Why ELLs—and Other Students—Need Practice Speaking

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 20, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Particularly at the secondary level, it’s not second nature for teachers to systematically teach oral language in their classrooms, educators told me recently at a conference hosted by the National Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English-Language Learners, or CREATE.

Secondary-level teachers are trained to get across content to their students, they said.

Researchers at the conference presented findings that show that English-language learners, and other students with weak verbal skills, benefit from oral language. I write about these findings in an article that was just published at They stressed that the teaching of oral language in the classroom helps students to improve their vocabulary and background knowledge, which helps to enhance reading comprehension.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.