Oral Communication

Oral communication skills are fundamental to the development of literacy and essential for thinking and learning. Through talk, students not only communicate information but also explore and come to understand ideas and concepts; identify and solve problems; organize their experience and knowledge; and express and clarify their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Listening and speaking skills are essential for social interaction at home, at school, and in the community.
To develop their oral communication skills, students need numerous opportunities to listen and to talk about a range of subjects, including personal interests, school work, and current affairs. The language program should provide opportunities for students to engage in various oral activities in connection with expectations in all the strands, such as brainstorming to identify what they know about the topic of a new text they are about to read, discussing strategies for solving a problem in a writing assignment, presenting and defending ideas or debating issues, and offering critiques of work produced by their peers.

In order for all students to benefit from the opportunities provided for listening and speaking, differences in the norms and conventions associated with oral communication in different cultures must be taken into account. Although children normally start to develop oral language skills before they learn to read and write, the development of reading and writing skills can enhance their ability to use and understand oral language clearly, accurately, and critically.

The Oral Communication strand has three overall expectations, as follows:
Students will:
1. listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;
2. use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes;
3. reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

This strand focuses on the identification and development of the skills and strategies
effective listeners and speakers use to understand and interact with others. It also emphasizes the use of higher-order thinking skills to stimulate students’ interest and engage them in their own learning.

The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8, Language, pp. 9-10

The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat have developed the following resources to support early language growth, and to support critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem solving through oral language structures.

CBS_Grand Conversations Primary



Grand Juniorgrand primaryWhat works Primary Language

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