University of Leicester
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Communication difficulties in the classroom.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 09:15 authored by Rosemary J. W. B. Sage
The National Curriculum assigns oracy as a bench mark of academic success alongside literacy, focussing on primary [spoken] and secondary [written] language components for learning. It has generally been assumed that children acquire speaking/listening skills naturally through opportunities to talk. However, a number of children are deprived of chances to communicate because of social, emotional, physical and cognitive difficulties. This highlights oracy as a competence and a subject area like literacy, that needs a framework for teaching. It also brings into question the relationship between speaking/listening and reading/writing and how it is successfully facilitated. Collaborative frameworks for professionals involved in communication development [teachers/ therapists/carers] need to be developed and implemented. With these perspectives in mind, research was conducted to clarify the nature of communication difficulty and examine frameworks for teaching. Four main aspects are located: PERSONAL ISSUES - achieved through comparative studies of 'normal' and 'communication impaired' children [4-8 years] using a profile to detect conversational and cognitive differences. PARENTAL ISSUES - assessed from a questionnaire looking at attitudes towards communication management. PROFESSIONAL ISSUES - evaluated through a comparison of different management styles. POLICY ISSUES - highlighted from quantitative and qualitative information from the studies. Data collected suggests specific differences in performance between 'normal' and 'communication impaired' children. Management adopted either an INDIVIDUAL approach, concentrating on specific language components in weekly clinic sessions, or an INTERACTIVE method, based on a support strategy within school. The school-based approach was significantly more successful in achieving academic success for children. Thus policy has to address the type of oracy-literacy management offered to all school children as well as those requiring specific support. It must target responsibilities of teachers and therapists working together to implement the language curriculum as well as resolve their different education and health service training/working models. Learning is acquired through the medium of spoken and written language and standards of attainment can only be evaluated if both components are evaluated. Unfortunately the traditional separation of oracy-literacy activity has worked against full understanding of its relationship in learning. The National Curriculum gives a new context to consider both aspects in education. This research clarifies personal and social issues in communication and describes a framework that can achieve academic success for the considerable number of children who fail to learn satisfactorily.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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