Q3: How do you include listening & speaking into your reading/writing instruction for #ELL students?

Q3: How do you include listening & speaking into your reading/writing instruction for #ELL students?

We cross modalities: if we rd, we talk about it; if we watch a video, we write about it.

Just like we teach reading and writing conventions, we need to teach conventions for listening and speaking.  I coach my newcomer students on how to pick out key words from the stream of speech: words that are said loudly or repeatedly, or words that appear at the end of a sentence and are emphasized.  They also know when watching videos that they should look for the main topic of each section.  When they must listen to each other, I teach my students how to look at the speaker, think about what s/he’s saying, and add to it or ask clarifying questions.  I also try to let my students have open-ended discussions.  It can be hard to let go and let kids discuss, but if our goal is for them to learn to construct and defend arguments in writing, we need to give them a chance to do it in speaking.

Because written and oral language are related but present different challenges, I let my kids cross modalities in their work: if we’re going to be reading a lot, we also talk about the text frequently.  If they need to do a lot of writing, maybe we will listen to a video or a read-aloud to get ready for that.  This way, the different types of language are constantly supporting and reinforcing each other.

Bottom line: listening and speaking instruction should be seamlessly integrated with reading and writing instruction.


Published by

Ingrid O'Brien

I am a literacy consultant, doctoral candidate, and educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in the language and literacy development of bilingual children, particularly ELLs in the Common Core. I coach teachers, design & adapt curricula for ELLs, and organize intervention programs.

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