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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Say It

Oral language and Reading Strategies: Say It

ESOL Principles:

Most strategies can be used to support all seven of the ESOL principles dependent upon how the teacher decides to use the strategy within their teaching and learning planning cycle. This strategy is usually used to support:

Principle 3: Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes?

Principle 4: Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

Principle 5: Provide multiple opportunities for authentic language use with a focus on students using academic language. Is the language focus on key language? Do I make sure the students have many opportunities to notice and use new language?

Principle 6: Ensure a balance between receptive and productive language. Are the students using both productive (speaking, writing) and receptive (listening, reading) language in this lesson?

Description:

Say It is a spoken role play activity that provides motivation for students to try new structures and vocabulary within a small group setting. It enables students to speak from another viewpoint, recall information, identify main points and prepares students for writing. While undertaking the tasks the students are more likely to notice their own language gaps and test their hypothesis and provide/receive feedback. The content should be material the students understand because they’ve already explored it in class. A Say It is usually positioned towards the end of a teaching and learning sequence. It may be used as a post-reading activity and the prompts based upon the text just read.

The teacher prepares a table/grid (usually 3 x 3, or 3 x 4) and writes one topic related prompt into each section of the table. Each prompt is usually asked from a different point-of-view. The prompts start with “You are …… say …” Each row and column in the table is labelled with a co-ordinate. (E.g. each column A, B, C …, and each row 1, 2, 3…).

Model the activity to the students. Put the students into groups of about six and choose one student to begin the Say It in each group. Allocate grid coordinates to that student (e.g. B3). The first student reads the text in the (B3) cell aloud and then carries out the short role play. They then choose someone from the group to go second and allocate a new set of coordinates (eg. A2) to that student. Students continue to play until all the cells have been role-played.

For example:

  A B C
1 You are ….Say why … You are ….Name 3 … You are ….What did …?
2 You are ….How did … feel …? You are ….Explain how … You are ….Who was …?
3 You are ….In your opinion … You are …. Talk about You are …. Describe ….

The Say It strategy page provides links to actual examples.

video icon Secondary level: Making Language and Learning Work DVD 2 - Year 11 Geography.

Teaching and learning sequence planning example:

Primary level:

Secondary level:

Some possible Teacher Inquiry questions:

  • Does the language level of my students’ require me to use two or more, differentiated Say-it grids?
  • Did the students answer the questions in their own words, rather than reading directly from the text?
  • Which type of question/ or language forms, were my students having difficulty with? What does this mean for my future planning and teaching?
  • How could I assist my students to extend their talk?
  • Have I used questions that require students to think at a deeper level?

Readings:

  • Gibbons, P. (2002). Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning. Portsmouth: Heinemann.
  • Ministry of Education. (2003) English language intensive programme: Years 7-13, resource; Auckland: Ministry of Education, National Migrant and Refugee Education Team. (Page 6 and oral language and reading sections.)
  • Ministry of Education. (2008). English language intensive programme: Years 1-6 resource. Auckland: Ministry of Education, National Migrant and Refugee Education Team. (Page 6-7 and oral language and reading sections.)
  • Ministry of Education.) (2003). Effective literacy practice: In Years 1-4. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd. (Chapter 5.)
  • Ministry of Education. (2006). Effective literacy practice: In years 5-8. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd. (Chapter 5.)
  • Ministry of Education. (2009). Learning through talk: Oral language in years 1-3, and 4-8. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd.
  • Nation, I. S. P. (1988). Communication Activities. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 13. (p. 22)
  • Nation, I. S. P. (1995). Teaching Listening and Speaking. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 14. (pp. 134–145)
  • Nation, I. S. P. (2000). Creating, Adapting and Using Language Teaching Techniques. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 20. (pp. 21–22)

Useful websites:

  • Say It’ Te Reo Māori in English medium Schools.
  • The ‘Say It’ activity example Language Enhancing the Achievement of Pasifika (LEAP) website.
  • How “Say It” supports students Language Enhancing the Achievement of Pasifika (LEAP) website.
  • Strategic Oral Language Instruction in ELD: Teaching Oracy to Develop Literacy. Brea, California: Ballard & Tighe.

Published on: 14 Aug 2012




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