In subject matter classrooms, the evidence reveals that teachers do the majority of talking. In the ELD/ESL environment, this situation must be reversed. The teacher models the language, but the students must practice speaking and using this language. Increasing the opportunities for student talk and decreasing teacher talk in ELD/ESL learning contexts helps students learn the language.
English learners need multiple opportunities for oral language rehearsal, affirming the adage, â€śPractice makes perfect.â€? Studentsâ€™ oral language will not improve if they do not have the opportunity to use it in a variety of ways and in many different contexts.
Students must take responsibility for language learning just as they are responsible for their own learning in general. Ownership of language is a result of hard work and effort on the studentsâ€™ part. They should be motivated and encouraged to own their new second language on an oral level as well as on a written level.
Students will not write what they cannot say. Oral language helps to form the foundation of literacy and serves as the strongest indicator of studentsâ€™ ability to express themselves in written form. Oracy, beyond just everyday social language, reflects the ability to use language orally for academic purposes.
A student cannot learn a language without actively using it. Active engagement is critical in the second language learning environment. Strategies that generate studentsâ€™ oral language will develop comprehensible output by English learners.
Output is as important as input. Usually the emphasis is on the precept of "Listen and learn"; however, in reality, it is also critical to acknowledge the concept of "Talk and learn more." In other words, two people involved in the act of listening and speaking while negotiating meaning will learn more than one person speaking and the other listening. Such verbal exchanges will lead to more language, deeper understanding, and greater capacity to think and talk more fluently and â€świth automaticity.â€?
Students do not truly learn a new language in a vacuum or through its written form alone. Balanced language skills are learned best when students have frequent opportunities to engage in all four modes of communication: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.