The Role of Early Oral Language within our Classrooms

There is evidence to suggest that if a child can’t say it, they can’t write it, therefore, children who talk productively and as participants in real and rich conversations, are more proficient writers.

In Prep and Year 1, students have been engaging in The Big Talk process, as well as consolidating their understanding of VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation). In class, we select an interesting image to use as a stimulus for class discussions. After viewing these stimulus images, students are given the opportunity to talk to each other, as well as to the teacher, about anything that comes into their minds, relating to that stimulus. As a class, we discuss and describe each image, welcoming different thoughts and responding to questions. The purpose of this is to allow all students to verbally share as many ideas and words as possible; with the view to explore new and exciting vocabulary along the way, whilst engaging in rich language stimulation.

As vocabulary plays an important role in fostering reading development, these oral language discussions assist students in consolidating their literacy development, which yields strong readers and writers later in life. Here are some examples of spoken ‘juicy’ sentences by our very own Year 1 students!

One cold and chilly morning, the leaves were rustling, the dog was madly barking and… I was running late for school!! Luke Williamson (1D)

I could feel the cold sea blowing in my face as I gently walked across the bright yellow sand. Alexis Walmsley (1D)

Whoosh! The trees were blowing gently in the air, the leaves scattered across the cold, grey concrete floor and then I noticed something strange… a man was walking his dog in bright purple pajamas!  What! Dex Quenon (1D)

The Big Talk and VCOP journey will continue next term in Prep and Year 1, and we look forward to sharing more details shortly.

Trent Davis – Year 1 teache