to learn more about Quay Words creative writing workshops for schools.

Open to

Anyone interested in the teaching of writing. 

Of particular interest to

This event should be of particular interest to Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 teachers, trainee teachers, teacher educators, and anyone interested in the teaching of writing.

Event Booking details

Please note that spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, please contact Ruth directly on

Scheduling information

Refreshments will be available from 2.30pm.