Spoken language is essential for learning. Research shows that effective classroom talk occurs when teachershave a clear idea of how to provide supportive and productivecontexts for talk that encourage participation and dialogue. Teachers need to ask genuine questions which do not merely require children to guess what they are thinking or recall simple and predictable facts as well as allowing time for children to formulate ideas through small and large group discussion. In response, children should be encouraged to give extended, thoughtful answers. In effect, classrooms need to promote genuine learning conversations. Teachers’ own languagehas particular features that can demonstrate the vocabulary and repertoire of talk in different contexts. Listening carefully to pupils’ voices and responding to what those voices reveal, lies at the heart of effective teaching and learning, particularly when teaching children for whom English is an additional language (EAL).