Module 4: Oral Language Fluency

teacher English learners should have some time in their day that is reserved for English Language Development (ELD) instruction. This instruction should focus on the four domains of the language: reading, writing, listening and speaking . Although reading and writing are very important skills for ELs, teachers should remember: 

ELD time is a wonderful opportunity for ELs to practice oral language in a small, secure environment. 

English learners are more likely to use English in a small-group setting, and more frequent use of English tends to be correlated with subsequent gains in oral English proficiency. According to research from the Center on Instruction (2006), in all K-12 classrooms across the US English learners need significant opportunities to engage in structured academic talk.

Effective language practice and production needs to be supported by teachers but not necessarily led by teachers. One key variable in the language acquisition by English learners is the amount of opportunity to practice language with peers.

Strategies Effective for Developing Oral Language Fluency

Sentence Frames- One way to have students practice language while also providing a scaffold for them to use in order to feel successful is to use sentence frames.  The use of sentence frames during instruction helps English learners form complete sentences while also giving them the opportunity to practice the complex academic language that is required for the subject being taught. Sentence frames are a safe way for ELs to practice oral language that is targeted to their language proficiency level.

In this module, you will see Anna Pires using story retell and sentences frames with her 2nd graders as well as other strategies that support her students in their oral language fluency.