Institute of Education


Learning to talk, talking to learn: Reading Recovery national conference

23 April 2021, 10:00 am–4:30 pm

Teacher reading with students. Image: Sarah-Jane Gregori for UCL Institute of Education

This conference offers professional development to enhance your practice when working with struggling readers.

Event Information

Open to



Teresa Kourdoulos


Logan Hall
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

Through language we represent our ideas and our knowledge; we negotiate our place in contexts and express our hopes and feelings; we refine and test what we understand in connection with others.

Language has many dimensions which interact with reading and writing including meaning, vocabulary, structural conventions, phonology and pragmatics.

We express our ideas and receive and respond to the ideas of others though language - it’s not surprising that language development is so influential on literacy development.

This conference explores key themes in language development, literacy development and pedagogical practices which support children in learning to talk, listen, read and write. It will look at the role that talk plays in learning through meaningful interaction with adults and peers.   

You will get the opportunity to learn from literacy experts about recent research based practice, reflect on your work, explore new ideas and network with literacy professionals. It will have exhibitions from publishers of children’s books and material for literacy teaching professionals.

This conference is for Reading Recovery professionals, classroom teachers, literacy coordinators, SENDCos, school leaders, literacy consultants, student teachers and literacy advocates.


  • Beccy Earnshaw, the Director of Voice21 - a charity doing pioneering and transformational work in oracy education.
  • Alan Durant, Children’s author and poet.

Feature sessions

  • Deepening our understanding of literacy acquisition of second language learners - Dr Sue Bodman
  • Is there a fiction effect? Lines of enquiry into language and literacy development in the early years - Professor Gemma Moss 
  • Teacher talk as scaffolding: combining expert noticing and fine-tuned responding to avoid ‘instructional risk’ - Dr Helen Morris
  • Valuing genuine child/teacher conversations about reading - A book talk with Glen Franklin
  • We talk – we get a story in – that’s our time: understanding shared reading practices in families - Dr Rachael Levy
  • Linking sounds and letters in Reading Recovery: evidence and practice - Dr Sinéad Harmey
  • Using digital technology to support language and literacy: where does it belong? - Dr Charlotte Vidal-Hall
  • Embedding critical and enjoyable news-reading experiences in the KS2 classroom - Dr Frances Bodger, Nicolette Smallshaw.
  • Reading Comprehension: the need for cognitively challenging talk - Nikki Gamble


Early bird fee: £99 (register by 16 March 2020). Standard fee: £125. UCL student fee: £60. Two registrations from the same school: £150.


Image: Sarah-Jane Gregori for UCL Institute of Education