Oral language involves key foundational skills and processes which are fundamental to later reading and writing development.
Oral language development focuses on the meaning and structure of spoken language. It involves both receptive and expressive language skills.
Receptive language is the ability to understand the meaning of verbal and written information.
Expressive language is the ability to verbally communicate in a way that makes sense and is grammatically accurate.
An evaluation of emergent literacy development focuses on various aspects of receptive and expressive language skills:
Another aspect of oral language development involves phonological awareness (specifically, phonemic awareness). Phonemic awareness involves knowledge of the sound structure of spoken language. It is the ability to distinguish, identify, and manipulate sound units (i.e., phonemes) and syllables in spoken words. Spoken words are made up of individual speech sound units called phonemes. For instance, the word dog is comprised of three phonemes: /d/ /o/ /g/. Phonemic awareness is an essential precursor for learning to read and spell words.
Several diagnostic oral language measures are used to examine a learner’s phonemic awareness skills (i.e., knowledge of the sound structure of spoken language) and his/her ability to distinguish, identify, and manipulate sound units (i.e., phonemes) and syllables in spoken words:
The following photos show a student at the DRCC explaining to Dr. Vavra about what he knows about the habits of ants.