From Fountas & Pinnell’s Literacy Beginnings: A Pre-Kindergarten Handbook
One of the many goals that accompany oral language activities is to increase our students’ ability to communicate with an audience outside the family. According to Fountas & Pinnell, this experience “stretches their language abilities because it takes more effort to communicate clearly to members outside of the family sphere.” As students perform or present information to their peers, they must apply (and sometimes explain) specific vocabulary within context, access schema, and navigate language beyond the topic based on teacher/student questions and responses. As teachers we must seek out opportunities to provide a forum for this type of talk. Some examples in practice include “circle time” routines where a student shares/selects a topic of the day, the Writer’s Workshop publishing party, or as a student shares the “whys” that accompany beyond the text questioning. We must also be intentional as we participate in the process, providing probing questions to help everyone engage in the dialog and provide authentic opportunities to extend learning!
Leave a comment if you have some great oral language performance strategies you have utilized recently!