Thursday, 30 August 2018

Spiral of Inquiry: Improving Writing in LH1

As part of our professional development here at Ormiston Primary, our inquiry is based on writing. Our over arching question is: "How can we personalise writing with our learners?" Within that question, we focused our inquiry further in the habitat by coming up with the question: "How might our learners use ORAL LANGUAGE to articulate their ideas in Writing?"

In the Effective Literacy Practices Years 1-4 under Oral Language states that 'the relationship between oral langue and literacy learning is reciprocal. Children draw on their oral (or signed) language when they learn to read and write and in turn their progress in literacy learning enriches and expands their oral language'.

This site also explains that there are four kinds of oral language uses and development that underpin curriculum access and student ability to learn in later years.

Independant listening - student ability to listen to extended speech that differs from discussions at home
Independant speaking - student ability to use extended talk
Using social language - developing conversations in small groups and joining conversations
Applying discussion skills - ability to interpret specific language (typically academic language) to carry out structured learning tasks.

My question: does this determine the English Language Learner formers that educators fill out for students who come from backgrounds where English is not their first language?

In our habitat there are 93 learners. Here is the data for our learners and what their First Language is:
Mandarin - 26
English - 24
Hindi - 11
Punjabi - 7
Arabic - 5
Khmer - 4
Cantonese - 4
Farsi - 3
Urdu - 3
Vietnamese - 2
Korean - 1
Japanese - 1
Afrikaans - 1
Other Middle Eastern - 1

I am wondering how I can help my learners develop their oral language to enhance their writing?

From the Education Endowment Foundation documents: Improving Literacy Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

In Literacy Key Stage 1 it states that Number 1 Develop pupils' speaking and listening skills and wider understanding of language. This pointed out that 'a teacher encourages children to clearly articulate what they are going to say in writing'. Evidence Strength: Extensive. Idea 3 Effectively Implement a systematic phonics programme proves very extensive for evidence strength.
In Literacy Key Stage 2 stages that 'Purposeful speaking and listening activities support the development of pupils' language capability and provides a foundation for thinking and communication. It also states that 4 Teach writing composition strategies through modelling and supported practice. It continues that 'Purpose and audience are central to effective writing. Pupils need to have a reason to write and someone to write for'.

Through professional development with Dr. Jannie van Hees and applying her strategies in writing, 'oral language' is a big part of that. In the reading 'Conversational Classrooms' that five year olds in many schools found that significant numbers with low oral confidence and fluency.

In my own practice, I have been trying to gift as much 'rich language' as possible to my learners, for them to use in their writing.

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