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Speaking and Listening

Students may experience varying degrees of difficulty when comprehending and using oral language. Using oral language includes expressive language as well as speech production, whilst comprehending oral language is primarily concerned with receptive language.

Students with special education needs may experience difficulties applying the skills of oral language to effectively communicate and interact with others.

Oral language is critical to the development of reading and writing. Difficulties across these three strands of literacy are often interrelated. It is vital that students are provided with structured opportunities to learn relevant expressive and receptive language skills and strategies in order to communicate in meaningful ways, as well as to foster future literacy development.

The English K–6 Speaking and Listening support materials explore

The materials guide teachers through the relevant aspects of oral language, how to assess these aspects, including downloadable checklists and forms, and effective strategies to address difficulties, providing models and examples.


Difficulties students may experienceA young student wearing headphones

  • Comprehension of oral language
  • Expressive language
  • Speech production
  • Interaction skills


Gathering evidence of learningYoung students in class

  • What aspects of oral language are necessary as students learn to talk and listen?
    • Comprehension of oral language
    • Vocabulary
    • Expression of oral language
    • Production of speech sounds
    • Interaction skills
    • Nonverbal communication
  • What knowledge, skills and strategies may need further investigation?
  • What assessment strategies can I use to investigate particular aspects of oral language?


Procedures and strategiesTeacher reading to young students

  • What procedures and strategies are most effective for students who are experiencing difficulties with oral language development?
    • Vocabulary
    • Oral text types
    • Creating a language rich environment
    • Facilitative interaction style
    • Supporting interaction skills
    • Utilising classroom routines
    • Nonverbal communication
    • Strategies for developing oral comprehension
    • Strategies for facilitating the development of speech sounds
    • Strategies for using interaction skills in social contexts


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