Introduction to oral language
Welcome to the Oral Language module. In this module you will:
- view some oral language exemplars
- analyse your students’ talk in relation to The Progressions: ELLP
- plan further opportunities to develop students’ oral language
To help you, you will need:
To start you thinking about speaking and listening, please read the relevant section in The Progressions: ELLP. This is a useful summary, easy to read, and contains important ideas about your English language learners. (It’s only 2 pages.)
Years 1-4 pp.7-9
Years 5-8 pp.7-9
Years 9-13 pp.7-9
You might like to make notes in your journal or highlight the key ideas in your booklet.
Summary of key messages about listening and speaking
- Help your learners to understand and use appropriate language for different audiences and purposes (for example at lunchtime with friends compared with discussing a class topic in the classroom).
- Focus on teaching academic oral language (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency: CALP), as students will pick up social English (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills: BICS) more easily.
- Notice how oral language challenges learners in different ways from written language (for example there is generally no opportunity to listen again to a speaker, but with a written text learners can re-read it).
- Think about the factors that influence each learner’s oral language proficiency. These include:
- the content of and teaching approaches used in previous English language instruction (if any.)
- the age at which your learner began learning English.
- their level of confidence in speaking English, especially risk-taking.
- Remember that your learners will generally understand more than they can say - their receptive language (making meaning/listening) will be more advanced than their productive language (creating meaning/speaking).
- Encourage your learners to continue to speak in their home language(s) as this will help them to think deeply and learn English more effectively.
- Secondary teachers might note that there is an approximate correlation between the stages of The Progressions: ELLP and the ESOL unit standards.