Improving Speaking and Listening Skills

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Transcript of Improving Speaking and Listening Skills


Speaking and ListeningSkillsa practical guide for Skills for Life teachers



AcknowledgementsThis publication was developed for Tribal Education Limited and the Department for Education and Skills Skills for Life Strategy Unit by Dr Caroline Hudson (Real Educational Research Ltd). The publication was critically reviewed by Professor Karen Bryan (University of Surrey), Professor Ronald Carter (University of Nottingham), Karen Davies (Tribal Education Limited), the DfES Skills for Life Strategy Unit, June Lewis (Tribal Education Limited), Janet Byatt (Tribal Education Limited) and Tricia OMeara (Lincolnshire Probation Area). See appendix 1 for a list of those who were interviewed as part of the consultation process.

Further copies can be obtained from: DFES Publications Sherwood Park Annesley Nottingham NG15 0DJ Tel: 0845 60 222 60 Fax: 0845 60 333 60 Text phone: 0845 60 555 60 E-mail: Please quote ref: S&L/PACK02 Extracts from this document may be reproduced for non-commercial education or training purposes on condition that the source is acknowledged. Crown Copyright 2007 Produced by the Department for Education and Skills







Practitioner use: find out about:the aims and scope of the document l speaking and listening and the Skills for Life strategyl



Reflective practice

what reflective practice is l how to reflect on your practice in speaking and listeningl



Ten aspects of practitioners speaking and listening skills

what key research findings say about ten aspects of speaking and listening l what practitioners and learners say l reflective practice activities to try outl



Assessing learners l existing Skills for Life assessment tools for speaking speaking and and listening listening skills l using Have Your Say as part of diagnostic and formative assessment, developing an individual learning plan (ILP) and summative assessment Teaching and l how to use Skills for Life teaching and learning learning: using Skills materials to develop practice in speaking and for Life resources listening Speaking and listening and context Accreditation Learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) how different aspects of context influence speaking and listening l how to analyse context, to improve practitioner/ learner interactionl l






7 8

accreditation which is relevant to speaking and listening

72 75

how to use Access for All and the dyslexia training programme, Supporting Dyslexic Learners in Different Contexts, to develop practice in speaking and listening with LDD learners l the Learning for Living project l a speech and language therapy projectl


Spoken and written l some differences between spoken and written language language l activities for practitioners and learners, to develop awareness of spoken language Additional help from l other Skills for Life resources to use to develop Skills for Life practice in speaking and listening Resources and l a wider selection of resources and activities to approaches from develop practice in speaking and listening outside Skills for Life Referencesl


10 11

88 90


further reading








Practitioner use: find out about:l

Page99 100 104

Appendix 1 The consultation process Appendix 2 Practitioner reflective log Appendix 3 Learner log: Have Your Say

individuals and organisations participating in the consultation process, to develop this document accessing a blank practitioner reflective log accessing a blank learner log: Have Your Say



Figures1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 The Skills for Life learning journey Completed practitioner reflective log Get your ideas down! Example of a brainstorm Get your ideas connected! Example of a mind map Get your ideas taught! Example of a flow chart Speaking and listening and the diagnostic assessment materials. Have Your Say Process to follow for talking about answering questions with the learner Process to follow for talking about asking questions. Entry 3 activity Level 1 activity Speaking and listening and the literacy learner materials Speaking and listening and the embedded learning materials Speaking and listening and the numeracy learner materials Access for All and speaking and listening Supporting dyslexic learners in different contexts Stages of SLT Means, reasons and opportunities 3 9 15 16 17 34 36 42 46 50 51 53 55 58 77 79 81 93

Tables1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Progression in speaking and listening Record of the learners responses Using core curriculum speaking and listening activities Using the literacy learner materials to develop speaking and listening Using the embedded learning materials to develop speaking and listening Using the numeracy learner materials to develop speaking and listening skills Aspects of context Speaking and listening in the criminal justice system Speaking and listening in FLLN Your Skills for Life sector Emotions and speaking and listening Using Access for All The conventions of spoken grammar 5 44 52 54 56 59 62 65 67 68 69 78 84




Section 1Introduction


IntroductionFocusThis practical guide is about speaking and listening for first language speakers and Skills for Life (SfL) learners. The guide aims to develop evidence-based practice and reflective practice.

AudienceThe document is targeted principally at practitioners who: l teach l are teacher educators l support the learning of SfL learners. This publication is also relevant to a wider audience, such as: l those involved in signposting and referring learners to SfL learning l SfL managers l policy-makers with an interest in speaking and listening l researchers with an interest in speaking and listening.

Aims and approachThis document aims to help SfL practitioners to develop: l their speaking and listening skills. l the speaking and listening skills of SfL learners. The document provides SfL practitioners with: l research findings on speaking and listening relevant to SfL l speaking and listening approaches and activities to try out l reflective practice questions and activities l examples of how to use SfL resources to focus on speaking and listening l information about the assessment and accreditation of speaking and listening skills l an overview of speaking and listening materials from outside SfL. Central to this are: l reflective practice (see section 2). l evidence-based practice (see section 3). The speaking and listening and reflective practice activities are based on research findings, including the comments of real practitioners and real learners.

DevelopmentThe document has been developed through: l consultation and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders in SfL (see appendix 1) l an analysis of research, policy and practitioner materials on speaking and listening.


Section 1Introduction


Speaking and listeningNote on terminologyIn this document, the terms oracy and oral communication are used as broadly synonymous with speaking and listening; talk is used as synonymous with speaking and spoken language.

Setting the contextA research review (Brooks et al., 2001) that was published at the start of the SfL strategy underlined that there has been very little research into oracy and adult basic skills learners. It is fair to say that: l for SfL learners whose first language is English, there has been a greater focus on reading and writing than on speaking and listening l there has been more emphasis on speaking and listening in ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) provision than in provision for learners whose first language is English l there has been a greater focus on research, policy and practice in relation to speaking and listening in school-aged learners than in adult SfL learners. This document therefore draws on research and practitioner resources which have been developed outside, as well as within, SfL. Many materials from outside SfL are relevant to SfL, particularly when used as part of a questioning, reflective practice approach (see sections 3 and 11).

Why speaking and listening matterSpeaking and listening are important for SfL practitioners and learners for a number of reasons: l Spoken language is at the heart of much human interaction, at home, at work and in society. l Speaking and listening skills are important in all contexts in which SfL learning takes place, whether it be family literacy, language and numeracy (FLLN) or the offender learner sector. l Good speaking and listening skills are a key aspect of employability: getting a job, maintaining employment and progressing at work. l Good oral communication skills are important in other aspects of SfL learners wider lives, such as in family and peer relationships or when communicating with the school over childrens education. l Purposeful use of speaking and listening is central to effective teaching and learning. l Speaking and listening are important in all types of SfL provision, be it discrete literacy and numeracy provision or embedded learning (see section 5). l SfL learners need to use and develop their speaking and listening skills to maximise learning