‘Language for Thinking’ project 2018-2019
The dialogue between teacher and student that underpins learning frequently involves students being asked questions. However, a significant proportion of children find it difficult to understand these increasingly complex questions, including those with autism, social communication disorder, Developmental Language Disorder and learning difficulties. They may be able to understand simple and direct language, but when required to ‘read between the lines’ they struggle. This difficulty with questions may an impact on their understanding of social situations as well as reading comprehension.
Language for Thinking is a structured approach to develop children’s language from the ‘here and now’ to the ‘how and why’. 50 black and white drawings form the backbone of the resource. Written scenarios and question sheets are provided so adults can ask carefully promote children’s verbal reasoning and thinking skills.
The resource can be used flexibly with whole classes as the basis of a literacy lesson. With small groups or individual children it can be used as an oracy or literacy task. It is most applicable for use by Class Teachers working with 4-7 year old children as well as SENCOs and TAs working with children from 4 up to 11 years and more.
‘Word Aware project’ 2018-2019
Word Aware is a structured whole school approach to promote the vocabulary development of all children. Focussed on whole class learning, the resource is of particular value for those who start at a disadvantage – including children with Developmental Language Disorder, Special Educational Needs and those who speak English as an additional language, but it will extend the word learning of all students. This approach is full of practical and inspiring ideas that can be easily applied by busy classroom practitioners to develop both spoken and written vocabulary. Word Aware has been developed by combining up to date research with extensive classroom experience. Stephen Parsons and Anna Branagan have been using this approach and training many practitioners since 2010. The end product is an effective and time efficient method for developing the spoken and written vocabulary of all children.