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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Oral language and the Ready to Read series

The language and cultural experiences of new entrant students are likely to be very diverse. A challenge for teachers is to build on students’ experiences to develop their vocabulary and their knowledge of grammar. This includes encouraging English language learners to draw on their first language whenever possible.

Language experience and shared reading are two key approaches that provide many opportunities to enrich students’ oral language and to make explicit the links between oral and written language.

Building knowledge of vocabulary and grammar using Ready to Read

  • Ready to Read student texts
    These build on the students’ language knowledge. The texts have contexts, vocabulary, and language structures that are likely to be familiar to most students. Texts include the use of contractions, some New Zealand idiom (for example, “Yeah, right!”, “Gotcha!”) and Māori words and phrases (for example, “whaea”, “Kia ora”).

    As students progress through the colour wheel levels, they will meet new vocabulary, including literary language, new uses for familiar vocabulary, and more complex sentence structures.

  • Teacher support materials and audio versions for each title 
    The teacher support materials include ideas for introducing and exploring vocabulary and for supporting students with aspects of grammar. There are specific suggestions about ways to provide explicit instruction for English language learners, for example, by using speaking and writing frames and vocabulary building activities. The audio versions can be used in the classroom and at home to provide examples and models of language structures, vocabulary, pronunciation, intonation, and expression.

Background information

  • For information about classroom conversations, see Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4, pages 28–9, 88–89, and 174.
  • For information about oral language in years 1–3, see Learning through Talk: Oral Language in Years 1 to 3 (Oral language in the classroom, pages 20–29, Engaging learners with talk, pages 63–81, Expectations for oral language learning, including their acquisition and use of vocabulary and grammar, pages 41–44).
  • For information about vocabulary and grammar, see Sounds and Words – Grammar

Updated on: 20 Nov 2014




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