Speaking and listening are aspects of oral language. Researchers have indicated for many years that there is a strong relationship between oral language and reading, writing, and thinking (Loban, 1963; Menyuk, 1984). Oral language is the base on which the other language arts develop (Sticht & James, 1984). For this reason, it is very important to continuously support students in developing oral language throughout all grades (Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991). Children and young adults develop oral language by using it (Halliday, 1975). There is reason to believe that students acquire written language skills in a similar way (Wells, 1986).
Basically, our current level of understanding from research on linguistic diversity indicates that all learners develop literacy in similar ways (Weber, 1991). Therefore, what classrooms should do to help students continue to develop literacy is to provide all students with many "real" reading and writing experiences that allow them to use the language that they bring to school (Au, 1993).
See also Literature-Based Instruction and Meeting Individual Needs of All Students
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