Oracy is, according to Green and Campbell (2003, 58), the "umbrella activity for learning." Speaking and listening are integral to all English learning areas, and classroom talk is "the form in which learning is presented and delivered, and the vehicle by which learning is interpreted...learners must be communicators and thinkers before they can be effective readers and writers" (Green and Campbell 2003, 53). Given that this area is of utmost importance, it is critical that teachers themselves understand the value of speaking and listening, and ensure their students do likewise.
There are many ways in which the promotion of speaking and listening in the primary English classroom may be approached, but where teachers follow current beliefs about language acquisition and the pivotal role of oracy and the value of individual learners, then there are some broad strategies to consider at the outset of programming.
So what comes first? Green and Campbell (2003, 53) believe that "fluent expression is the product of knowledge, experience, positive self esteem and a supportive learning environment.
Familiarity with the expectations of how language is coded and used in that learning environment is also vital for success." Thus there are many interdependent factors to consider - what children already know, how they feel about themselves, and the environment in which they are learning.
To create an environment in which all students feel safe, comfortable, and able to learn, Green and Campbell (2003, 57) suggest constructing "frameworks established upon principles that value the individual...build upon the funds of knowledge and experience, and therefore the strengths of learners...eliminate barriers to learning...that reflect principles of effective learning and teaching."
Strategies for doing so include: making teacher talk explicit so all students understand requirements; ensuring cueing systems for interactions are explicitly taught and practiced by all; carefully modelling strategies and...