Chapter 4 Reading Response

Oral Language Development in Second Language Acquisition

  • In real life reading, writing, listening, and speaking are all integrated - so too should they be in the classroom.
  • Practice in any one area adds to the knowledge pool for a 2nd language
  • Language forms: choice of words, grammar, and pronunciation
  • Language functions: communicative intentions or purposes of the speaker's words
  • See Halliday's functional categories
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Support your students!

  • Games
  • Podcasts - provide the opportunity to edit
  • Songs - allow students to illustrate
  • Drama - props, self-expression process, improv scenarios
  • Dramatizing poetry
  • Show and tell - put object in a bag, make students describe and guess
  • One looks, one doesn't - one person looks at the picture and describes, the other one draws what they're hearing
  • Choral reading - allows for mistakes, can be combined with dramatization

Content Area Instruction


  • Use objects to demonstrate concepts
  • Embed them in real-life situations
  • Mathematical language is specific, precise, and logical
  • Primary language support for conceptual understanding may be helpful
  • Students need to learn the language associate with each action - addition can be signaled by, add, plus, combine, and, sum, increased by
  • Pair work, small group problem solving


  • Process-oriented inquiry approach - students work in pairs/groups to work through the scientific method process
  • Success of this process attributed to three factors: (1) students investigate real science problems, (2) students are actively involved in investigation, (3) students carry out investigations in groups which promotes talking, thinking, planning
  • Higher level thinking which leads to language and content learning
  • Identify students' prior knowledge to work through 'sociocognitive conflicts'
  • Oral discussions will helps students conceptually organize their results

Social Studies

  • Use visuals - films, pictures, videotapes, museum visits
  • Students can learn through inquiry methods - survey, interview, and observation
  • Present simulations/reenactments of historical/political events

SOLOM - Student Oral Language Observation Matrix

  • Comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation
  • Teacher assessments are of more natural and educationally relevant situations
  • Observe the student during a classroom activity that involves oral language use such as group work
  • These settings should not be test settings, but more informal so the student is relaxed
  • Ratings can be influenced by the extent to which raters are accustomed to the non-native speech patterns of English learners