The Gap Between Spoken Speakers And Non Fluent Speakers Of English

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Carol Woodard, Guy Haskins, Grace Schaefer, and Linda Smolen address the issue of bridging the gap between fluent speakers and non-fluent speakers of English in classrooms in the United States. The article explains how an urban school had tested the children in “kindergarten” and the results of the test “showed a nearly two-year lag in oral language development” (2004, p.92). The large gap in oral language development of the less fluent speakers can be detrimental to their education. The school has to try to bridge the gap quickly in the early years of the student’s education; in order to catch the students up to the developmentally appropriate level of oral language before it’s too late. If the school is unable to bridge the gap the less fluent speakers may be delayed in their reading and writing skills.
The school implemented a “talk table” to bridge the gap in oral language development (Woodard, Haskins, Schaefer, Smolen, 2004, p. 92). The research method the school decided to use was observations of the students’ progress, surveys, and pretest and posttest. The teacher in charge of each classroom was responsible for carefully observing and recording the students’ progress throughout the program. The teachers utilized their state’s curriculum standards as a grading scale of how well the students were doing and to monitor the progress they were making. Close to fifty teachers participated in the research project. Teachers had to go through a special course in the “Let’s
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