Monday, March 19, 2012


Question: What is the indispensable literacy skill(s) needed by impoverished children?

Answer/Quote: “If there is one instructional strategy that teachers can implement to support the academic success of children, especially those in low socioeconomic communities, it is to let them talk.” P. 29.

But, to maximize the advantages of talking, developing oral vocabulary, they must be shown how to listen.

 Quote: “Central to developing classroom contexts where rich oral language development occurs, is the establishment of a norm that promotes listening. Much has been made of teacher modeling in the literacy literature, followed by guided practice, and independent work. Understandably, teachers have taken this to mean that they must model and think aloud constantly. However, at times less is more, and teachers must also model what good listening looks like. This approach requires that students be explicitly taught to ask for clarifications, to respond to peers, and to benefit from the guided practice all as a means for establishing their…self-confidence as learners. Additionally, by listening to students summarize what they learned about a subject, respond to a piece of literature, or explain a process, teachers can informally assess their oral academic language. …teachers can support each other’s efforts to be thoughtful listeners in their classrooms.” P. 30.

Comment: A strong plea to model how to listen effectively. I’m a lousy listener. This plea hits home. RayS.

Title: “What Children Living in Poverty Do Bring to School: Strong Oral Skills. Let Them Talk.” PA Mason and EP Galloway. Reading Today (February/March 2012), 29-30.

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