Oral Language Role Models
Parents, caregivers, teachers and guardians are the main role models in oral language development. Adults model oral language through conversation, questions, listening, and responding.
Teachers can model these oral language skills through class discussions, community circles, shared readings and other activities that promote orally sharing ones ideas and prompting further discussion.
Language Development Among Peers
Peer learning is an important part of language development. Teachers can promote and encourage talk within the classroom by planning activities that allow students to interact with each other where they can both contribute to the discussion and listen to each other in supportive environment. This can be included in lessons and activity centres throughout the classroom.
Every child's language is a valid system for communication and warrants respect. It reflects the not only the child's identity, values and experiences but those of their family and community.
Literacy Instructional Approaches & Oral Development
Through literacy instruction, both teachers and children have the opportunity to promote and develop oral language skills in multiple ways. Read alouds, shared readings, guided readings, and independent reading provide many opportunities to generate discussion, ask questions and practice listening skills.
Read alouds allow teachers to model language systems while students have the opportunity to hear rich language and complex language structures.
Shared reading supports the transition from teacher modelling to student participation within a group environment. Students practice speaking aloud and making connections between the language systems.
Guided reading encourages more independence from the students with some teacher prompts in discussions before and after reading.
Independent reading encourages student independence where the discussions are entirely student-led with teacher monitoring to help students elaborate on their thinking.
Continuing Oral Language Development
As children come to understand written language, continue to encourage oral interaction within the classroom. In the primary grade, students can keep developing their oral abilities and skills by consulting with each other, raising questions, and providing information in a variety of situations.
Oral language isn't just a strand within the Language Arts curriculum. Every area of the curriculum is enhanced through language as students share their findings, solutions and ask questions. Teachers can incorporate oral language opportunities with purpose through group discussions, problem-solving challenges, drama activities, and oral presentations within their daily lessons.