Oral Language Big Books


Oral Language Books provide opportunities for a child’s oral language to develop in the following areas:

  • Vocabulary enrichment and word-building
  • Sentence-structure skills (elements of speech—singular and plural nouns, verbs, and verb tenses)
  • Receptive and expressive language skills (including familiarity with pronouns, conjunctions, sequencing words, spatial language, language of quantity and size, ordinal expressions, inclusion, and exclusion language)
  • Behaviors expected when using the book and practicing oral communication, e.g. look at someone when talking to them; use appropriate body distance; ask for clarification; practice rephrasing and taking turns
  • Questioning and answering skills, e.g. use question matrix—who, what, when, why, where


Multiple Literacies

Oral Language Books are a multi-modal approach to developing literacy through a diverse range of stimulus pictures. The multi-modal literacy components covered are:

  • Linguistic—through vocabulary development
  • Visual—through discussing and analyzing the (visuals) pictures to enhance literacy concepts
  • Gestural—through the analysis of body language and facial expressions in the different scenarios presented
  • Spatial—through discussing the layout, position, and size of objects that are presented.


Multiple Purpose

  • To develop oral language skills in students who have English as their first language
  • To develop oral language skills in ELL/ESL students, where English is their second language
  • To develop oral language skills in students who have a language disorder

A number of skills will be taught through the use of:

  • A double-page spread varying in visual content, e.g. scene/diagram/images
  • Extensive teaching notes relating to each double-page spread
  • An interactive whiteboard


Essential Skills and Knowledge

Oral Language Books cover a range of essential skills and knowledge:

  • Grammatical concepts
  • Skills to extend vocabulary
  • Thinking beyond
  • Behavior expected when talking to others


Grammatical Concepts

  • Nouns
  • Singular and plural nouns
  • Gender language and pronouns (I, me, we, us, you, they, he, him, she, her)
  • Verbs and verb tenses
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs


Skills To Extend Vocabulary

  • Convergent categorization (e.g. all these vehicles have a steering wheel)
  • Divergent categorization (e.g. pouched animals include kangaroos, koalas, and opossums)
  • Spatial vocabulary (e.g. prepositions: in, on, under, near)
  • Language of quantity and size (e.g. more, less, many, few, large, small)
  • Sequencing:
    • ordering events in categories such as daily, weekly, or yearly
    • ordering events in time order such as first, next, then, after, before, today, yesterday

Thinking beyond Familiarity with the following will stimulate children’s language:

  • Inferring of emotions and events
  • Recognizing cause and effect