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Beyond formal presentations, the Common Core State Standards for Speaking and Listening demand a broad range of social-interaction skills with a focus on oral communication. At first glance, the list of skills can seem daunting: productive collaboration, attentive listening and subsequent expression of ideas, synthesis of multiple-source information, information evaluation, the ability to use and adapt media and visual displays in context, argumentation … . But let’s break it down a bit.
The most important thing to realize is this: We need to provide students with plenty of opportunities to speak (and listen).
Even as a language arts teacher who seeks student input, I consciously plan for oral-proficiency practice. I make sure my lessons offer students the opportunity to talk—sometimes scaffolded, sometimes more spontaneous.