Rabu, 30 November 2011

Activities to Increase Expressive Language

Learning to articulate thoughts and feelings is an important skill.

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It is a pleasure to hear your students provide well-articulated responses to classroom prompts, but developing this ability takes practice. You can increase their expressive language capacity by providing frequent opportunities for verbalizing thoughts, feelings and interests. Both school and life rely heavily on expressive language. By developing it, you are setting your students up for success.

Related Searches: Response to Reading

One of the most accessible ways to increase expressive language is through responding to classroom reading. This can take many forms. Read part of a story aloud, pausing to ask your students to reflect and respond to open-ended questions, starting with who, what, where, why or how. Encourage them to form opinions. Have them retell a story, focusing on components such as plot, characters and setting. Younger children enjoy retelling a story with puppets or as a short skit.

Expansion and Elaboration

Throughout the day, strengthen students' expressive language skills with two simple techniques called “expansion” and “elaboration.” Expansion is the practice of taking a child’s partially or incorrectly formed sentence and mirroring it back as a properly formed sentence. For example, when a child says, “I ain’t going to finish that now,” you respond with, “Oh, you are not going to finish that?” Elaboration asks you to mirror back a properly formed sentence, padded with additional information. In this situation, you might reply, “Oh, you are not going to finish that? That seems like a good plan; you will have time to work on it later.”

Giving Directions

Giving directions is another speaking opportunity that builds expressive language skills. Call on students to provide directions for playing a game at recess, solving a math problem or performing a common classroom routine such as lining up for lunch. Your goal is to get students comfortable with verbal expression. For a humorous approach, set out a loaf of unsliced bread, a knife and a jar of peanut butter. Ask students to provide directions on making a peanut-butter sandwich, and do exactly as they say. If they direct you to cut the bread in half, do it.

Story Telling

Make time for imaginative storytelling. The open-ended nature of this activity takes the pressure off students to provide a correct answer, invites their expression of humor and provides time for every child to speak. One approach is to provide each student with small objects or pictures (animals, people and natural objects) and use them in a round-robin story. You start the story, with something like, “Last night I had a strange dream about a dinosaur," and ask each student in turn to add to it with a sentence that contains her object.

ReferencesPBS Kids: Teaching StrategiesLD Online: Thinking with LanguageLincolnshire Family Services Directory: Strategies to Develop Expressive Language Skills in the ClassroomResourcesRolling River School Division: Activities that will Stimulate Expressive Language SkillsAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Suggestions for ParentsCalifornia Department of Education: Foundation, Expressive LanguagePhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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