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Building Oral Language Susan Dold, Ed. D

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1 Building Oral Language Susan Dold, Ed. D

2 The Importance of Oral Language Children arrive in kindergarten with huge discrepancies in oral language development... and the gap between language-advanced and language- delayed children grows throughout the elementary school years. Biemiller (2001)

3 What is Language? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines language as “... A code made up of rules that include what words mean, how to make words, how to put them together, and what word combinations are best in what situations. Speech is the oral form of language.”

4 Findings from Research During elementary school, at any given time, a child’s maximum level of reading comprehension is determined by the child’s level of listening comprehension. Biemiller, 2001

5 Some Facts Limited oral language negatively affects reading comprehension. Many of our children have limited oral language. On standardized tests, this shows up as vocabulary problems.

6 Words heard per hour Words heard in a 100-hour week Words heard in a 5,200- hour year Words heard in 4 years Professional Family Child 2,153215,00011 million45 million Working Class Family Child 1,251125,0006 million26 million Welfare Family Child 61662,0003 million13 million Early Language Experiences: Quantitative Differences - Hart & Risley (1995)

7 Early Language Experiences: Qualitative Differences Words heard per hour Affirmatives per hour Prohibitions per hour Professional family child 2, Working class child 1, Welfare child Hart & Risley (1995)

8 Cumulative Language Experiences 30 Million Word Difference 50– 45 – 40 – 35 – 30 – 25 – 20 – 15 – 10 – 5 – Age of child (years) Number of words heard (millions) Children from: Professional Families Working Class Families Welfare Families

9 The Simple View of Reading 2 domains Decoding (word recognition) X Language Comprehension = Reading Comp. Vocabulary Text Comprehension Fluency 5 Components Gough and Turner, 1986 Phonics Phonological & Phoneme Awareness

10 Language-Rich Experiences Extended conversations Telling/retelling stories and events Discourse and discussion Modeling of new and unusual words Discussion of word meanings

11 Examples in Action “Building up” language “Breaking down” language Sentence expansion Cohesive ties Dialogic reading

12 “Building Up” Language Big – Synonyms: huge, enormous, gigantic Snow – Related words: slush, drift, accumulate Move – Words in the same group (whole body actions): run, leap, dance, crawl, stroll, wiggle Car – Categorical relations: vehicle, car, Ford

13 Example “Line up at the door.” Building up… Line up next to the library entrance. Line up next to the library portal. Line up beside the door. Line up adjacent to the door.

14 Another Example I wore my warm coat because it is cold today. Since it is cold, I wore my warm coat today. It is cold today; therefore, I wore my warm coat. It is cold today; as a result, I wore my warm coat. Others?

15 “Breaking Down” Language Think alouds Talk about what you see Talk about what you feel and hear Talk about actions Talk about emotions Talk about the future Talk about the past

16 Expand Sentences Child: I saw a dog. Coach: What color was the dog? Child: brown Coach: I saw a brown dog. Repeat after me: Child: I saw a brown dog. Coach: What kind of dog was it? Child: boy Coach: I saw a brown male dog. ETC…

17 Model Cohesive Ties I need a break because… I need a break although… I need a break since… I need a break after… I need a break therefore… I need a break, however…

18 What is Dialogic Reading? A reading practice Using picture books Adults ask questions, children answer Adults expand on the questions

19 Dialogic Reading Point out vocabulary words Ask “what” questions Expand on what students say Ask open-ended questions

20 PEER StepHow do you do it?How does it help? P = Prompt the childAsk a question about the book; prompt, if necessary Focuses attention, engages the child, builds vocabulary E = Evaluate what the child says Affirm correct responses, add information for clarity Constructive feedback E = Expand on what the child says Add a few words to the child’s response, gently provide correct answer, if necessary Encourages the child to say more, builds vocabulary R = RepeatAsk the child to repeat the expanded or correct response Encourages the child to use language

21 Let’s try it!

22 CROWD Look at your Dialogic Reading handout. Select a picture book and work with a group. In your group, develop one or two prompts using CROWD. Be prepared to share.

23 Teaching Vocabulary Directly Model Routines Using context With Fry words and phrases Dictionary

24 Vocabulary Routine Say the word and teach its pronunciation. Have the class repeat it. Read the word and say its definition. Have the class repeat the definition. Write the word and have the child write it. Add a gesture to the definition and repeat the definition sentence using the gesture. Pair students and have them teach the word to each other. Have them come back to the whole group and repeat it one more time.

25 Vocabulary in Context Teach words in meaning clusters. Use graphic organizers. Ask questions about words in context. Have students “prove it” by locating evidence.

26 Use Context: Be a Word Detective Yesterday I saw a bright blue blogute sitting in the bush in my backyard. “Blogute” is a nonsense word, but use the context of the sentence to guess at its meaning. Be prepared to support your guess with evidence.

27 Vocabulary and Fry Words Fry phrases: Circle the wagons Toward morning The ship hit the waves Watch the river

28 Dictionary Use DO use the dictionary to confirm the meaning of a word. DON’T give a student a list of words to look up, define, spell, etc.

29 In Conclusion Oral language is crucial to reading achievement. Encourage the use of new and different words. Make word learning fun.


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