Language for Living

Language For Living: Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue contains a wealth of inspiring resources for oral language and vocabulary development

Language for Living; Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue
Language for Living: Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue Box 1 (junior classes/ EAL/ Picture based)

Language for Living; Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue encourages the application of newly acquired vocabulary to reading and writing activities.

It is packed full of ideas, activities, and lesson guides.

Language for Living is split into two areas;

1. Vocabulary acquisition

2. Oral language development

It is very easy to use with each small container in the boxes containing a brief explanation of that particular container and an explanation of an activity to get the teacher started.

Language for Living Box 2

About Language for Living

Language For Living: Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue contains a wealth of inspiring resources for the development of vocabulary and spoken language. The resource encourages the application of newly acquired vocabulary to reading and writing activities.

As mentioned above, Language for Living is split into two areas:

1. Vocabulary acquisition

2. Oral language development

Each area stretches learners and ensures engagement from the entire class. It is the perfect tool to act as a cross curricular, progressive, whole school programme to help narrow the word gap and, secure strong literacy skills. It works easily alongside any existing English scheme you may be using. It suits single grade classes as well as multi-grade classes as there is enough content even if you were teaching the same classes for a few years.

The whole school programme Language for Living: Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue, addresses the increasing understanding of the role vocabulary and oral language development has in children’s success, both within school and in their later lives.

Language for Living is a resource that will aid teachers in the narrowing of the ‘word gap’, improve oral language skills and thus literacy and writing.

Each resource box provides hundreds of theme-based words-of -the-day, followed by various activities, tips and games and writing opportunities to enable pupils to practice their new words and carry them over into reading and writing. The resource also provides a yearly scheme of Vocabulary Mats for the whole school in teaching ‘overused vocabulary’, such as ‘said’ and ‘went’ words on a month by month basis. In the same way ‘feelings vocabulary’ is taught monthly, covering overused feelings such as ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ words.

Vocabulary on ‘physical characteristics and appearances’ is also developed and built upon through the three boxes. The aim is that by the time a pupil leaves primary school, by progressing through the three Language for Living boxes, they will have a bank of vocabulary that has been built upon from their early years at school.

Using the other elements of oral language that Language for Living: Tip of the Tongue provides, this new vocabulary is built upon and revised so that pupils retain it. For e.g. Homonym, Synonym and Antonym cards encourage pupils to use their dictionaries when finding new words to complete vocabulary matching games. Debating vocabulary, phrases and expressions are explicitly taught, building upon debating vocabulary from a young age throughout the three Language for Living boxes and developing in the pupils the ability to argue a point of view, express opinions and gain self-confidence and much more.

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.

The ’30 million-word gap’ refers to research conducted by psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley. Their research brought to light that by the time they begin school, children from lower-income families hear a staggering 30 million fewer words than those from higher-income families. This early language gap sets children up to be at the risk of falling behind. They continue in life to ‘lag behind’ their peers, having less vocabulary and lower expressive language skills. This, in turn, affects their reading and writing capabilities. It is imperative to close this gap, but as teachers, how can we help prevent this early catastrophe? We can help by expanding children’s vocabulary.

 “We can share with our children a wealth of words…by closing the vocabulary gaps for children in our classrooms with their peers, we can offer them the vital academic tools for school success, alongside the capability to communicate with confidence in the world beyond the school gates.” (Quigley, 2018)

Oral language, incorporating rich vocabulary development, is crucial to learning and gives a child entry to a world of knowledge. However, how we teach this vocabulary is also important. When words are taught in isolation, children tend to forget them just as quickly as they learn them. Children need to learn new vocabulary in meaningful clusters to understand their new words and get the opportunity to practice these new words and use them. The Oxford Language Report on ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters’ suggest three practical takeaways for helping to close the word gap:

“Bringing vocabulary practice into mainstream class teaching; Focusing on key vocabulary, and learning language in the context of use; The importance of conversations and reading in the classroom and at home.”

Language for Living: Tip of the Tongue is a resource that will help teachers achieve these points above and aid in the narrowing of the ‘word gap’, improve oral language skills and thus literacy and writing. Language for Living: Tip of the Tongue provides hundreds of theme-based words-of -the-day, followed by various activities, tips and games and writing opportunities to enable pupils to practice their new words.

With Language for Living: Tip of the Tongue, have fun and success with oral language and vocabulary building and close the ‘Word Gap.’

“In the years I’ve devoted to literacy, I have learnt what I should always have known- that nothing matters more than words. Words lie at the heart of our quest to narrow gaps between the advantages and disadvantages, to address social mobility…knowing about vocabulary is the responsibility of every teacher. It is also the entitlement of every child.  (Barton, 2018)

Have fun, while learning, with Language for Living; Vocabulary at the Tip of your Tongue.

© Julieanne Devlin – Let’s Get Those Kids Talking Blog, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to http://www.julieannedevlin.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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