Does having a strong oral language focus affect achievement in literacy and maths for students who come in with below standard oracy skills?
Building on from last year.
One key aspect of trying to develop better oral language last year was having regular tapatoru sharing sessions where the children would get into groups of 3 (knees touching) and follow a format of Buddy A asks Buddy B a question to which they reply, then Buddy B ask Buddy C etc.
This formalised structure helped listening and repeating skills. It modeled correct language structure which the children then gotto practise. It also modeled the asking and answering of questions.
It was too set so didn’t really encourage extended conversations. Most children answered with a short, simple sentence. While some could have coped with extending it so it was more like a conversation, others struggled with it as it was.
This year so far
I have been trying to get the basic tapatoru routine going but time has been a bit limited with swimming to get it going well. We have had a go at respoding to someone’s ideas by asking more questions. This means the other children in the group need to listen more actively. Over the rest of the term the aim is to try and introduce more of the Talk Moves such as repeating, rephrasing and adding on to someone else’s ideas.
DMIC maths with a strong emphasis on children exploring maths ideas through solving problems and explaining theirs’ and others’ thinking is another good opportunity to develop these oracy skills. At present however it is very much a work in progress in trying to implement it successfully.
Recording Oral Language To Make It Repeatable
I think that one way children can develop their storytelling is through drawing. Allowing them the space and time to draw more extended pictures helps them include more details in their thoughts and stories which in turn means they have more stimulus to talk about in more detail. I have begun to record children talking about their stories. This is also a way of them being able to relisten to themselves talk and share their ideas with others.
Talk Through Play
Through the children’s play it is really fascinating to see their language develop. Given the opportunity to interract, negotiate, respond to eachother, and be imaginiative, more richer oral language interrations occur. It would be good to find ways to capitalise on this more.