Workshop well attended

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How to encourage the development of oral language skills in school pupils was the focus of a workshop held in Gore recently.
The workshop, hosted by the NZEI Hokonui branch at the Heartland Hotel Croydon, attracted 130 teaching professionals, Hokonui branch chairwoman Dana Turnbull said.
The authors of the book The Oral Language Book, Louise Dempsey and Sheena Cameron. tutored the workshop, Mrs Turnbull said.
“They are New Zealand teachers and internationally recognised.”
The suggestion to host the workshop came from Hokonui NZEI member Leah Wilson, a teacher at Pukerau School, she said.
Participants came from as far afield as Arrowtown and Queenstown as well as Eastern Southland.
“We had a waiting list,” she said.
The tutors provided strategies for teachers to encourage pupils to express themselves orally in a learning environment.
Enabling pupils to speak confidently and succinctly using a wide vocabulary when communicating in a classroom setting was a valuable foundation for lifelong learning.
Being able to listen effectively was also valuable for pupils to learn, she said.
“These ladies [the tutors] are renowned for being down to earth and fun and informative,” she said.
“We’ve had excellent feedback from participants which is really cool for us.”
Topics discussed at the workshop included:
Guiding principles and practices that underpin an effective oral language programme.
Ideas for establishing routines and expectations for pupils talking in the classroom.
Whole class, group, and partner activities that focus on learning vocabulary, listening skills and oral presentations.
Drama activities that support the development of speaking and listening, as well as literacy and thinking skills.