What primary teachers need to know about the relationship between oral language development and reading to put in place effective reading teaching practices
Oral language skills are woven throughout the curriculum in British Columbia as both skills to learn and skills that are needed for learning. Research shows that oral language skills are imperative for the development of literacy skills, in particular reading acquisition. Teachers need knowledge and tools to recognize oral language capabilities that affect reading. They also need guidance on how to foster oral language development in their classrooms. Based on research, the culminating product was an 8-page teacher resource called A Resource for Primary Teachers: Oral Language Supports Reading. This project includes background information to help a teacher understand oral language development and the relationship between oral language and reading, a checklist for teachers to identify oral language weaknesses in students, and effective teaching practices to address those weaknesses. Working collaboratively with speech-language pathologists, teachers can have valuable impact on developing oral language skills and thus reading success in their students.