Playing with Words: How Oral language helps children learn to read

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

‘Language is the most powerful instrument of human progress.’

Maria Montessori

 

We know that a language-rich environment provides students with the best possible foundation to develop their literacy skills.  Supporting a child’s language and literacy development assists and supports them to become strong readers, writers and communicators as they move through school and out into the world.

In a recent article, researchers Signy Wegener and Anne Castles, have explored the important interconnection between oral language vocabulary and learning to read.  They have discovered that being exposed to vocabulary, hearing the pronunciation of words and understanding the meaning of spoken words can assist students to develop the complex task of reading.  Their findings have suggested that oral vocabulary knowledge (the words we hear) can help children accurately identify a written word.  This is the case from the youngest student at the beginning writing stage, through to older students engaging with new texts or styles of writing in their Senior Curriculum.

The researchers used the example below to explain the interconnectedness between what words we hear and how we then read, write and spell them.

In this example, a child may recognise a ‘bird’ in a photograph or in nature.  By discussing what kind of bird it is, they are exposed to subject-specific vocabulary and hear the word ‘finch’.  Through their phonological knowledge and understanding of letters and their corresponding sounds, the child may then be able to sound it out in their mind and make approximations for the spelling of the word.  They can call upon what they know about how sounds segment and join together to form words to have-a-go at spelling the word.

The researchers in this article then drew the conclusion from their work and the work of others, that when a child then sees a written word for the first time, they are more likely to read it correctly if they have heard it before.  Simply, the more language they are exposed to, the greater opportunities they have to develop their literacy skills.

Maggie Dent, a well-known Australian voice about young people and development, has described the decline in oral language that is being seen in young children.  Dent refers to research regarding the importance of the number of words that children hear on a daily basis and the long term benefits this provides to children.  These words can come through social interactions in play, one-to-one conversations, or the sharing of books and stories.  The conversations on long car rides or the discussions as you go for a walk in your local area all provide opportunities for young people to listen to and play with new words.  They get to hear words in context, understand their meaning and add them to their vocabulary.

The English language is tricky and the task of learning to read and write is a complex one.  Being able to read and write means being able to communicate and understand the world.  It may just be that those conversations over the dinner table or the incessant questions on long car rides are the little things that help a child develop into a young person able to successfully engage in the world and be whatever they choose to be.

 

References:

https://www.teachermagazine.com/au_en/articles/how-does-oral-vocabulary-knowledge-help-children-learn-to-read?utm_source=CM&utm_medium=Trending&utm_content=Literacy

https://www.maggiedent.com/blog/why-we-must-prioritise-play-for-todays-children-now/

Book your Tickets Now: A Midsummer Night’s Dream featured image

Book your Tickets Now: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Click on the image below to buy your tickets now! A royal wedding, a magical forest, mischievous fairies, love spells, and donkey heads. Shakespeare’s A …

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Book your Tickets Now: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Click on the image below to buy your tickets now!

A royal wedding, a magical forest, mischievous fairies, love spells, and donkey heads. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has something for everyone. A light-hearted comedy that is sure to keep you laughing and smiling all night.

Proudly presented by the SCOTS PGC Drama Department, this is a performance not to be missed!

When    Friday 28 May & Saturday 29 May | 6:00pm

Where   WALEC – 60 Oxenham Street, Warwick

Tickets   General Admission – $20 each

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

College Photographs – 18th May featured image

College Photographs – 18th May

Photographs will be taken on Tuesday 18 May 2021 The College has arranged for all school photography packages to be ordered online via our school …

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College Photographs – 18th May

Photographs will be taken on Tuesday 18 May 2021

The College has arranged for all school photography packages to be ordered online via our school portal. This reduces administration and potential security issues related to the return of cash and envelopes on photo day. Orders for packages and sibling photographs can be placed securely online at www.advancedlife.com.au using our school’s unique 9 digit order code – MYE 565 VF9

Portrait and group package orders are due by photography day. Should you wish to purchase a sibling photograph online, the order must be placed no later than the day before photography day. Sibling photographs will only be taken if an order has been placed. Should you have any queries concerning school photographs or online ordering, please contact us at www.advancedlife.com.au/contact

 

Want to see our Seniors all dressed up? featured image

Want to see our Seniors all dressed up?

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Want to see our Seniors all dressed up?

Beautiful Biomes featured image

Beautiful Biomes

As part of the Year 9 Humanities’ Geography curriculum, students have been learning about biomes.  On Tuesday this week, all Year 9 students ventured out …

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Beautiful Biomes

As part of the Year 9 Humanities’ Geography curriculum, students have been learning about biomes.  On Tuesday this week, all Year 9 students ventured out into the field to experience the beauty of one of our region’s wonderful rainforest biomes at Cunningham’s Gap.

After a brief stop at Gladfield to discuss how biomes can be altered to accommodate agriculture, the Year 9 cohort then travelled on to Main Range National Park at Cunningham’s Gap to explore the rainforest biome.  Students soaked up all the knowledge of geographer extraordinaire, Mr Keevers, as he shared reasons why the rainforest exists where it does, as well as the various adaptations plants, have had to make to survive in this environment.

Students will now use the information they collected on their field excursion to compile a field report for their Term 2 assessment.

From the P&F featured image

From the P&F

Mother’s Day Stall On Wednesday, we held our first Mother’s Day stall for our Junior School students and the day was a great success.  Our …

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From the P&F

Mother’s Day Stall

On Wednesday, we held our first Mother’s Day stall for our Junior School students and the day was a great success.  Our enthusiastic volunteers (Rachael, Sky and Meg) spent the early part of the morning decorating the tables and setting out all the gifts ready for our excitable little shoppers.  It was so wonderful to see how much thought each student put into their final gift selection.  Then, with an air triumph, they left the room carrying their bag of goodies.

Wishing all mums and carers a very happy Mother’s day.

 

Trivia Night | Friday 11 June

The P&F is hosting a Trivia Night on Friday 11 June in the Assembly Hall, starting at 6.30pm.  An online booking link will be made available soon, so all you Trivia buffs can start building your team table (and team name).  We will also arrange tables for people who need to join a team.

Tickets will $10 per head and we will be selling a range of drinks and running some small events on the night to help raise funds. Each table will need to self-cater their nibbles and food requirements. More reminders will be coming and we hope to see many of you there on the night.

 

From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Activities Senior Hockey Team Growing in confidence! This week’s match against the Black team was a convincing …

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From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Activities

Senior Hockey Team Growing in confidence!

This week’s match against the Black team was a convincing 8-2 victory. Samuel Bourke was our highest goal scorer bagging 6 on the scoreboard for his troubles. During gameplay, the shape continues to improve, although our discipline against weaker opposition has led to taking short cuts that may be exposed by better opposition in future matches. Mille Groves was best on ground whilst Tanner Henley continues to impress with his very calm and collected manner at the back under pressure.

 

Darling Downs Trials

This week we had trials for several Darling Downs Teams and our students performed very well. Congratulations to the following students on their performances:

12 years Touch – Hayley Wainwright selected in the Darling Downs Team

15 years Rugby Union – Nelson Madua, Kolby Seymour, William Bryant, George Handley, Harry Mayall, Adrian Titus and Owen Eising selected in the Darling Downs Team

15 years Basketball – Briana Groves selected in the Darling Downs Team

10-19 years Orienteering – William Gilmore, Ewan McFarland selected in the Darling Downs Team

Well done to all who participated and we wish those selected the very best at their respective State Championships.

 

Upcoming Events

Rugby Fixtures continue on Friday evenings for both Boys and Girls teams throughout Term 2.

Darling Downs Cross Country will be held on 17 May in Toowoomba for selected students.

QCIS Cross Country will be hosted here at SCOTS PGC on 1 June. All Southern Downs and Border District participants are required.

Senior Athletics training will ramp up this coming week with sessions available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until our carnivals.

NAPLAN 2021 featured image

NAPLAN 2021

Next week, our Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will be undertaking NAPLAN assessments in the areas of Language Conventions, Writing, Reading and Numeracy. …

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NAPLAN 2021

Next week, our Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will be undertaking NAPLAN assessments in the areas of Language Conventions, Writing, Reading and Numeracy.

If your child is in these year levels, please ensure that they have the appropriate stationery for sitting the tests.  This includes 2B or HB pencils, erasers and a sharpener.  Students in Year 7 and 9 must also have a calculator for the Numeracy assessment.

The best preparation for your child in the lead up to next week is to have a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast each day.

If your child is unwell on any of the testing days, please contact the College as soon as possible so arrangements can be made.

We wish all of our Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students the best of luck next week and know that they will do their best on the day.