By Michael F. Opitz and Roland Schendel
Speech nurtures the thought process. Think about it. We often make sense of experiences, new knowledge, and concepts by talking them through. This chapter offers five reasons for establishing a positive talk environment, as well as five ways to use speaking to enhance reading ability!
Five Reasons for Establishing a Positive Talk Environment:
1. Readers take ownership of ideas by putting their thoughts into spoken words.
2. Learners clarify thoughts as they talk about them.
3. Confidence and command of language use increase.
4. Discussing texts facilitates understanding.
5. Talk allows for formative assessment.
Five Ways to Use Speaking to Enhance Reading Ability:
1. What's On Your Mind? (conversational talk vs. focused discussion)
2. Pass It On! (What compels a reader to want to share a story that they have read?)
3. Scene-Sational (a critical look at how the characters in a story inspire reader interest)
4. You Are the Text (acquiring academic language)
5. Restory Teller (using story retelling to support readers)
Modeling conversational talk makes the expectations for the activity explicit. The teacher can model the expected behaviors with a student, or a pair of students can volunteer to perform a conversational volley while their classmates experience the process.