Oral Language Development

Spring 2018

Research consistently demonstrates correlations between oral language development, decoding, and long term vocabulary acquisition. Yet we often do not recognize the wealth of cultural knowledge and specialized vocabulary our students bring to the classroom. How can we use our early literacy classroom to support oral language development to support the whole child?

The Readings


Farmer Kiss, D. . The Benefits of Helping Preschoolers Understand and Discuss Their Emotions. Mind/shift KQED News


Massey, S. . Teacher–Child Conversation in the Preschool Classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4,


Turner, D. . African American History and the Oral Tradition. Speech The African-American Experience at The University of Iowaone

The Tasks


Complete the readings.

Annotate the piece on emotions and oral traditions in African American History. .


Getting Loud

How do we increase oral language development in the classroom? How about in the home? Do gaps in wrks knwon by kindergarten represent a problem? a bias? A problem caused by bias? What should we do? Explore any of these topics or none at all. Just use textual evidence to support your reasoning.


Cultural Diversity and Intellectual Risk in the Preschool Classroom

Watch the video from Atlas (participants in the open class watch: this video. Evaluate the dialogue in the classroom. How did the teacher invite students to take intellectual risk? Make something to share your opinon. This can be a blog post, a video, anything.

Here is CSDE evidence guide for intellectual risk in pre-k classrooms (page 7).


  • Blog posts and activities analyze the implications and cultural roots oral langauge development differences among pre-school age children with a clear position supported by textual evidence.
  • Class discussions and activities evaluate methods for increasing intellectual risk in the preschool classroom while sharing and brainstorming classroom activities.


  • In line APA or hyperlinked citations to sources or annotations
  • Blog post and activity with clear central claim or point of view
  • Quantitative and qualitative observation data from the video.