Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Education, Practice & Society

Abstract

Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) will be the first comprehensive study of contemporary adult reading aloud practices. While regular attention is paid to reading aloud as a tool for teaching and learning, far less is paid to the reading aloud that adults do every day at home, work and in the community. These everyday oral reading practices are largely overlooked in academic and educational discussions of reading. What, where, how and why do adults read aloud, or listen to others reading? When a person is completely alone, do they read silently because there is no one to listen, or do they read aloud because there is no one to hear? How do couples, families and groups use reading aloud as a way of being together? Why do some people read aloud in languages they do not understand? When and why do we read aloud at work? How does reading aloud relate to recitation, chanting, singing or storytelling? To writing or memorizing? To power and authority?

This project will explore reading aloud as cultural practice, transforming contemporary conceptualisations of what reading is or involves by documenting and analysing contemporary adult reading aloud practices and their role in adult lives. I will use a Mass Observation Project directive, a questionnaire, in-depth interviews and audio-recording of practices to capture the practices of adults across Britain. I will work with the three Project Partners (British Library, Reading Agency, Learning and Work Institute), the RaPAL Regional Advocates Network, the Glasgow Women's Library, the Scottish Poetry Library and the Project Advisory Group to reach out to adults of different ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths, employment status and language backgrounds, across urban and rural Britain. In this way, I will disseminate information about the project, recruit participants for the data collection activities of year one, invite participation in the Regional Community Events in year two and call for feedback and ideas throughout the project.

RABiT will create an account of the varied everyday reading aloud practices of adults across different local, linguistic and faith communities in England, Wales and Scotland. This developed understanding of the diversity of adult reading practices will expand understandings of reading itself, which will be of interest not only to all those engaged in forms of academic reading research but also to those supporting adults with reading formally or informally. Project findings will be disseminated to both academic and community/practitioner audiences through the project website, a directive in the Mass Observation Project Archive, a collection of audio-recordings in the British Library Sound Archive, academic and non-academic presentations and articles, and a book - the first major work on contemporary adult reading aloud practices. Academic leadership will be further developed through a Symposium, and Special Issue of the journal Changing English, to generate new and gather existing relevant research from different disciplines with an interest in reading, literacy or cultural practice. Community engagement will be developed through the four Regional Community Events (in Wales, Scotland and England) where a mixed group of those who engage with adults in reading (including librarians, adult literacy teachers, reading circle facilitators, members of faith groups and community workers) will be invited to explore implications of the findings, leading to the production of 3 Next Steps Guides resources.

By the end of the 2 years of project funding, RABiT will have 1) dramatically increased academic and public awareness of the reading aloud that adults across Britain do in our everyday lives, 2) created written and aural records of these practices for anyone to read or listen to, and 3) expanded cultural conceptions of 'reading' itself, challenging us all to think more carefully about the role of reading in adult life.

Planned Impact

This study will explore reading aloud as a cultural practice across Britain, transforming contemporary conceptualisations of what reading is or involves by documenting and analysing contemporary adult reading aloud practices and their role in adult lives. The data collection activities in year one will be followed by two strands of Leadership Activities in year two: Strand A focussed on academic engagement and Strand B focussed on community and practitioner engagement. In this way, the project will engage community groups, practitioners and researchers in debate and discussion on diverse contemporary adult reading aloud practices and what these mean for our understandings of reading as cultural practice. Through the professional and local networks of the Project Partners (Reading Agency, Learning & Work Institute and the British Library), The Mass Observation Project, RaPAL Regional Advocates and Advisory Group members, RABiT will engage adults across Britain in co-production through the main data collection aspects of the project in year 1 and the community engagement activities in year 2, and will produce:

1. A Project website hosted by UCL
2. Four Regional Community Events producing 3 Next Steps Guides
3. Two academic conference presentations
3. A one-day Symposium leading to a Special Issue of Changing English
4. One academic journal article, a Reading Agency blog and one short community/practitioner-facing article;
5. Permanent and publically accessible contributions to the Mass Observation Project Archive and the British Library Sound Archive;
6. A landmark monograph (the proposal for which will be produced during the funded project; the book will be written after the funded project).

This project will encourage those creating or adapting literacy curricula to think a bit more carefully about the diverse literacy practices performed in contemporary Britain, and the skills, cognitive processes and cultural interactions at play. It will influence publishers or broadcasters who might want to know what people are actually doing with their books, blogs or recordings behind closed doors, a subject about which little is presently known, beyond the common but misleading assumption that other people's practices are more or less like our own. This project's recording and analysis of contemporary reading aloud practices will have an impact on how reading is conceptualised not only by academic researchers in the fields of reading research, literacy, literary and cultural studies, but also by all those engaged with adults on aspects of their reading, from librarians to literacies tutors, from those supporting the elderly to those working within particular faith communities.

Short and medium beneficiaries of this project therefore include the above-mentioned academic, practitioner and community groups, as well as all adults who are interested in talking about their own reading practices and learning more about those of others. RABiT will have a significant wider, longer-term societal impact by recognising and celebrating diverse reading aloud practices, opening up public debate on an aspect of cultural life so rarely discussed; enhancing communities by valuing regional, linguistic and faith traditions; and influencing educational discourses of reading, and the curricula and assessments they produce.

The artefacts produced over the two-year funded project (website, community/practitioner articles, Next Steps Guides, Mass Observation Project directive, and sound recordings in the British Library Sound Archive) and the monograph written within two years of the end of the project, will produce continued and longer term engagement with the aims of the project, allowing more people, for various reasons and with various professional backgrounds, to explore contemporary reading aloud practices and what they mean for how we understand, research, teach, use and celebrate reading in the early twenty-first century.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Discussion, reflection and next steps resources (7 resources total) 
Description As planned in the project bid, I used the Regional Community Event discussions to produce 'discussion, reflection and next steps' resources (called 'Next Steps Guides' in the earlier project paperwork) for use by various communities and stakeholders. For example, the Regional Community Event at the Adult Education Centre in Wales, led to the 'Discussion, reflection and next steps for adult learners and adult education teachers' resource. Each resource is a 2 page pdf containing thoughts and questions to spark future discussion, reflection and action, geared towards that particular audience. 5 of these resources are aimed at the particular audiences/groups represented in the 5 Regional Community events: Adult Learners and Adult Educators, Trainee Teachers and Teachers, Prison Libraries and Prison Reading Groups, Women & Other Libraries Users, and the final with a focus on poetry (based on the event at the Scottish Poetry Library). Each of these was created in collaboration with the leads at each Regional Community Event and colleagues at the Reading Agency. There are a further 2 resources created in close collaboration with the Reading Agency, geared at two Reading Agency projects with particular synergies to the RABiT project: Reading Friends and Reading Ahead (the old Six Book Challenge). These seven guides are on the RABiT project webpages and on the Reading Agency website and we will also be circulating through project partners and collecting data about use. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact We have just finalised these resources and so will be looking at this over the next two years. However, one notable impact already is the creating of a really positive working partnership with the organisations involved: The Pontypool Adult and Community Education Centre in Wales, the Glasgow Women's Library, Prison Reading Groups, Nottingham Institute of Education's PCET team, and the Scottish Poetry Library (and poet Vahni Capildeo). I will continue to collaborate with these in the future. 
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/research/projects/reading-aloud-britain-today
 
Title Reading Aloud Directive responses (160) in the Mass Observation Project Archives at The Keep at Sussex University 
Description As part of this project, I worked with the archivists at the Mass Observation Archive to create a directive sent out in the Summer of 2017, on reading aloud called 'Lend me your ears: when adults read aloud rather than in silence'. To date, 160 adults have sent in written responses to this directive (from half a page to 9/10 pages). These now form part of the Mass Observation Archive, a unique and moving account of the reading aloud practices and memories of a range of adults across the UK. These are available at The Keep for anyone to read and for researchers to use. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact It is too early to document but the archive has elicited great interested at all my presentations and I believe it is already being used by other researchers. 
URL http://www.massobs.org.uk/mass-observation-project-directives
 
Title Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) collection in the British Library Sound Archive. 
Description This collection (SAMI shelf mark C1765) is made up of 91 audio-recordings, both interviews of adults about their reading aloud practices and recordings of adults reading aloud. These recordings were made across Scotland, Wales and England (including Shetland and Skye) and illustrate reading aloud in different languages, dialects and accents. This is the only collection of sound recordings of its kind in the world. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact It is too early to gather evidence of this but this collection demonstrates how broad and varied 'reading' really is across 21st century Britain. 
URL http://sami.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/?ps=sCpWGycCzr/WORKS-FILE/181470076/123
 
Description Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) is a two-year project researching whether, what, where, how and why adults may read out loud rather than in silence. Its aim is to explore contemporary reading aloud practices and what they mean for how we understand, research, teach, use and celebrate reading in the early twenty-first century.

In the autumn of 2017, 529 people completed a questionnaire about reading aloud. Between 2017 and 2018, 160 people sent in written responses to a Mass Observation directive, 49 people took part in individual interviews and 44 recordings were made of adults reading aloud.

Findings so far:

• Most adults read something aloud (and listen to others reading), at least sometimes. Very few people never do this.

• What we read aloud is diverse, and includes newspapers, social media posts, books, religious texts, graffiti, recipes, poems, instructions, posters, children's books, crossword clues and more.

• Some of this is 'little snippets' and some is longer, sustained reading.

• Some of this we notice; some we may do regularly but rarely notice.

• Our reasons are equally diverse, including to share, entertain, inform, help, spend time together, worship, enjoy, memorize, learn, understand and write.

• Some is alone, some is to others and some is with others.

• Some of us read aloud in different languages, including languages we may not use in conversation with others.

• Some adults read aloud to children; some read aloud to other adults; some read aloud completely alone.

• Forms of reading aloud seem to be important in many workplaces, as well as for building family and community relationships, for learning and for faith/religion.

Mass Observation
(http://www.massobs.org.uk/about/mass-observation-project).

The Mass Observers, or 'correspondents' write as both researchers, or sociologists and storytellers or auto-biographers.

Here are some of their stories:
My dying friend, bed-ridden and no longer able to go outside, particularly enjoyed listening to poems about nature and the seaside. It made her feel nostalgic and she imagined herself walking along a beach with sand between her toes.
I chanced one evening to accidentally receive Radio Cairo which was broadcasting, in Arabic I suppose, an extremely long reading [] by a man whose voice and style were so intense and passionate, that I was mesmerized by it all, and was compelled to listen. I didn't understand any of it, but recognised that some sentences were from time to time repeated as in an heroic poem. The passion and intensity of the reading increased to an extreme degree as the reading continued until, abruptly it ended, as if the reader had been shot dead. I sat stunned: its emotional effect was enormous although I understood not a word.

For a wedding present, we were given a cheese board, adorned with the legend "Please help yourself." He read it aloud every time it was used.

My first memory of reading aloud was trying to teach my little sister to read. She was desperate to learn. When I went to school, I used to take her to wait behind the air-raid shelter. The book was Alice in Wonderland, and the first line is "Alice is sitting on the bank."

These stories can help us think about the varied roles of reading and reading aloud in adult life and relationships. and we can also reflects on why adults choose to tell stores of this kind.

Reading is therefore not something small, or narrow, only a silent, individual, instrumental process. Rather reading is huge and broad, including practices which are about being with others, giving and receiving love, religious worship, individual or group study, reinforcing or unpacking meaning, conjuring spells or enjoying the sound and feels of words. Our reading research, and teaching, needs to reflect this broader conceptualisation of reading.

A more detailed account of the findings can be found in the project publications and in the publications in progress (the book).
Exploitation Route Further articles and the book (in progress) will allow other academics to take forward these ideas about the breadth of reading, and integrate them into our reading research agendas and into how we conceptualise and teach reading.
The Regional Community Event, in progress, are about a dialogue with various community groups to explore ways to take these ideas forward in how we use texts in our daily lives. A series of 'Next Steps Guides' will be created using the ideas generated and made available through both the project website and the Reading Agency website.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/research/projects/reading-aloud-britain-today
 
Description Through my keynote presentation, practitioners publications and Regional Community Events, I have shared the findings of this project with English, ESOL and adult literacy teacher and learners, library users, policy makers and members of the public, who have used the findings to adjust their conceptualisations of reading, reading aloud and its possible uses in our lives. -I have heard from a writer of a lifestyle blog, who read my article 'Lend Me Your Ears: mass observing adult reading aloud practices', who has asked to feature it in an article she is writing about the relationships between reading aloud and well-being. I have now heard from two people working in this area, for similar ideas and support. -Five adult literacy, English and ESOL practitioners, teacher educators and consultants present at my Keynote at the Annual English, Maths and ESOL Learning and Work conference, told me, at the event, that they will now think about reading differently and ask their learners about their reading practices before determining how they will teach or develop reading. -The adult learners and their teachers present at the Wales (Pontypool) Adult and Community Education Centre RABiT Regional Community Event spoke of how they now feel that reading aloud can help develop their confidence reading as well as making presentations and they can use reading aloud to reinforce other learning. After a long discussion on the possible anxieties about reading aloud despite its possible benefits, the group decided that they would practice reading aloud in the 'safe space' of their group before trying out practices around their community. -The woman members of the Story Cafe at the Glasgow Women's Library (the second RABiT Regional Community Event) spoke of how they will ask their friends and family about when and why they read aloud and plan to report back to me and each other about how this has changed how they see reading, its challenges and its benefits. -The Reading Agency have asked me to write a guest blog to summarise the findings, particularly aimed at those who run reading groups, use the Quick Reads and take part in the Reading Ahead Challenge. This blog has been published. -The Reading Agency has asked me to produce a discussion and reflection resource especially the Reading Agency Reading Ahead programme. This is on the Reading Agency website and used by Reading Ahead participants. Five other 'discussion and next steps' resources are available on the project website, one for adult learners and educators, one for Prison Reading Groups, one for teachers and teacher educators, one with a poetry focus in collaboration with Vahni Capildeo and the Scottish Poetry Library and one for library users in collaboration with the Glasgow Women's Library.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title Everyday Reading questionnaire 
Description I created an online questionnaire (which can also be used offline as a print out) using Opinio software. This questionnaire asks adults about their reading aloud practices, including: the frequency with which they read aloud certain text types or parts of these text types; the frequency with which they listen to others reading aloud certain texts types of parts of these text types; the frequency of reading aloud (or listening to others reading aloud) alone, to one other person, or two or with a group; the reasons why they read aloud or listen to others reading aloud; reading aloud in multiple languages and reading aloud from screens. This is the first adult reading practices questionnaire, to my knowledge, that directly addresses reading aloud practices. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This tool will be made available to others later in the life of this project, and at least one publication of the results of the project's use of this questionnaire will be published. 
 
Title Mass Observation Project directive: "Lend Me Your Ears, When Adults Read Aloud Rather Than in Silence" 
Description In collaboration with the Mass Observation Project at the University of Sussex, I created a directive about adult reading aloud practices called "Lend Me Your Ears, When Adults Read Aloud Rather Than in Silence." 154 responses to this directive have been logged so far (and now sit in the Mass Observation Archive), making a notable contribution to what the Mass Observation Project Archive says about everyday adult literacy practices. This directive and the responses are freely available for other researchers to read/use. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This is the first Mass Observation Project directive explicitly probing adult reading aloud practices and so has created the first Mass Observation Archive on this topic, as well as making a contribution to the ongoing Mass Observation work around adult literacy, adult reading or everyday adult life. 
URL http://www.massobs.org.uk/the-mass-observation-project-1981-ongoing
 
Title Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) collection of 91 sound recordings in the British Library Sound Archive 
Description 91 audio-recordings, a mixture of interviews with adults talking about their reading aloud practices, and recordings of adults across Scotland, Wales and England reading aloud in different contexts, formations and languages, make up this new collection within the British Library Sound Archive (SAMI shelf mark C1765). These recordings are now available for researchers to listen to and analyse, and are a valuable resource for not only those with an interest in social history and reading practices but also in those studying the languages, dialects and accents used across Scotland, Wales and England. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This is the first sound archive of its kind anywhere in the world, to my knowledge, and the first collection of its kind in the British Library Sound Archive. At the moment it is too early to provide evidence of its use by other researchers and the impact of this. 
URL http://sami.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/?ps=sCpWGycCzr/WORKS-FILE/181470076/123
 
Description BALID (British Association for Literacy in Development) seminar talk: Lend Me Your Ears, When and Why Adults May Read Aloud Rather Than in Silence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This was a formal invited talk at a BALID seminar on the 5th of December 2017. I discussed the rationale behind this project and the work completed so far. Around 20 practitioners, researchers and students were present, from around the world, and information about the talk and my study was distributed across the BALID network (again internationally). The talk sparked a great deal of questions and discussion around what we understand reading to be, what reading may mean for different people and how this relates to international development work in the teaching of adult literacy internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://balid.org.uk
 
Description Conference presentation and discussion: European Basic Skills Network (EBSN) Annual Conference, Tallinn, June 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 'Lend Me Your Ears: when adults read aloud instead of in silence' at the European Basic Skills Network (EBSN) Annual Conference, Tallinn, June 2019
This was a conference workshop as part of a carousel structure so I reached all of the conference participants (representing 20 different European countries) through a repeated 20 minute workshop, which was a mixture of presentation and discussion. This was a way to reach policy makers and those leading and organising provision across Europe, as well as the adult literacy lead at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and the person responsible for adult skills at the European Commission, who was very interested in my point about oral reading being absent from most adult literacy curricula and the importance of its inclusion. Each workshop sparked questions about the relevance for adult literacy providers (including how we need to expand our conceptions of reading to include more diverse adult practices) and for teaching (including ideas of uses of reading aloud as pedagogy).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://basicskills.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/EBSN-Tallinn-Conference-2019-program.pdf
 
Description Conference presentation: Mass observing adult reading aloud: finding a 'dual vision' of literacy today' at the Ethnography with a Twist conference, 12-14 February 2019, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Conference presentation at Ethnography conference in Finland, attended by approximately 30 researchers, practitioners and a mixture of post and undergraduate students. The presentation sparked questions about both the presence and range of reading aloud in adult life and in the ways that we can research literacy in order to include the powerful meanings that are less 'observable' or 'testable'. About a dozen of those who attended came up to me afterwards to discuss how they now notice reading aloud they had not previously noticed and/or that they now think about literacy research in a different way. I have also had email contact with a PhD student specialising in the 'soundscapes' of Finnish Orthodox worship and we hope to do some work together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/ethnotwist
 
Description ESREA conference presentation: 'Widening the Ownership of the Word? - When adults read aloud' presentation at the 11th ESREA BGL-ALC Conference in Pécs, 12-15 June 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 'Widening the Ownership of the Word? - When adults read aloud' presentation at the 11th ESREA BGL-ALC Conference in Pécs, 12-15 June 2019. This was my first time presenting at an ESREA (European Society for Research into the Education of Adults) conference. It was incredibly useful to present to a group of professional researchers and academics (some with policy responsibilities) focussed on researching adult education, and this conference was focused on 'Living and Learning in Diverse Communities' so I was able to make an argument around the need for this sort of linguistic ethnography/Mass Observation ethos work to understand more about adult literacy practices in order to be more aware of, and inclusive of, diverse practices. The keynote of the conference was around the importance of a Freirian approach to resist the increasing monoculture of educational discourse (particularly around economic competitiveness) and my presentation was a powerful example of exactly how this can be done. The discussion after, and throughout the conference, led to an increased awareness of my work but also in future writing and research opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://esrea.ckh.hu/programme
 
Description Oral literacies: poetry, performance and the written. Lend Me Your Ears: Scottish Poetry Library RABiT event with Vahni Capildeo 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An event exploring contemporary reading aloud practices and what they mean for how we understand, research, teach, use and celebrate reading in the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on the composition and enjoyment of poetry. This event will examine the findings of the project so far and, using spoken performances and discussion, explore relationships between the written and the performed. Forward Prize-winner Vahni Capildeo is taking part. This event is in collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library and is aimed at poets, those engaged in the study of poetry and the general public. The audience included both poets, students of poetry and people working as 'Reading Friends.' The discussion including both topics around the composition and experience of poetry and the written-oral/aural spectrum and about what makes reading aloud to someone else so special. Participants, particularly those involved in 'Reading Friends' said they would go away and have similar discussions with colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/event/lend-me-your-ears/
 
Description RABiT Regional Community Event: Focus on Adult Learners, Pontypool, Wales 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the first of the four RABiT Regional Community Events, events aiming to explore the project's findings with specific cohorts to examine implications and next steps. This event was for primarily for adult learners (adult literacy learners and others), with their teachers as a secondary audience. The discussion within this event is being used to create the 'Next Steps' guides and the adult learners and their teachers are going to explore how they can both develop their confidence reading aloud, to use across their lives, and also use reading aloud as a teacher tool to develop their reading fluency and their confidence giving presentations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/events/2018/dec/reading-aloud-britain-today-what-does-mean-adult-learners
 
Description RABiT Regional Community Event: RABiT at the Glasgow Women's Library 24 January 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was the second of the four RABiT Regional Community Events, events aiming to explore the project's findings with specific cohorts to examine implications and next steps. This event was the general public and those engaged with Story Cafe and other activities at the Glasgow Women's Library. The discussion within this event is being used to create the 'Next Steps' guides. The 25ish women present spoke of how they would revisit the ideas from this session in their future Story Cafe work, and also that they would have similar conversations with friends and family to try to better understand the diverse roles of reading aloud in their lives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/events/2019/jan/so-what-does-all-mean-rabit-glasgow-womens-library
 
Description RABiT academic symposium: Everyday reading: explorations of literacy and oracy, 17 November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The symposium was a lively day of presentations and discussions examining forms of reading aloud, everyday reading and relationships between literacy and oracy, in and out of the classroom. It aimed to gather researchers from across Britain whose work relates to everyday reading, reading aloud and the relationships between literacy and oracy. 10 researchers presented, including a keynote from Gordon Wells on 'Reading Island Voices: Issues around the primacy of speech and the privileging of literacy, from a Hebridean viewpoint.' The audience were mainly researchers employed by universities, in areas around linguistics, literacy, English and language teaching, with a few poets and postgraduate students also attending. All participants spoke of the event having changed the way they see the relationships between the written and the oral and this symposium is now feeding into a Special Issue of the Journal Changing English.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/events/2018/nov/everyday-reading-explorations-literacy-and-oracy
 
Description Radio interview on BBC Radio Shetland: the Books Programme, aired March 14 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact When visiting Shetland for data collection purposes in 2018, I was interviewed by the BBC Radio Shetland Books Programme. This interview request was the result of a small event I ran at the Shetland Library which generated some local interest. The interviewer, Mary Blance, is a well-known local broadcaster and poet. The interview was aired on the 14th of March 2019 and is available to listen to online. It was a wonderful opportunity to publicise the thinking behind and initial findings of the project. The Books Programme is one of the most popular programme on BBC Radio Shetland with a healthy audience of general public, teachers and poets, and as the interview also sits on the BBC Radio Shetland Facebook page, is likely to generate more interest over time.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/news/2019/mar/why-we-read-out-loud
 
Description Reading Agency Blog: What does it mean to read aloud - and why is it so important? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This is a Reading Agency guest blog. The engagement figures given above are an estimate based on Reading Agency estimates for now, given social media interest and the recentness of the blog. It is hoped that the blog will reach more people over the next few months. The aim of the blog is to get people (general public mainly, but also adult literacy teachers and policy makers) thinking about what 'reading' really means or includes and what this should mean for how we talk about and develop reading.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://readingagency.org.uk/news/blog/-dr-sam-duncan-works-at.html
 
Description Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) stall at the Bloomsbury Festival 2017 (21st October, 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Throughout the day, I would estimate that around forty people came to talk at the Reading Aloud in Britain Today stall, talking about the aims of the project, their experiences of reading aloud, and how they can participate further in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/2018/01/23/doing-outreach-telling-tales-of-independence-at-the-blooms...
 
Description Reading in the 21st century: CPD and networking event for teachers in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event will take place on the 5th of March and so will be report on after the end of this submission period, but the idea of this, fourth RABiT regional community event is to explore the findings of the RABiT project and what they could mean for us as readers and as teachers. This event will lead to specific reflections in postgraduate work of the trainee teachers attending, as well as, in the sessions of the teacher educators present, and all teachers will be asked to note down and share how this session will impact on their practice. 32 people are booked onto this event so far (it is the 28th of Feb as I type and so we anticipate 40+ registering and then around 35 attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/events/2019/mar/reading-aloud-implications-rabit-project-teachers
 
Description Regional Community Event in collaboration with Prison Reading Groups at Bullingdon Prison 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the fifth Regional Community Event, and one with a specific focus on those engaged in reading groups in prison. The event was in collaboration with the Prison Reading Groups organisation https://prison-reading-groups.org.uk and involved me presenting the rationale behind and the initial findings of the project and then exploring these findings collaboratively with the 11 members of the prison reading group, the facilitator (from the Prison Reading Groups organisation) and the prison librarian. Our discussions involved ideas around reading aloud and their particular reading group as well as reading aloud across their daily lives in the prison, as well as their views on the roles and importance of literacy. It was very important to gain insights from those in prison, such as the ways that those with stronger reading may be asked to read the letters of those less confident in their literacy and the issues of trust and vulnerability involved. It was important to hear their views on how a lack of literacy can relate to aggression as well as to the different ways they feel they read aloud across their lives, including as part of their faith lives and their work roles in the prison. It was also valuable to exchange ideas with the prison librarian and the reading group facilitator. All those present, the facilitator, librarian and prisoners, felt that the discussion highlighted how much they read aloud, more than they had thought. They also reflected on the relationships between the reading they might do for more functional or instrumental aspects of their lives (reading the canteen cards for examples) and the reading they do as part of their engagement with this monthly (literary) reading group. This event was also a way for me to consolidate my links with the Prison Reading Groups organisation with a view to possibly presenting at their annual event at Roehampton University in September and/or meeting with others reading groups in prisons.

The URL below is about the Prison Reading Groups organisation. It did not seem appropriate in this instance to create an entry for this event on the main project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://prison-reading-groups.org.uk
 
Description Research Keynote at Learning and Work Institute English, Maths and ESOL Annual Conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research keynote talk at the Annual English, Maths and ESOL conference run by the Learning and Work Institute, for an audience of both practitioners and policy makers/politicians. This talk explored the RABiT project, its rationale and findings and in particular what it says about encouraging participation in adult learning opportunities and adult literacy teaching policy. Participants came up to me afterwards to express surprise at how much reading aloud they realise they do in their lives and also several practitioners spoke to me about what this could mean for our teaching of literacy and language, and also how we could lobby the curricula/assessments to take note of reading aloud as well as silent individual adult reading. I will be following all this up.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.learningandwork.org.uk/events/annual-conference-on-english-maths-and-esol/
 
Description Workshop with teachers Ethiopian at the English Language Teachers Association/Ethiopian English Language Professionals' Association, 25th May 2019, Addis Ababa 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave 2 long (1.5 hours) workshops/presentations at the reading conference for Ethiopian English Language Teachers Association/Ethiopian English Language Professionals' Association, 25th May 2019, Addis Ababa. One was focussed on reading circles (based mainly on earlier research) and one was based on the RABiT project. The focus of both, however, was on the lessons learnt from the RABiT project about the relationships between how we conceptualise reading, how we research reading and how we teach reading. The teachers were teaching English to children, teenagers and adults in a range of contexts across Ethiopia. They were particularly interested in uses of reading aloud in the classroom, though several were also interested in reproducing the RABiT research design in Ethiopia (a sort of 'Reading Aloud in Ethiopia') and I am following this up now. The most dramatic outcome of the workshop was how many teachers had been told NOT to read aloud when teaching English and our discussions of how it can be important and how to do it well.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019