Rich Talk is relevant to the interests and positions of speakers and listeners. It is meaningful to their experience and understanding. Rich Talk is undertaken with a clear purpose that reaches beyond meeting a curriculum expectation. It is authentic talk, not contrived or scripted in any way. Rich Talk is collaborative; therefore, all voices are respected and heard. It engages participants in the subject matter, immerses them in the learning experience and facilitates the acquisition of knowledge and the Discourses (Gee, 2008) of learning. Rich Talk is founded in prior knowledge and experience while inquiring into new avenues of thought and learning. It is critical talk that questions, analyses and evaluates to make meaning, construct new understandings and facilitate metacognitive awareness and higher-level thinking. Rich Talk stimulates and is stimulated by thought. It is the means by which thought comes into existence (Vygotsky, 1934/1986).
In short, Rich Talk is relevant, meaningful, purposeful, authentic, collaborative, engaging, critical and stimulating. It facilitates connections to prior knowledge and experience, meaning making, knowledge acquisition, inquiry, construction of new understandings, acquisition of discourses (Gee, 2007), meta-cognitive awareness and higher-level thinking.
Source: Vetter, Diane. The Impact of the Implementation of Rich Talk Curriculum on the Cross-curricular Learning of Grade 3 Students, York University Libraries, 2009.