It is only during the last 40 years or so that the quantity and quality of talk in the classroom has been studied and evaluated. A key concern is that constructive talk in the classroom is still underused (Alexander, 2008: p.92). The Primary National Strategy which was introduced in 2003 barely touches upon talk at all (DfES, 2003a cited in Cambridge Primary Review, 2009: p.15) and as a result teachers are left with little advice on how to use talk effectively for learning.This isn't the case elsewhere in Europe. Alexander (2008: p.99) reported that in France dialogue has a much greater emphasis in the classroom. He noted that good skills in speech, reasoning and the ability to argue would identify an educated person in France, whereas in Britain good readers and writers are valued higher in society.Despite this emphasis on reading and writing skills in Britain, the Confederation of British Industry reported in 2006 that spelling and grammar skills are of a low standard (Alexander, 2008: p.99). The National Curriculum requires children to read from age five, but Sage (2000: p.135) thinks that children are sometimes being required to read before they have developed the necessary language and communication skills to read with comprehension. The National Strategies argue that talk is an acquired skill rather than one that can be taught (Alexander, 2008: p.100), but this does not mean that the teacher cannot support children's talk development. Language can be modelled and encouraged in the classroom and this would particularly benefit children with English as a second language, where it may not be spoken or supported effectively at home.