"It is important, in a participatory democracy, that all people – not just those from privileged backgrounds – develop the ability to speak confidently in public, to present effective and persuasive arguments through speech and to examine critically but constructively the arguments presented by others. So it is very unfortunate that, unlike literacy and numeracy, oracy is rarely taught in schools."

Professor Neil Mercer


Oracy is a signature way of learning at Korowal. Oracy is a term coined in 1965 by Professor Andrew Wilkinson at Birmingham University to define "the ability to use the oral skills of speaking and listening". It places the importance of speaking alongside literacy and numeracy.

There are many reasons for prioritising the teaching of Oracy at Korowal.

We are committed to developing capacity in our students so that they are confident participants, capable of engaging in conversation and critical argument, while expressing themselves fluently and cohesively in any situation. The skill to listen and accommodate myriad perspectives is central to oracy. We want our students to be informed, compassionate and discerning voices as they emerge into the adult world. In our democracy, voices for social justice and ethical practices are essential.

Learning ‘to talk’ and ‘through talk’ have never been more 
important in developing qualities that modern workplaces
depend upon.