Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for children at home

Oral language is our earliest form of communication and it is essential as we use it daily to communicate our needs. Language to crucial to learning as it gives a child entry to a world of knowledge, unlocking the world of the imagination, reading, providing skills to write, and helping us grow as individuals. Without language, a word gap ensues.

This is one of the reasons I created ‘Nibbler’s Adventures’, a daily record ‘puzzle’ book for children, published by http://www.cleverkids.ie. It has everything you need to provide that essential vocabulary. It is especially useful now as children do not have their usual access to daily classroom conversation and vocabulary development and it is easy to use at home, with just a few minutes each day.

By using Nibbler’s Adventures puzzle book your child has the opportunity to learn a new theme-based word every day.  

Through using the puzzle book oral language is encouraged with simple debates, opportunities for talk and discussion and idioms, understanding figurative speech.

Tongue twisters are included as they are important for pronouncing vowels and consonants, strengthening speech skills, practicing articulation, and learning about alliteration.

Each theme also has activities to reinforce understanding of positional language.

Wellbeing is especially important at this strange time for children also and this record book provides opportunities for children to discuss their feelings.

All of this is covered by using Nibbler’s Adventures puzzle book for just a few minutes each day! A free sample of one section is available to download here…https://www.cleverkids.ie/Nibbler_download.pdf

Since many enjoyed the sample and have contacted me regarding the rest of the puzzle book, you can purchase the full version from cleverkids.ie at the link icon below…


Good luck, I hope you enjoy it and stay safe.



Ideas to expand ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ vocabulary in the classroom


‘Feelings’ or ‘emotion’ vocabulary is important for pupils to develop. They can use the vocabulary to express themselves and gain confidence speaking in front of an audience. Developing this vocabulary or doing the following activities can tie into other subject areas such as Social Personal Health Education or Drama.

Continue reading “Ideas to expand ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ vocabulary in the classroom”

Oral language & vocabulary development with ‘Three Words’ activities

Three Word Cards

Storytelling is a great way to build oral language skills and ‘Three Word Cards’ will develop sequential development of plot and encourage listening skills.

Continue reading “Oral language & vocabulary development with ‘Three Words’ activities”

Using barrier games for the teaching of positional language, demonstration of understanding & categorisation

A barrier game requires two pupils to sit at a table with a screen/ barrier between them. The barrier can be anything that inhibits them from seeing each other’s work (a folder, bag, books, or sit back to back etc.) Each pupil receives the same materials and pupil A draws/ constructs/ arranges the items in front of him/her. Pupil A then describes it in detail to pupil B so he/she can construct the same. They then remove the barrier and compare their patterns/ drawing etc. There are many variations of this game and it can be adapted to suit pupils’ abilities. Groupings can vary from one to one instruction, giving instructions to a group or whole class, working in teams or pairs.

Continue reading “Using barrier games for the teaching of positional language, demonstration of understanding & categorisation”

Using a ‘Feely Bag’ for oral language in the classroom

A multi-sensory feely bag activity is perfect for the development of oral language skills and vocabulary.

Feely Bag: Your Feely Bag can be any container that will hold an object unseen, to enable discussion to arise in order to solve the mystery, thus turning something simple into a deductive-reasoning activity. Nice examples are silk (or not silk!) pillow cases, decorative cushion covers or any cloth bag or even a large shoe box which the pupils will enjoy decorating.

Continue reading “Using a ‘Feely Bag’ for oral language in the classroom”

Conversation Stations

An area is set up in the class, where the teacher has an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with four or five children each day, with a particular topic in mind. Pupils have the opportunity to talk, to have language modelled for them and to get feedback on their conversation/ language. The conversation station can be used with any age group as an effective activity to promote vocabulary and language development in the classroom.

Continue reading “Conversation Stations”

Morning Meeting (language discussion)

‘Tip of the Tongue’ meeting/ ‘Morning Meeting’/ or whatever you want to call it!

Have a section of wall/ board to display topics for discussion during ‘‘Morning Meeting ’. Ideally this could be in your ‘speaking and listening corner’/ oral language area. It is a perfect oral language activity for revising previous work, practicing and reinforcing new vocabulary and can be used as an opportunity for children to give presentations/ be reporters, look at items using the visualize and discussion etc.

Continue reading “Morning Meeting (language discussion)”

Why is oral Language important?

Oral language is our earliest form of communication and it is essential as we use it daily to communicate our needs. Language to crucial to learning as it gives a child entry to a world of knowledge, unlocking the world of the imagination, reading, providing skills to write and helping us grow as individuals. However, without language, a word gap ensues.

Continue reading “Why is oral Language important?”

Phrase of the Day

We all know that developing a love for reading in our pupils has many advantages, from expanding pupils’ vocabulary, helping with spelling, grammar, punctuation and much more.

Using the idea of D.E.A.R time (Drop everything and read) or E.R.I.C (Everyone reads in class) for twenty minutes a day, letting the pupils select their own books and read at a time during the school day that suits you, can have tremendous benefits for children (including those who don’t like to read as they just may discover a book that they like.)

Continue reading “Phrase of the Day”

Sample lesson plan for descriptive story writing using words-of-the-day and senses

Sample lesson plan for descriptive story

Continue reading “Sample lesson plan for descriptive story writing using words-of-the-day and senses”

Debating in the primary classroom

Debates are important in oral language as they develop a child’s ability to argue a point of view, a skill that is valuable in many aspects of life. These activities allow them to become better debaters through time and help them become critical thinkers, expressing their opinions and thoughts and gaining self-confidence.

Continue reading “Debating in the primary classroom”

Words-of-the-Day Vocabulary

Research has shown that pupils need to encounter a new word 10 to 16 times in order to really ‘learn it’. When introducing new vocabulary, pupils need to get the opportunity to practice these new words and use them.

Continue reading “Words-of-the-Day Vocabulary”

How to use photographs for oral discussion


Photographs or cut-outs from newspapers/ magazines are very useful for oral discussion…as long as you don’t select a famous person or someone familiar to the pupils. They are also useful as visual props for the reluctant/ shy speaker.

Continue reading “How to use photographs for oral discussion”

A flip chart can be useful in your ‘speaking and listening corner’.

It can be useful to have a flip chart in your ‘speaking and listening corner’. There are various things you will repeat each day as a teacher or during a particular lesson, and these pointers can be listed on a page in a flip chart ready for access at any time.

Continue reading “A flip chart can be useful in your ‘speaking and listening corner’.”

Barrier Games

Barrier games are simple games that require pupils to speak clearly and be attentive listeners. They learn how to give clear descriptions, instructions and clarify through questioning while also developing communication skills such as social and linguistic skills.

Continue reading “Barrier Games”

More group strategies for oral language activities

Some examples of group strategies for oral language activities in the classroom:

  1. The Jigsaw Technique
  2. Three-Step Interview
  3. Think/Pair/Share Technique
  4. Inside Outside Circles
Continue reading “More group strategies for oral language activities”

Group work/ Paired work strategies

The majority of activities in developing oral language in ‘Tip of the Tongue’ involve pupils working together in pairs and in groups.  For some pupils, it is often counterproductive to ask them to give descriptions to the entire class. Students are often embarrassed by their minimal knowledge or public exposure may make them uncomfortable and reserved. However, they are often eager to share their ideas with their peers in pairs or group work and in time, build confidence.

Continue reading “Group work/ Paired work strategies”

Create a rich language-learning environment

The physical environment of a classroom has great power over the quality and the quantity of children’s experiences of oral language (Roskos & Neuman, 2002).  Children use print available to them in the classroom and so when creating a rich language environment, be aware that the environment surrounding the pupils meditates the language that they will use.

Continue reading “Create a rich language-learning environment”
%d bloggers like this: