Oral language development

4B) Open- and closed-ended questions

Ask questions in each language, including a mix of open- and closed-ended questions, to elicit talk from children.

Video: A Boy and His Puzzle

As a boy plays with a puzzle, both an English-speaking peer and the teacher help him develop and practice English learning.
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Video: My Pumpkin Story—Metalinguistic Awareness

A teacher works with Wendy to orally discuss and write a story about a recent pumpkin project. When the teacher asks Wendy to take her writing home, the interaction changes to Spanish so Wendy can talk to her Spanish-speaking mother about her project.
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Video: Relationships, Strategies & Culture

The focus of this video is to exemplify how purposeful oral language interactions contribute to a positive relationship with both children and families in early education. The teacher in this video "reaches across the language divide" to ensure both the child and parents know that the home language is respected and valued.
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Video: The Stages of Preschool Second Language Acquisition

In this video, the term the four stages of second language development for early education are described and then exemplified through teaching vignettes between one teacher and one Korean-speaking Multilingual Learner.
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Strategy Overview: Talk Moves

This resource offers specific teacher language to use in order to facilitate and structure classroom discussions. These talk moves help create quality opportunities for Multilingual Learners to practice and use oral language.
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Strategy Overview: Routines for Mathematical Discussions

This document reviews multiple strategies that teachers can use to support a rich discussion of mathematics for Multilingual Learners. These strategies help teachers elicit talk and elaborate on student discussion during math, and can be adapted for other content areas as well.
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Website Article: Extending English Language Learners’ Classroom Interactions

This article introduces specific teacher language that can be used to promote interaction and extend opportunities for Multilingual Learners to practice academic language.
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Strategy Overview: Supporting Oral Language

To develop language, children need many opportunities to practice speaking. This overview describes how teachers can support families to give Multilingual Learners opportunities to practice oral language.
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Strategy Overview: Teacher as Language Model

This resource outlines strategies teachers can use to model and extend Multilingual Learners' oral language skills. Strategies include narration (describing what the teacher is seeing and thinking) and amplification (paraphrasing a child's statement in more complex and extended language and asking a follow-up question).
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Tip Sheet: Communication with Parents / Comunicación con los padres

This bilingual (Spanish) document explains to parents the benefits of speaking a home language. Advice is shared on how to develop oral home language proficiency and provide high-quality and extended talk opportunities for children.
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Video: Supporting Home Language through Language Models

This video discusses how "language models" can support Multilingual Learners by integrating English and the home language(s) into classroom activities and conversations throughout the day. Parents and other speakers of children’s home languages can join classroom activities to support children’s development of multiple languages. Language models can provide high-quality and extended talk in each language, including a variety of questions to elicit talk from children.
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