Language Development and Teaching Oral Language

Language Development and Teaching Oral Language

Oral language development is mostly considered as a crucial illustrator of a child’s reading abilities. For a large number of children, the development of oral language is a natural process, largely influenced by home literacy and experiences encountered in school.  The following essay will discuss in details evidence-based information regarding the major factors of literacy about the development of oral language.

Relationship between Oral Language and Literacy in the Primary School Years

The base upon which literacy is built is for a long time said to be oral language. Marking from the day of birth, kidsare introduced to a setting that has effects on their literacy and language results since involvements in school and with their parents shape the development of their language. Children who are exposed to favorable environments and increasing complex conversations have an upper hand in the creation of vocabulary, having a clear perceptive of the components of language, and mastering the sounds of their language. As children involve in these early engagements, they are subjected to different language elementsthat will truly improve their literacy development (Biemiller, & Boote, 2006).

Oral communications enhance the vocabulary comprehension of children, with their achievements in literacy being strongly correlated to the number and mixture of words that they hear. The massive development of vocabulary that happens between two and six directly affects the reading ability of children later in life. Kindergarten kids with vocabularies that are receptive tend to have good listening understanding, identification of words and reading understanding in their education.

Engaging with users that are good in language offers kids an opportunity to utilize their developing vocabulary and diverse language compositions. As children get exposed more in school, they learn unconsciously learn of grammar as they gain familiarity with combining words correctly into sentences and phrases. Comprehension of syntax is significant since exposing the children to the multifaceted structures in sentences assists them to understand stories and can read on their own.

Oral language facility also creates a good comprehension of the pragmatics of language. It comprises the rules for proper communication in different scenarios and different motives. Pragmatics ensures that one is good in providing explanations and telling stories, types of discourses applied extensively by teachers (Dickinson, Golinkoff, & Hirsh-Pasek, 2010). Most books have narrative as their extended communication. Hence, having a good comprehension of the narrative form is crucial for written composition abilities, reading understanding and for listening. Recent research also revealed that there is a relationship between children understands of the narrative model and phonological knowledge, suggesting that processing in general wants support both in phonological knowledge and in the composition of oral narrative.

Much of what is known on language development in the early years of children is gotten from a study that observed the development of language of 42 children from the age of seven months to three years.  They discovered that the children’s development rates of vocabulary, and coefficients of intelligent quotient at the age of three, were related directly to the rate of talking of their parents. To study their academic performance in school, the children were traced nine years later. It was found that vocabulary usageat the age of three positively correlated to the performances at age nine in vocabulary, reading comprehension and language skill.

Aspects Of Language That Are Foundational To And Facilitative Of Students’ Literacy Learning

                             Phonological Awareness

It defines the capacity to concentrate on the sounds of the language being spoken and not the meaning. As children are subjected to the language in their surrounding and know to talk it themselves, they get used to the phonological system: patterns of intonation, the rhythm, and the sole phonemes that create the words. The context arises from the oral language, the path and the chance for phonological abilities and skillfulness to be nurtured (Konza, 2014).

To be in a position to read, children need to know what a ’sound’ is in connection to the talked language. They need to understand that an uninterrupted flow of words can be broken into single words likely to be separated into a single or several syllables, and that single sound makes the syllables. The importance of the phonological constituents for literacy knowledge is understanding of the specific phonemes or sounds or what is known as phonemic awareness (RICHGELS, 2004).

Research reveals that phonemic awareness of preschool children predicts perfectly their future reading ability well compared to intelligence or socio-economic status. It is difficult for some children to break vocabulary to view them as a chain of different syllables since the structure of the speech which is unbroken compresses them into a sequence of sounds that overlap (Konza, 2014). If children are unable to hear the different sounds in words, they will be unable to relate the sounds of speech and print images. This acts as a massive stumbling obstruction in an alphabetic language when it comes to learning how to read and spell.

Oral languages offer a platform upon where phonological skills can flourish. It is significant that teachers comprehend the connections amid oral language and successive reading advances to be able to help improve the oral skillfulness of the students, but specifically, the special one whose skillfulness are not as progressed as their colleagues. Ignoring or not comprehending the importance of oral linguistic in this situation puts the ability of kids becoming free readers at risk.


Decoding letters into words is not important if the words lack significance. Vocabulary understanding is a crucial constituent of literacy.  It is learned as a result of being repeated to fresh words in discussions repeatedly. Diversity in children has varying results from learning through the indirect channels. Young children exposed to a vast and rich vocabulary either in school or at home will gradually know the meaning of many words and highly competent language users who are in a position of absorbing new words easily. Besides, they are in a better position of acquiring reading skillfulness early and hence can start to read on their own and create an even better vocabulary that will be of great significance to them (Konza, 2014).

Young children from poor literacy surroundings will be exposed to a far more limited choice of words, have limited accessibility to books, chances are high they will have challenges obtaining the expertise of reading, and less opportunity to apply their reading abilities to create their language.  Disadvantages will increase as more platforms of creating language, and world comprehension is limited to them. Poor performances by children having limited access to vocabulary reveal the connection amid oral linguistic skills and language, and the function of language growth in the reading aspect.  Depending on vocabulary is not all that is needed to assist minimize the rift in children from different backgrounds. However, direct instruction is significant for vocabulary learning, and this is necessary if kids from the less privileged environments are going to make fundamental achievements in this field. Direct instruction of vocabulary has been identified as one of the major ways of improving the vocabulary growth of all children. It is in primary school that students are presented with a good opportunity of developing their knowledge of words in as many contexts as possible.


Proficiency in literacy calls for fluency in oral linguistics. Fluent reading seems confident and effortless because shows the complex processes that the reader has endured to reach that point (RICHGELS, 2004). Fluency is transforming and effectual on the reading method because it represents that point where the element skills are highly integrated and programmed such that total cognitive energy is availed. Students gain fluency through learning to read, and this effort is transformed into reading to learn. Done research shows that there are fluctuations in the relationship between oral language skillfulness and fluency. Fluency is directly related to language understanding and phonological awareness in preschool, but as time goes, it draws largely on vast language skillfulness like control over varying grammatical constituents that supports the correct forecast of forthcoming words. Hence, the invasive impact and involvement of oral language are present as an element of literacy.

Letter-sound knowledge

Moment kids know that words are separable to sounds, it is important for them to know the connection between the letters and the sounds. During the decoding process, they gain their awareness and comprehension of the sentence framework from their vocabulary, to assist them establish the combination of words that are suitable. Through this, children’s knowledge in literacy enhances decoding. When children identify the syllables that merge to create a word, they will practice merging that sounds together (Barnsley, 2012). This will be beneficial to the kids because it helps them understand at preschool level how the process of reading and writing works. Teaching using this method proves to be more efficient in creating both comprehension and reading correctness compared to the other methods, specifically for children from backgrounds that are not rich literate.

In Class Activities

            Involving the students in different activities that will assist them in put into practice the things that they are taught theoretically will be very important. The following is a discussion of some of the in class activities that can improve the literacy skills of the students.

Teaching Text Structures Activity

Text structure plays a crucial role in recalling and comprehending texts. Direct instructions from the teachers concerning the text structures will benefit students, specifically those struggling with reading. Recent research shows that explicit text structure instruction enhances primary students’ comprehension (Dickinson, Griffith, Golinkoff, & Hirsh-Pasek, 2012).  In a six-week intervention incorporated in guiding reading instruction, students learnt a compare/contrast text structure while reading expository texts. Students in the treatment condition showed an improved conceptual comprehension of the compare/contrast structure and produced more structured summaries of expository paragraphs. This evidence suggests that teaching text structure helps children improve on their literacy skills.


Engaging Students in Discussion Activity

Identifying that comprehension is a dynamic and a shared strategy of creating meaning, educators that assist in reading comprehension use discussions in the classroom to assist students work together to extract understanding of the texts that they read. Research shows that teachers who use higher order questioning when discussing with the students in the classroom enhance students to participate actively in the discussions (Konza, 2014). Moreover, studies reveal that text-based discussion that emphasizes collaborative way of thinking increases the level of reasoning and overall reading involvement compared to recital styles of communication.

Integrating Reading and Writing Activity

Present comprehension in literacy illustrates that reading and writing equally strengthen each other and are dependent on some of the cognitive processes are applicable in both. This approaching suggests that instruction can be more effectual in the classroom when teachers incorporate reading and writing experiences. Study validates that excellent teachers who create high-achieving readers and writers incorporate the two fields often and comprehensively in the classroom (Konza, 2014). In addition, as evidence of a significant bidirectional correlation between reading and writing, student’s writing skills have been shown to forecast later reading comprehension and reading comprehension has been proven to forecast student’s composition abilities.


            This activity involves narrating a story again in the classroom after the teacher narrates it to the whole class. This activity is enjoyable and offers the students an opportunity to learn about decontextualized language and narrative speech. Storytelling is of great importance to the student because it exposes them to narrative syntax and vocabulary that they were unfamiliar with. In addition, storytelling gives the students an opportunity to construct meaning from the comprehension they have listened to. Retelling a story ensures that the students use diverse pragmatic and phonological elements like tone, intonation, pitch and volume to show the real meaning in a resolute way.


Biemiller, A., & Boote, C. (2006). An Effective Method for Building Meaning Vocabulary in Primary Grades. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 44-62.

Dickinson, D., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2010). Speaking Out for Language: Why Language Is Central to Reading Development. Educational Researcher, 39(4), 305-310.

Dickinson, D., Griffith, J., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2012). How Reading Books Fosters Language Development around the World. Child Development Research, 2012, 1-15.

Fielding-Barnsley, R., Hay, I. (2012). Comparative effectiveness of phonological awareness and oral language intervention for children with low emergent literacy skills. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 35(3), 271-286.

Konza, D. (2014). Teaching Reading: Why the “Fab Five” should be the “Big Six”. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(12).

RICHGELS, D. (2004). Paying attention to language. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(4), 470-477.