Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Sir James Whitney

Strive & Succeed

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Oral Language Program

This program focuses on language development through the processes of Oral language; programming involves speechreading, auditory training (auditory association, auditory discrimination, auditory memory, auditory closure, communication), vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and social pragmatics.

Student’s goals are based on Ontario’s Language curriculum expectations and each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

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 emphasises the use of higher-order thinking skills to stimulate students’ interests and engage them in their own learning.

Student goals may include

  1. Routines and expectations for voicing, responding, imitating.
  2. Pragmatics: eye contact, turn-taking, asking for clarification, using questions, full sentences, social greetings, social conversation.
  3. Imitative skills: imitation of gross movements, lip shape, mouth shape, words, and phrases.
  4. Phonological awareness: the relationship between sound and letter.
  5. Speechreading: lip shapes, vowel patterns, names of people, colours, numbers, single words, phrases, sentences.
  6. Speech: spontaneous use of voice, appropriate use of voice, syllabification, suprasegmentals (duration, intensity, pitch), word pronunciation.
  7. Auditory awareness: sounds, discrimination of sounds.
  8. Development of vocabulary: colours, numbers, animal names, holiday vocabulary, vocabulary used in social situations, and common expressions.
  9. Semantics: idioms, similies, metaphors, figurative language.
  10. English language and grammatical structures: verb tense, prepositional phrases, suffixes, contractions, adverbs, adjectives, and nouns, etc.

Practice and learning experiences are delivered through games, role playing, simulation activities, interactive computer/iPad games, and text based activities. For students with auditory stimulation, developing phonological awareness can support English literacy skills, including reading, writing, and vocabulary development.

Assessment is conducted through informal observations and checklists. Each student’s program is developed, implemented, and assessed individually. A Speech and Language Pathologist acts as a consultant to the program. Various resources are used and followed, such as Dave Sindrey’s “Learning to Listen,” and “The Listening Room;” and Nancy Caleffe-Schenck’s “Activities for Listening and Learning.”

Students are individually supported twice weekly for 25-minute sessions.