Sunday, 29 July 2018

Oral Language Initiative PD afternoon @ CPDS

On Friday 27th July, 30 junior school staff from Cornwall Park District School, Kohia Terrace, Remuera, Maungawhau and Meadowbank Primaries got together to extend their understanding about oral language. Kimberly Russell and Kelsi Robertson, two in-school leaders (ISL's) from CPDS, along with Kirsten MacDiarmid from the MoE, ran workshops that explored different aspects of a robust oral language programme within a classroom.
Kimberly had two lively sessions as her groups shared what deliberate acts of teaching they would put in place after a specific need had been identified following an oral language assessment. There was plenty of rich pedagogical discussion going on, and lots of across school discussion around the benefits or drawbacks of different tools.

Kelsi ran two very practical and interactive workshops where she was highlighting the various ways teachers can integrate ( and assess) the oral language capacity of their students across the curriculum. In a 'time poor' classroom many of the ideas, suggested and explored during these workshops, could be adapted and utilised in maths, science or technology as easily as within a literacy programme.

Kirsty took a different approach, focusing on the links between what we do for our English language learners, and how these tools can also be used as an important component of delivering a broad literacy programme. In particular, Kirsty used the English Language Learning Progressions ( ELLP's) and ESOL online and spent time discussing with teachers how these tools can / should be used - especially when comparing social language with academic language skills. Invaluable sessions for those involved, and once again, lots of rich discussion and shared ideas.

The afternoon was over too soon, with a number of staff saying they wished there had been more time to extend their discussions further. However, the strongest message collected from the afternoon was that ALL of our students will benefit from having a rich oral language programme made available to them. It gives value both socially and academically, and is the foundation for success in other curriculum areas.
A huge thanks to all the Principals and other staff who supported this through covering classes etc to allow all the teachers to be together.

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