Developing oracy or talking across the curriculum is about "enabling the children to use spoken language in a variety of contexts within the classroom environment" (Lalljee 1998, p.1). In addition to extending the children's vocabulary, this helps the children comprehend the different words that are associated with different subjects in different contexts…
The teachers use different strategies to provide opportunities to allow different types of discussions. Spoken language skills need to be developed in all subject areas, as different curriculum areas require different speaking and listening skills. There are different aspects that need to be observed relating to the different processes involved in talking, thinking and interthinking. For example, in assessing a child's ability to analyse a problem, his or her skills at speculating, questioning and hypothesising have to be observed. In assessing a child's ability to communicate, his or her skills at describing, explaining and clarifying have to be observed. This requires that the teacher observe a set of pupils of just two or three per session so that an appropriate observation of skills and a proper planning of talk experiences can be made. It is useful to involve pupils in the planning process so that they can participate in discussions as to what skills are needed in different areas such as math problem-solving, science experiments, etc., and the different kinds of talk, the outcomes and the resources available. Children should be made to work in different groups, playing diverse roles, so that stereotyping can be avoided and their different skills can be observed. Participation in diverse groups helps the children understand the functioning of group dynamics and the benefits of team work. Lalljee cites the example of 6-year-old children working in pairs for producing a free form class poem where the discussions of their ideas inspired them enough to produce an illustrated booklet which was read with enthusiasm by them (Lalljee 1998, p.6). Encouraging students to make suggestions on problems and ideas allow them speaking and listening space within the curriculum.
Development of problem-solving skills
According to the National Curriculum, teachers are expected to provide pupils opportunities to develop seven common requirements - Curriculum Cymreig, Communication Skills, Mathematical Skills, Information Technology Skills, Problem-solving Skills, Creative Skills, Personal and Social Education - through their study of the National Curriculum subjects (Common requirements n.d.). The Education Act of 2002 stipulates that a balanced and broadly-based curriculum should prepare pupils for the "opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life" (Skills framework 2007, p.2). Future Skills Wales 2003 Generic Skills Survey reports that of skills gaps reported by employers, lack of IT skills is the most common problem "followed by communication skillsshowing initiative, problem solving and ability to learn" (cited in Skills framework 2007, p.2). The skills framework developed for oracy moves on a continuum of different levels and stages for developing and presenting information and ideas. The problem-solving skills in oracy are developed through several key stages. For developing oracy, the first key stage involves using talk to develop thinking by exploring, developing and clarifying ideas, predicting outcomes and discussing possibilities. The second stage involves talking for a range of purposes, including planning, predicting and investigating. The third stage involves t ...
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