Speech and language development activities

What are the benefits of including speech and language development activities in your instruction, even for students who are not struggling readers?

This article presents a summary of evidence-based practices that can be used to support teachers’ instructional decision making when planning literacy interventions. The EBPs presented here were selected from an extensive list based on their applicability to teaching reading comprehension as well as their potential impact on student learning outcomes if implemented appropriately by educators. While these recommendations do not substitute for professional judgment or teacher expertise, they provide information about best practice strategies which may assist you in designing effective interventions with students at risk of academic failure related to poor school performance due to inadequate skills in speaking and listening; reading; writing; spelling; vocabulary; grammar; punctuation; mechanics; organization; critical thinking/problem solving; and mathematics.

Background: Teachers play a key role in helping all learners become successful lifelong learners through providing them opportunities to learn how to read, write, speak, listen, spell, think critically, problem solve, communicate effectively, develop organizational skills, understand mathematical concepts, process data, make decisions, collaborate, work independently, and use technology. These competencies are essential components of 21st century education. However, many children fail academically because they lack sufficient spoken English proficiency and math fluency. A substantial body of research has demonstrated strong links between early skill deficits in speech, language, and cognitive domains and later achievement gaps among low achieving elementary students. Unfortunately, most schools have insufficient time to address this issue during regular class periods.

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