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Talking & Listening


Children at Holy Cross primary school develop their talking and listening through the natural process of growing up. As they encounter new experiences and form relationships they become more aware of themselves and others as language users.

In Holy Cross the purposes for talking and listening require children to use language in different ways while engaging with different audiences. Expectations of language use in the classroom often contrast with the ways in which children learn and use language at home. Therefore, the teacher will plan and provide opportunities for children which build on prior learning and background knowledge. Observations and interactions will inform planning to extend children’s language development and learning.

Every experience has the potential to be a source of oral language development in an environment which extends and challenges children’s language and learning abilities. 

A caring environment in which children feel secure and valued will allow them to express their thoughts, feelings and understanding. The classroom environment should promote language as a tool for learning across the curriculum. Teachers need to provide an environment which promotes active listening and purposeful talking.

Some of the ways we create an environment for language development in Primary two. 

  • arrange furniture to enable children to explore,create and move around freely; 

  • ensure a balance between ‘quiet’ and ‘noisy’ areas; 

  • set up clearly defined areas of play,(for example,art,construction, sand, water) with resources appropriate to the developing needs and interests of the children; 

  • discuss and agree appropriate names for each area with the children and label the areas clearly; 

  • set up role-play situations where the teacher and teaching assistant actively participate so that children can hear the language used in different contexts, for example, post-office, restaurant, range of shops, etc; 

  • provide props to support role-play; 

  • provide telephones and message pads and model their use; 

  • create a puppet corner with commercial and class-made puppets; 

  • establish outdoor play areas as part of the learning environment; 

  • provide a book area which reflects current interests, topics and takes account of different cultures. Include resources such as story-sacks, book boxes, story boxes, poetry boxes, song boxes; 

  • have a literacy table with a changing variety of resources; 

  • provide a listening centre/area; 

  • ensure access to iPads and other ICT resources which promote collaborative learning.