Strategies for purposeful oral language use in the second language classroom

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Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers : Réflexions
Second language teachers regularly encourage students to speak the target language to develop oral language competency. Whether the learners are in a bilingual program, French Immersion, Core French, or another type of second language program, teachers seek purposeful strategies that can help them to structure the introduction and reinforcement of oral language. Yet, teachers often promote oral language by coupling it with written language. This coupling can result in students focusing on the written form without truly listening to the spoken language the teacher is modelling. In a recent study we conducted with German bilingual school teachers, we looked at how teachers might focus on oral language development using strategies from the neurolinguistic approach (NLA; Germain, 2018) during three sets of two intensive (German-only) weeks. We explored the role of purposeful planning for the introduction and reinforcement of oral language development. This learning could be applicable to all second language teachers as they seek to increase the amount of language spoken by their students. In this study, K-6 teachers in a western Canadian partial immersion (bilingual) program created planning sequences and classroom activities that would maximize opportunities for students to speak personalized sentences in the target language. From these first sentences, students built on what they knew to create ever-richer oral language. Teachers chose to follow the principles suggested by the NLA (Germain, 2018).
Alberta Advisory Committee for Education Studies (AACES) grant Jan 2019
Dressler, R., & Mueller, K. (2020). Strategies for purposeful oral language use in the second language classroom. "Réflexions", 39(2). pp. 1-3.