Talk The Talk are proud of the impact our workshops have on students but we understand the importance of accurate evaluations, that is why we produce an annual impact report showing the latest data and also evaluations of our workshops from education professionals.
Evaluation from Professor John MacBeath – University of Cambridge
“The Inspiration of Talking The Talk Anyone can talk, and talk, and you need only spend five minutes on a bus or a train to eavesdrop on people having what is mistakenly termed a ‘conversation’. To converse requires an ability to engage with the other person, to enter into their frame of reference, to find meaning, so that responding builds on what has been said and what has been accurately heard.
This does not preclude disagreement but it does require a form of disagreeing, which demonstrates that one has tuned into what was actually said. Psychologists talk about the three components of dialogue – content, meaning and feeling. Accurate recall of the content is an essential start but getting the meaning for that person (in their frame of reference) is more challenging while tuning into the feeling behind the words is what we know as ‘empathic’ listening. Listening, the essential premise of the Talk The Talk programme lays the foundation for a quality of talk marked by forethought and confidence, a sense of audience and an enriched vocabulary. Expanding one’s verbal repertoire is both the seed of social growth and the engine of intelligence. It is worth reflecting on an absolutely key idea at the heart of the Talk The Talk programme – “You can’t say what you can’t think and you can’t write what you can’t say”.
The programme builds on, and is informed by, decades of research into language and intelligence. We now understand the essential connections between words and ideas, between language and self-belief. The sociologist Basil Bernstein described what he called ‘restricted’ and ‘elaborated’ codes, the latter describing the kind of language you meet in classrooms.
A pupil’s ability is ‘restricted’ when he or she lacks the confidence or vocabulary to engage with what is being taught, so disenfranchising young people who lack the conceptual repertoire to engage with the classroom discourse.
He or she will then ‘hide’ mentally and even physically. How young people respond to a challenge is constrained or enhanced by what the American psychologist Carol Dweck described as a ‘fixed’ or a ‘growth’ mindset. When there is an openness to ‘growing’ intellectually, emotionally and verbally, achievement, and joy in achievement, follow on.
That is what this programme is about, what the external evaluation demonstrates and where its genius lies.”
The academic year started with the promise of easing restrictions only to be followed by two national lockdowns. Students were eventually allowed back into the classroom in March 2021.
Despite this we continued to successfully deliver workshops across the UK. Read our latest Impact Report to see how we ensure students are equipped with skills for life to communicate with confidence.
Want to find our more about the impact Talk The Talk is having in schools across the UK? Here you can view our 2018-19 Impact Report.
When there is an openness to ‘growing’ intellectually, emotionally and verbally, achievement, and joy in achievement, follow on. That is what this programme is about, what the external evaluation demonstrates and where its genius lies.
Professor John MacBeath – University of Cambridge
Professor John MacBeath, Cambridge University, carried out this evaluation which was commissioned to measure the impact of the Talk The Talk programme in helping young people to:
Richard Howard, National Education Trust, carried out this evaluation which was commissioned to ascertain whether the Talk The Talk programme has successfully helped to give students, and teachers, a better understanding and ability in speaking up and communicating with confidence.