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What are the components of Effective Oral Communication

Five Components of Effective Oral Language Instruction and components of oral language | download free pdf
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Published Date:09-07-2017
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Five Components of Effective Oral Language Instruction 1 Introduction “Oral Language is the child’s first, most important, and most frequently used structured medium of communication. It is the primary means through which each individual child will be enabled to structure, to evaluate, to describe and to control his/her experience. In addition, and most significantly, oral language is the primary mediator of culture, the way in which children locate themselves in the world, and define themselves with it and within it” (Cregan, 1998, as cited in Archer, Cregan, McGough, Shiel, 2012) At its most basic level, oral language is about communicating with other people. It involves a process of utilizing thinking, knowledge and skills in order to speak and listen effectively. As such, it is central to the lives of all people. Oral language permeates every facet of the primary school curriculum. The development of oral language is given an importance as great as that of reading and writing, at every level, in the curriculum. It has an equal weighting with them in the integrated language process. Although the Curriculum places a strong emphasis on oral language, it has been widely acknowledged that the implementation of the Oral Language strand has proved challenging and “there is evidence that some teachers may have struggled to implement this component because the underlying framework was unclear to them” (NCCA, 2012, pg. 10) In light of this and in order to provide a structured approach for teachers, a suggested model for effective oral language instruction is outlined in this booklet. It consists of five components, each of which is detailed on subsequent pages. Develop Promote Listening & Auditory Speaking Skills Memory Five Components of Effective Oral Language Teach and Instruction Teach a Extend Variety of Vocabulary and Spoken Texts Conceptual Knowledge Create a Language Learning Environment 2 Adapted from Eisenhart C. 1990 Develop Listening & Speaking Skills Below is an article which relates to these 5 elements for effective language instruction and which contains useful information regarding the skills of speaking and listening. The early years are a period in which young children are using language to learn not only about their world but also how language can be used to serve many purposes. This knowledge is referred to as pragmatic knowledge (Otto, 2006). One component of pragmatic knowledge is conversational skills. Ninio and Snow (1999) as well as Weiss (2004) assert that how well children develop conversational skills can influence how well they interact with others (as cited in Otto, 2006). To a certain degree, children pick up this knowledge naturally, but an astute teacher or parent plays a vital role in assisting children in their ability to be good conversationalists. Conversing with children is not the only way to increase vocabulary, however. Strategies teachers use while reading with and to children can also build their word banks. Asking open ended questions (questions in which there is no right or wrong answer and to which the adult does not “know” the answer) helps teachers assess children’s comprehension but also helps them learn more vocabulary words (Whitehurst et al., 1988, as cited in Wasik, 2006).Kerry (1982) asserts that the vast majority (approximately 80%) of “teacher talk” in classrooms is focused on tasks: giving instructions, providing information, or correcting behaviour or information. Of this talk, 80% of it consists of low-level questions that ask children to recall information rather than open-ended questions requiring children to think at higher levels (as cited in Jalongo, 2008). A very important consideration in using any questioning technique is the “wait time” given to children as they formulate their response. In addition to giving children ample time to formulate answers, how teachers respond at that point can encourage or discourage future participation in discussions (Otto, 2006). Attentive body language, expanding children’s responses, asking clarifying questions, and using reflective listening techniques are ways to support children’s continued participation in current and future dialogues (Otto, 2006). The obvious partner to participating in talk is the ability to listen. Conversation is a two way communication experience. Although children’s oral, or expressive, language often gets emphasized, receptive language, or listening, is equally important. Naturally, the ability to listen is also a key component in learning. It is the way children take in information through hearing and interpret that information. Children (and adults) can be taught to be good listeners. A primary way of helping children participate as listeners and speakers in conversations is for teachers to model good listening and speaking techniques themselves. Following are some things teachers can do to increase children’s listening and speaking skills: 3  When children are speaking, get down to their eye level. It is difficult to keep up a conversation with someone when you must keep looking up.  Treat children as if they are skilled at conversation. Give them your full attention and focus on what they say. Ask open-ended questions to follow up on what they share.  Speak to all children, even those who may have language delays or who are English language learners.  Ask children questions about things to which you do not know the answer. Questions that ask children to reflect on a topic or to formulate opinions and explain them not only show children that you value their ideas but also encourage them to think about their own feelings and ideas. Don’t give up if children don’t respond well the first time. Sometimes this kind of questioning and responding takes more deliberate probing and time for children to develop this skill.  Help children learn to listen to one another. When adults value listening to children and to each other, children will notice this. Adults must also, however, be intentional in giving children the skills to listen to one another. Some teachers find that giving the speaker a prop, such as a stuffed animal or other small object, while speaking to the group helps distinguish whose turn it is to talk (Jalongo, 2008).  Limit group time and small group discussions to a reasonable time limit for young children. Their ability to stay attuned to a lengthy discussion is incomplete at this age. When attention is wandering, it is best to bring closure to the activity and transition to something else. Record, both by writing on chart paper and audio, transcripts of discussions so that children can hear and have read back to them things that were shared.  Value all the home languages of the children in the class, including sign language for the hearing impaired. For the benefit of English language learners and everyone else, learn some of the key words and phrases in the languages represented in the group, record them, create word/picture cards, and provide them in a listening centre. This way, children can learn some important words in another language and support the speaker of that language (Jalongo, 2008).  Help children learn to listen and to ask questions by having “Show and Ask” rather than “Show and Tell.” As children bring in items or objects to talk about, have the rest of the group think of questions to ask the speaker about the item. This helps children become better listeners as well as learn how to ask questions (Jalongo, 2008). Deason (2012) What needs to be taught? There are certain elements that need to be explicitly taught before embarking on formal instruction of oral language. These are;  Awareness of broad rules that govern social interaction  Non-verbal behaviours  Rules for listening  Rules for speaking 4 Awareness of broad rules that govern social interaction: In order to teach speaking and listening skills, teachers will need to create awareness of the way conversation works by considering the “rules” to be observed by good speakers and listeners. These are often unconscious.  Turn-taking  The Floor  Adjacency pairs  Repair  Politeness Turn Taking: turn taking is very important for an effective speaker listener relationship. Students need to recognize pauses in a conversation where they can take a turn, interrupt, ask a question or change the subject. Teachers can explicitly teach turn taking so that all pupils are encouraged to speak e.g. circle time where everybody has a turn, asking students to work with a partner and choose who will go first. The Floor: the person who is currently speaking is the person who “holds the floor”. During conversations, speakers and listeners use eye contact, body language, gestures, and pauses to judge when a new voice can take the floor. Adjacency Pairs: these are the sequences of two utterances next to each other, produced by two different speakers e.g. a question and an answer, a greeting and a response. This can work well to help develop the everyday social interactions of pupils. How are you? Very well thank you Repair: repair takes place when a speaker has to “fix” something they have said e.g. “I said seen, I meant saw”. Sometimes the listener can seek a repair which could be expressed through a facial expression or body language or check for meaning by asking a question such as “What do you mean? ” or “I don’t understand”. Pupils need to be encouraged to check that they understand what another person is saying and to check that others understand them. Non-verbal behaviours Communicating is more than just words. The manner in which we use voice, facial expression, and body language affects the messages we are trying to give. Students are not always aware that their posture or the way they approach another person speaks volumes in itself. By creating awareness around the expressive nature of the way a person uses their body and voice, teachers can help pupils to become critically aware of the non-verbal behaviours that will equip them to express themselves in an effective manner. 5 What are these non-verbal behaviours?  Use of voice: The use of intonation and pauses that convey meaning and attitude  Volume: Volume depends on the needs of the situation, purpose and audience. There are times when loud voices are required such as in a play, or during assembly. There are also times when quiet voices are necessary such as working in the library. Generally speaking a voice should be loud enough that the intended audience can hear and understand the message being delivered. The use of varying volume will help to create emphasis or drama when recounting events, telling a story or persuading an audience.  Intonation: Intonation indicates the changes in speech; a downward intonation indicates that a message is complete, while an upward intonation indicates a question.  Pitch: Pitch is useful to use when expressing emotion. Our pitch rises when we are excited and lowers when we are sad.  Pauses: Pauses are moments of silence between phrases, used to separate ideas and also used for holding attention. This is particularly useful when giving formal presentations such as an oral report or telling a story.  Pronunciation: Pronunciation refers to the way words are said. Some younger pupils may have difficulty in pronouncing the sounds in some words and will benefit from hearing those words modeled in meaningful contexts. Pronunciation varies across regions. It is important that pupils know the accepted pronunciation of words in Standard English.  Proximity: Proximity is the amount of personal space between people who are talking. The relationship between them, their personalities, and their culture or whether the situation is personal, social or public will all affect the amount of proximity needed.  Eye contact: Eye contact is the use of the eyes or gaze in face to face communication. The level of eye contact often depends on the relationship between the communicators and affects both the speaker and the listener. Developing Listening Skills: According to LeLoup and Pontero: “Listening is arguably the most important skill used for obtaining comprehensible input in one’s first language and in any subsequent languages. It is a pervasive communicative event. We listen considerably more than we read, write or speak.” (LeLoup and Pontero, 2007) In order to teach listening skills teachers need to:  Explicitly model how to be good listeners  Show the children footage of what good listening looks like  Schedule quiet, listening opportunities as part of the school day  Provide spaces in the classroom that encourage conversation and attentive listening, e.g. ‘The shop’, ‘The doctor’s surgery’  Create organic learning charts to capture what good listening is 6 Possible ways of achieving this include:  Give simple instructions and directions during all learning activities  Ask relevant questions  Read stories aloud to the children and encourage them to re-tell the story in sequence  Encourage note-taking using frameworks  Use dictation drills  Play games  Use taped stories and questions  Gather information  Complete cloze type activities or unfinished sentences or stories  Conduct Interviews  Base topic work on content of radio programmes  Sequence sentences, ideas and stories  Listen to songs, poetry and music  Use instructional exercises Developing Speaking Skills: In order to teach effective speaking skills teachers need to:  explicitly model effective speaking in a formal and informal manner  provide opportunities for students to engage in conversational-style speaking e.g. using the shop area, providing scenario cards  give students tasks that involve observing and recording effective speaking  use role-playing to teach and reinforce good conversational skills  carry out activities where the whole class read aloud  teach the rules that govern social interaction as mentioned above  create organic charts to capture the mannerisms associated with effective speaking such as the non-verbal behaviours mentioned above 7 Activities to develop speaking and listening skills:  Act It Out This is a small group activity designed to give pupils time to decide what they would do in different situations. It provides them with the opportunity to discuss the information they need to include and to try to find ways of improving their speaking and listening. 1. At the table pick a scenario card and discuss these questions, what is happening? How do we know? What will we say and do so that everybody knows what we mean? How can we say this so that it sounds like the talk we use in school? What will we do to show that we understand what is being said? 2. You need to decide who will act out the part and where the action will start, before, during or after the event on the card. 3. Try acting it out. 4. Students can then reflect on these questions, what made sense and why? where else could we listen like this?, where else could we speak like this? What would we say differently next time and why? Suggested Scenario Cards Mary is throwing blocks Oops you have knocked over a carton of milk John has taken Bill’s coat by mistake There is no towel in the bathroom  People I Talk To, People I Listen To This activity provides pupils with an opportunity to discuss the different purposes for speaking and listening. Teachers can draw on contexts inside and outside the classroom. Use a variety of photographs or pictures of people that the pupils meet or interact with on a daily and weekly basis. 1. Choose a picture and discuss using the following questions, when do we talk to …? What do we talk about with….? How do we speak when we talk to….? 2. Repeat with other pictures emphasising choices that are made according to topics that may be discussed or the purpose of the speaking. 8 Teach a Variety of Spoken Texts The primary purpose of language is to communicate needs, wants, ideas, information and feelings. Many theorists claim that the different purposes for which we use language fall under various categories. One seminal piece of research was carried out by British linguist, Michael Halliday who proposed a list of 7 functions of language commonly known as “Halliday’s Functions of Language (1972)”. These are listed below: Function Used for Demands language of Instrumental Expressing needs/Getting things done Asking, Requesting, Explaining Regulatory Influencing the behaviour, Setting tasks, Managing, Negotiating, feelings/attitudes of others Instructing, Directing , Controlling Interactional Getting along with others Initiating, Sympathising, Reconciling Arguing, Encouraging, Empathising Personal Expressing individuality and personal Stating opinions, Confronting, Expressing feelings thoughts and feelings, Recounting experience Heuristic Seeking and learning about the social and Interrogating, Discussing, Asking, physical environment Querying, Investigating, Clarifying Imaginary Creating stories, games, new worlds and Storytelling, Anticipating, Predicting, new texts Imagining, Playing, Experimenting 9 Representational Communicating Information Telling, Lecturing, Stating facts, Sharing skills, Commenting, Imparting knowledge, Informing There are a variety of oral language texts/genres (similar to written genres) that teachers can use to address the functions of language that are required in social and academic contexts. The table below illustrates some of the different types of text: A Selection of Different Text-types  Oral Reports  Conversations  Storytelling and Anecdotes  Questioning and Interviews  Partner and Small Group Work  Arguments and Formal/Informal Debates  Giving Instructions/Procedures Students need to understand and know how the range of oral language texts will operate in different contexts. Therefore as teachers we need to establish classroom structures and procedures that allow students to develop their understandings of the different forms that oral language texts take, as well as providing opportunities for pupils to purposefully practice these forms in a variety of settings. It is important when addressing the different types of language to give consideration to  The range of different social contexts of language (formal or informal, familiar or unfamiliar)  The range of cultural contexts for language (local, community, institutional)  The possible participants in a conversation and the relationship between them (the people who are known, unknown, students, peers, adults) Definitions and Activities to Support Implementation Oral Reports Oral Reports give students experience in selecting and organising information that will suit specific purposes, situations and audiences. Reports can be planned such as reporting on a project (“The Lion”) and unplanned such as the plenary part of a lesson (How did your group get on?). Oral reports are those based on a shared focus of interest or particular topics being studied at that particular point in time. Subjects like science and geography lend themselves to organising reports e.g. a report on the life-cycle of the butterfly, a report on volcanos, especially if students have been involved in group work first. 10 Language Function Text Type Text Structure and Language Features Representational Oral Reports Text Structure Communicating Can be planned or  Description, explanation, report, recount Information, unplanned descriptions, expressing Language Structures and Features propositions  Subject-specific concepts and words depending on the topic  Key Words Personal  Words that signal opinion Expressing Knowledge Skills and Understanding individuality and  Can structure a report so that it contains enough personal feelings detail for the listener to follow and understand  Clarify new learning  Can actively listen Metalinguistic Awareness  Language use clear and precise  Pace  Understand how props can support communicative efforts Specific Language skills  Select and organize information  Identify key facts  Contextualise information  Explain  Compress Information Activities for Developing Oral Reports TV/radio Reports Teacher can play segments of a range of TV or radio reports such as news, weather, and documentaries to create awareness amongst pupils. This will afford pupils the opportunity to listen to and analyse the specific language structures and features that make up this spoken text-type. The pupils can record key information under the 5W headings who, when, where, what, why. My News This activity provides a framework for pupils to give an oral news report based on their own experiences. The 5W framework may be used here. 11 Today’s News Report Allow the pupils to create and present a news report based on something that happened within school e.g. a mouse in the classroom, in the locality e.g. local team won the county final, or indeed in the country/world e.g. President Obama being re-elected. Using a box as the television screen will act as an aid for the presentation of the report. Recording the report to re-play and self-assess may also be useful. Projects Allow time for pupils to present project work in the form of an oral report. Speech Pyramid The Speech Pyramid is a graphic organiser that is used to record observations about the range of speech that occurs in speech situations. With appropriate support, speech pyramids can be used at all class levels. Storytelling and Anecdotes Telling stories, recalling events and relating personal anecdotes has been how many cultures and societies have preserved and passed on their traditions. We constantly communicate information through stories e.g. “Wait until I tell you a good one about what happened to me last week” etc. Storytelling is a vital part of everyday conversation and so should be an important feature in all classrooms. “Narratives help students to connect what is happening in the classroom with the real world; they provide a way of understanding, organising and communicating experiences” (Ewing and Simmons, 2004). Teachers can extend storytelling skills into performance opportunities such as a play, recital in drama. 12 Language Function Text Type Text Structure and Language Features Imaginative Storytelling and Text Structure Creating new Anecdotes  Narrative, recount, description, report, retelling worlds, making up stories and poems Language Structures and Features  Language to entertain and inform  Language to express experiences and emotions  Include an orientation, series of events, a complication and a conclusion  Descriptive vocabulary  Variety in tone of voice, volume etc.  Expressive body language  Use of rhetorical questions  Use of intensifiers (really, very, quite) to build significance and create drama Knowledge Skills and Understanding  When to include an anecdote or story in conversation  How to include others in composing the anecdote or story  What to listen for e.g. who the characters are, what the problem might be  How to visualize when listening Activities for Storytelling and Anecdotes Model Good Story-telling Read stories regularly to your students. When reading stories it is important to model best practice: be as dramatic as possible so that the children learn to recognise how tone, volume, and body language create suspense, interest and enjoyment. Creating Character Profiles Allow pupils to work with a variety of materials to help them generate ideas about characters e.g. masks, hats, pictures, shoes. Afterwards ask them in pairs or small groups to invent a character and to describe the character by including information such as where they live, their age, what sort of family they have, what do they like to do in their spare time. Story sacks Story sacks are kits that are put together around a story. As the story is told the children use the props to re-tell the story. There are many websites that will give ideas for story sacks, such as http://www.storysack.com/ 13 Circle Stories The teacher may go first and start a story by describing a setting and introducing a character. A student sitting next to the teacher will continue the story and then pass it on to the next student etc. Teacher; “When I was washing my That’s Good; That’s Bad clothes last Saturday I found €20” This is a fun interactive game useful for engaging shy or Pupils; “That’s good” reluctant speakers. The class sit in a circle. The teacher begins the story and includes fortunate event followed by Teacher; “Then I heard a loud an unfortunate event. The class respond with “that’s bang; somebody had kicked a ball good” or “that’s bad” e.g. through my kitchen window by mistake. It is going to cost €20 to Varied Stories replace” Model telling the class a wide variety of stories – spooky Pupils; “That’s bad” stories, I remember when stories, dramatic stories, stories from long ago. Allow pupils to share such stories. Sound stories A sound story tells a story using sound effects either in part or full. When using sound stories discuss the story with the children and with them select sounds to use and to add to the story. This is a natural way of integrating language learning with the music curriculum. Here are some suggestions for sounds to use with the familiar fairytale The Three Little Pigs. Events Sound effects The three little pigs running around Vocal squeaks, bells played quickly Wolf prowling around Drum repeated as footsteps First little pig builds a straw house Rubbing palms, finger stroking drum skin, scrunching paper Readers’ Theatre This involves groups of pupils assuming characters from a story and reading the script aloud to the class. It allows a book to come alive and encourages pupils to consider volume, pace, pausing, tone, gesture and facial expression when presenting. Readers’ Theatre can be easily organised by following these steps;  Choose a suitable text – many books and websites provide scripts for Readers’ Theatre  Decide which groups will be allocated to which character  Ask the groups to highlight the text of their allocated character  Ask groups to decide where sound effects and props could be used  Allow time for groups to practice their lines as a group several times  Allow time for the whole class recital of the text 14 Puppetry This again is useful for the shy or reluctant speaker. Puppets are useful aids that pupils can use when they are re-telling stories or presenting their own stories as they allow pupils to practice the structures and features of narrative and to experiment with voice and volume. Drama Through drama, pupils are given opportunities to use language to entertain. Teachers may organise drama through improvisational drama or through the use of scripts. Partner and Small Group Work Partner and small group work provides an authentic learning context in which student can develop both speaking and listening skills. Pupils are allowed to become actively involved in the construction of their own knowledge. This can often lead to greater understanding and internalisation of material. Students are allowed to use language to interact and plan, take on a particular role such as the manager, the recorder etc., develop a group activity and monitor and reflect on the task/learning. Small group learning allows the teacher to effectively scaffold students’ learning by providing guidance towards ensuring that the groups run smoothly, that allocated roles are working and that learning is being fostered. Language Function Text Type Text Structure and Language Features Interactional Partner and Small- Text Structure Getting along with Group Work  Students use language to interact and plan, to others, negotiate roles, develop or maintain a play or establishing group activity, monitor and reflect on the task relative status Language Structures and Features  Language to entertain and inform Instrumental  Language to express experiences and emotions Expressing  Include an orientation, series of events, a needs/Getting complication and a conclusion things done  Descriptive vocabulary  Variety in tone of voice, volume etc.  Expressive body language  Use of rhetorical questions  Use of intensifiers (really, very, quite) to build significance and create drama 15 Knowledge Skills and Understanding  Involve all people in a group  Respond to what others say  Listen to others and create space for them  Develop and clarify thoughts and ideas  Summarise and evaluate  Manage time  Prioritise Language for Social Interaction  Give feedback  Allocate roles  Request help  Tutor  Invite  Reinforce  Ask permission Language for learning  Suggest Ideas  Share knowledge,  Evaluate Persuade, Disagree  Give and justify  Reach consensus opinions  Give instructions  Initiate ideas for thought and action  Consult  Build on and extend  Challenge others ideas  Explain  Initiate discussion Strategies for Partner and Small Group Work Rules of Group Work Rules are best established as a class for effective group work. Having collectively drawn up the rules, display this as a poster somewhere prominent in the room. Our Group Work Rules We don’t all talk at the same time We listen to one another We give everybody a chance to say something We help each other out We share ideas We take people’s ideas seriously We don’t make anyone feel silly We allow others to join in 16 Co-operative Learning Groups In cooperative learning, team members are positively interdependent and a strong emphasis is placed on individual and group accountability. It involves group reflection on learning, team recognition and group responsibility for individual learning. Here the teacher puts the pupils into groups and sets a task. Each pupil is given a particular role to fulfil e.g. manager, reporter, recorder, time-keeper. These roles will need to have been explicitly taught to pupils before they engage in a co-operative learning group. Sample cards for these roles are in the appendix section. Jigsaw Jigsaw is an example of a cooperative learning approach, which should include the key elements of cooperative learning such as positive interdependence, individual and group accountability. It involves group reflection on learning, team recognition and group responsibility for individual learning. Pupils are organised into groups to research a topic or to complete a task. Students will need to explain or describe their new knowledge of the topic to other classmates; this helps students to gain better understanding of the topic or the task. Students will need to listen very carefully and ask questions if they are unsure about any element of the topic/task. Steps to follow include:  Divide the class into “home groups” of 4-6 pupils. Give each pupil a number within their group  Move students from their home group into “expert” groups, based on the numbers – all the 3s go together etc. The “expert” group complete a specific task  Students return to their “home group” having completed the task and share what they have done or what they have found out Think-pair-share/Square This is a way for pupils to pool their thoughts and ideas and to see things from different perspectives. Pupils listen to a presentation, story, read a text, see a video and record their ideas individually. As a class they pair up with a partner to share their ideas. A pair can team up with another pair to “square” their ideas. Partner Conversations After listening to a story, pupils in pairs re-tell the story in sequence with as much detail as they can remember. Circle within a Circle Pupils sit in 2 circles, one circle inside the other. Pupils in the inside circle discuss what they know and what they have found out about a topic, character etc. Pupils on the outside take notes and reflect on what they are hearing and share this with the inside group and may ask questions to clarify thinking. Listening Triads Pupils work in groups of three, with pupils taking the role of speaker, questioner or recorder. The speaker talks on a given topic e.g. gives an opinion on an issue, explains a 17 concept. The questioner asks questions in order to seek clarification. The recorder takes notes in preparation for giving feedback. Conversations Classroom conversations are dialogues that occur between students and teachers and between students and students. They are used to create, negotiate or deepen the understanding of a topic. Language Function Text Type Text Structure and Language Features Heuristic Conversations Text Structure Seeking and  A sustained exchange that extends beyond the IRE testing knowledge (Initiate, Response, Evaluate) Language Structures and Features Interactional  Use linking words Getting along with  Technical language others,  Manage turn taking establishing relative status  Manage topic changes  Repair communication breakdowns Imaginative  Sustain conversations through building on others’ Creating new ideas and asking relevant questions worlds, making up  Use non-verbal listening and speaking behaviours stories and poems  Specific vocabulary for seeking information  Give or request information Representational  Provide background information if required Communicating  Provide appropriate detail Information, Knowledge Skills and Understanding descriptions,  Can respond to questions and statements expressing  Can identify key information propositions  Can identify different points of view  Can express opinions and substantiate Metalinguistic Awareness  Consider listener’s needs  Group processes , how to build on others ideas, take turns, hold the floor Activities to Develop Conversations WWW and EBI Discuss/reflect on something in terms of what went well and how it could be improved even better if … 18 Conversation Stations Conversation Stations are helpful for the development of high quality, consistent conversations in the classroom. In Conversation Stations, children have the opportunity to talk, get feedback on their language and to have appropriate language modelled to them. In order to create a Conversation Station consider the following:  Designated Space – table, display pocket chart, pictures, props,”Let’s talk about…..”  One to one conversations - at the beginning, 10 min duration, max. two children  Rules - establish at outset, talk and thoughtful listening, share purpose with children  Message Board – “Time to Talk”, topics that arise can be discussed at later time at Conversation Station  Shy/Reticent Child - teacher initiated conversations, vocabulary theme, props, “phone a friend”  Conversation Essentials – Talk: Open-ended questions and feedback. This supports child’s use and comprehension of language Conversation Scenarios This is a useful activity to involve pupils in a variety of telephone conversations. Pupils work in pairs and are given a scenario card. They plan and discuss the card and type of conversation in which they will engage and then with the use of real phones, carry out the telephone conversation. Scenario Card Examples You have to phone a friend You have forgotten which Your friend has fallen from to invite him/her to your page you must read for their bike, you must ring birthday party homework and so have to their mother to explain phone a classmate and ask what happened them Questioning and Interviews Questioning encourages higher order thinking and forms the basis of enquiry. Good questioning enhances understanding, as it provides opportunities to explain, clarify, probe, make connections and identify problems and issues. Questioning encourages dialogue between students and teachers and influences student’s use of questioning to promote their own learning. Self- questioning enables students to reflect and assess their own results and efforts with a view to making them better. Interviews provide an authentic context for questioning. In an interview, students purposefully practice asking questions and develop the skills to listen critically. 19 Language Function Text Type Text Structure and Language Features Heuristic Questioning and Text Structure Seeking and Interviews  Asking and answering open and closed questions testing knowledge to serve a range of purposes Language Structures and Features  Use of closed questions as a strategy to elicit specific information  Use of open questions to elicit a range of responses  Use of sentences that are grammatically well formed and appropriate to the situation  Logical Connectors Knowledge Skills and Understandings  Shaping questions to produce optimal information  Stimulates and extends own thinking by questioning to explore possibilities  Clarifies own and others’ opinions  Acknowledges another person’s idea, building on another’s idea  Frames questions to suit situation and person Activities to Develop Questioning and Interviews Applying Blooms Taxonomy to Questioning Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of learning objectives and skills which increase in complexity. The taxonomy can be applied to the use of questions as follows: Knowledge (recall) Tell, list, define, name, when, where, state, identify …  Who?  What happened next?  What?  How many?  When?  What is the name of …?  Where?  Which is true or false?  How? Comprehension (understanding) Retell, summarise, describe, explain, predict, restate, estimate ...  What is meant by?  What do you think will happen next?  How would you describe?  What is the main idea?  What is the difference?  Why did …?  Can you tell me in your own words  Tell me about the ____’s size and shape.  What is the main idea?  Can you provide an example of …? Application (solving) 20