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ERIC Number: EJ1192519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Meaningful Classroom Talk: Supporting English Learners' Oral Language Development
Walqui, Aída; Heritage, Margaret
American Educator, v42 n3 p18-23, 39 Fall 2018
For English language learners (ELLs) to productively engage in classroom discussions that foster language development, content knowledge, and analytical practices, teachers must create a trusting classroom culture. How do we ensure that all ELLs have opportunities to productively use oral language in academic settings? And how do we ensure that teachers leverage the power of classroom interactions to simultaneously foster language development, content knowledge, and analytical practices? In this article, the authors offer answers to these questions--and clarify common misconceptions--by presenting guidelines supported by both research and classroom practice. As teachers plan to engage students in oral interactions, the framework provided in this article can help guide their support for their students' work and language development. The framework comprises six interconnected levels: (1) Design lessons that involve ELLs' participation in subject-specific and substantive oral practice to accomplish clearly defined lesson goals; (2) Construct tasks that appropriately scaffold student participation and growth; (3) Make sure the task is designed to meet its purposes and the materials used are appropriate to support students working at the edge of their competence successfully; (4) Make sure that activities or tasks follow and precede others logically to build coherent lessons; (5) Integrate reading and writing into oral development activities; and (6) Be selective in addressing errors and intentional in providing feedback.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A