Talk toolkits of teachers and children An analysis of talk between teachers and children
The idea of talk as a ‘tool’ for use in learning originated in the early twentieth century in the writings of Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky realised that we use tools to think – that is, that words and speech are metaphorical tools put to use to develop and communicate understanding. We can take this idea – that language acts as a ‘set of tools’ – to analyse the ‘talk toolkit’ of teachers. For teachers, talk is really the main tool of the trade. But what talk tools are effective in terms of teaching and learning? It is evident to any classroom observer that some teacher talk is of immense benefit for learners, and some is a hopeless waste of time.