Listen, Speak, Read, Write

First comes listening, then comes speaking, next comes reading and then we are writing…
“Language is how we think. It's how we process information and remember. It's our operating system. Vygotsky (1962) suggested that thinking develops into words in a number of phases, moving from imaging to inner speech to inner speaking to speech. Tracing this idea backward, speech—talk—is the representation of thinking. As such, it seems reasonable to suggest that classrooms should be filled with talk, given that we want them filled with thinking!” 

Just how important is the vocabulary we use in a Prep classroom and what does this look like? 

From online live phonic lessons to singing and revising all 42 sounds taught over the past 11 weeks, our Prep students have already been given a strong foundation in English literacy.

As we begin our reading journey in Prep, we are continually developing our speaking skills within the classroom. Children are encouraged to speak in complete sentences, not answering questions with one-word answers or asking questions with simple and disjointed words; ‘Go to bathroom’, ‘Can I please go to the bathroom?’. 

Talking is the foundation of literacy and should be encouraged. As teachers, we are building the children’s vocabulary everyday through conversation and questioning. The children’s weekly show and tell presentations are an integral part in developing speaking and listening skills.

Our Prep classrooms are filled with exposure to new and exciting vocabulary, expressing ideas through feelings and emotions, creative thinking through craft and the teaching of letter sounds through song and actions – all of which helps to contribute to a confident speaker. 

Term 2 has introduced our Prep students to ‘investigations’ within our Transport unit in Literacy. We investigated real problems; talking through the problem, what is it? How can we fix this? Children complete the investigation. Then, using the ‘think-pair-share’ strategy, the children are required to talk through the investigation from the beginning with a partner. Each child is given the opportunity to listen and speak to their partner and discuss their findings, procedures and challenges. 

Once the children have verbalised their ideas and problem-solving strategies, they move on to writing their findings in simple sentences. By first saying the sentence out loud, children are able to practise the structure of their sentence before committing it in writing to their book. 

Vocabulary represents one of most important skills necessary for teaching and learning English literacy. It is the basis for the development of all the other skills: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking, writing, spelling and pronunciation.

As teachers, we look forward to continually developing these skills with our students each and every day making it PREP-astounding

Angie Hall, Jacinta Lauder, Peter Nicholls & Elisa Sutherland – Prep Teachers