Essay on English language and communication- University College Birmingham- Harvard



Part A: Essay


 Language development is an ongoing process in every youngster. The procedure involves two components i.e. Oracy and literacy development. This assignment will briefly consider how books and shared stories can develop and enhance Oracy and literacy in a child’s development process. The basic aim is to critically evaluate all important aspects of communication, language, and literacy for a child. 

The term “Oracy” was first coined in the year 1965 by Wilkinson, as the influence of oral speech in representing language and expressions of a child.

On the other hand, literacy is the capability to read and write something and aid in communication.

Both these aspects can be facilitated through learning books and sharing stories amongst one another. Telling and retelling stories enhance the ability to develop language and express one distinctly.

Halliday viewed language from four dimensions i.e. context, semantics, lexicon grammar, and phonology graphology. By adopting the process of telling stories, teachers can develop oral language, reading comprehension skills and writing skills of their learners (Kaldahl et al., 2019).

Main body


The aims of this assignment will be examined in two steps. The first stair will assess how language develops during the childhood years. The next stair would consider how Oracy and Literary development are innately associated with each other.

Hence this section will concern “Analysis” and “Evaluation” of facts associated with fulfilling the two aims considered in this report.

Upon investigation, it has been found out that, young children have a tendency of learning from whatever they listen to or see around them (Walker, 2018). Hence child upgrading is influenced by parents or teachers reading stories or literary work around them. The concepts of Oracy and literacy development come to a common point. (Heron and Palfreyman 2019) stated that the basic objective is to arouse the interest of a child in hearing things, react to them, and think upon them. It may, therefore, be considered that, later, the child speaks about the facts and reproduces them in some literary form. All this finally leads to the linguistic development of that particular child. Even though both the components look to be separate terms, yet they merge to perform one specific task i.e. communication and language development of an individual. (Bowlby, 2016) stated that sharing of stories can be among a parent and his/her child, among a teacher and his/her pupil or anybody else.  This sort of reading can develop a habit of hearing, speaking as well as reading stories among children with full interest. Young learners tend to develop inquisitiveness and ask further questions that develop their oral speaking skills. So, telling and retelling stories have a great impact on the progress of child learning processes. Sharing stories with children can also help children to get motivated, develop stamina and fluency over linguistic development. The learning process can get interesting when strategies get customized from time to time. Teachers should instill a practice of reading varieties of the book to test the interest levels of their listeners i.e. children. Subject areas may pertain to different subjects so that learning becomes a form of creative development right from the foundation years of a child’s life.

(Smedley and Hoskins 2017) have explained through examination that reading a book with a child seated nearby can be interesting to help the child develop patience, be a consistent listener and find the magic of learning new words by imagining them. Reading books is helpful since right from infancy; a child tends to develop an interest in images across storybook pages, manner of how syllables are pronounced, aspects & characters of that story. A child then starts to relate the things with real-world instances and objects which is nothing but a form of creative development and cognitive development of the brain. (Cowie, 2018) suggested that reading books can also be helpful to develop the oral and literary abilities of the particular child as the child starts to interrogate and ask questions based on what he hears from whom he hears. In this way, the child tends to develop a better understanding of the text and its literary meanings. This suggests that the listener listens patiently and later shares similar experiences with friends through oral or written interactions. The child even pays special attention to the rhythm and the melody of language that the teacher is using while reading/sharing the text. As a result, the child is naturally drawn towards literary pieces as the child finds such stories as “Good stories”. Sometimes a child figures out a synopsis or character portrait of a particular character or raises questions by combining syllables and letters in similar or encoded/decoded form.

(August and Shanahan 2017) have proven that sharing stories or talking about stories is associated with the number of benefits. Analysis of this point is the basic point of the breakdown of this report. The first benefit is the associated cultural understanding that the child develops with the world. The child tends to imbibe that particular culture, the particular country or tradition upon which the story is based. It is evident that the child starts to imagine it and speak about it sooner or later (Hence, Oracy is enabled).

The second benefit is the development of imagination, communication, and curiosity as the students start to feel encouraged and want to know more about whatever he has heard. It develops the spirit of questioning in him; he becomes proactive, which is not otherwise possible by textual reading/self-reading only.

In practice, another benefit of reading a book or sharing stories is the development of focus as well as the development of social skills within the children. Children start to envisage and instantly interact with their friends/family if they have found a particular story exhilarating. They start to know if their friends also feel the same or whether they have different views about the particular character. This brings out individual analytical thinking besides helping in linguistic development. At the same time, students present their ideas on paper which helps in literacy development. Sometimes words are reproduced similarly while sometimes they are combined or modified as letters used to give a new shape altogether.

Upon further scrutiny, it was found that Fredrick Frobel is considered as the founding father of the kindergarten system of education for children. He had propounded several principles and ideas to make the overall process of learning for children quite interesting. The primary aspect that he considered was that the learning process should be delivered in a fun and interesting manner. Children learn better when they tend to come across things that they like to experience as a play or find fun. Oral storytelling or sharing of stories can involve all of these aspects taken together (Portrie, 2016).

All the facts considered until now explain how child development takes place. How does it matter? Child development takes place through pillars and such pillars are enabled through Oracy and literacy development. The below discussions will throw more light on this aspect.

Upon inquiry on the components, it was found that, speaking about a particular story influence several pupils to sit patiently within an educational setting/environment and listen to the particular culture, societies, countries, characters, and every other aspect associated closely with that particular story. Such factors enhance listening and literacy skills also. Hence the act of storytelling can be used as an effective tool by which learners can enhance listening capabilities as well as reproduce through their writings on whatever they have heard or imagined. The concept of telling stories should be influenced and encouraged. By telling a story, the speaker can ensure that the learner should be able to find pleasurable in what they hear. On the other hand, if there is no emotion or feeling associated with the writing and the learners just read facts plainly, then the resultant performance from such learners would turn out to be ineffective and useless. Frobel’s concept of storytelling or Froebel’s gifts on learning development is quite fitting.

Upon assessment, it was found that, the teachers must introduce different kinds of texts to children, like fictional text or nonfiction text, to test the students and how they react and respond as outlined by (Burns, 2018).  By reading the words loudly, the teachers can ensure that that they pronounce each letter, syllables conspicuously for the students to hear. Sometimes, there is a blending and segmentation of particular letters that help to understand the literary positioning of letters and write them in particular order. As a result, the next time the children come across any same word, they can easily identify, spell it or write it faster over other children. Hence telling stories can improve the vocabulary as well as the comprehension skills of a particular child. Again, the interpretation and writing processes involve how children think about a particular word and then present it on paper. Sometimes the letters are presented as they are and sometimes they are more creative in decoded form, as already discussed before.

(Briggs, 2017) have affirmed as a means of appraisal that in the process of sharing stories or reading books, there comes together presenting real facts, i.e. realism, awareness, receptiveness, and various other aspects that a teacher has to understand. The teacher should enhance the active working of visual, auditory, kinesthetic as well as emotional experiences of learners through the act of telling stories.  Apart from that, the learners access full control over what they hear hence involving their senses and emotions in Oracy and literacy development. An educator needs to speak markedly so that the children can listen to every letter & word clearly, and identify and new keywords. (Kearney, 2019) further reviewed to the fact saying that such words can be remembered and retained in the long run. Most of the time, whenever a learner comes across a particularly new story, he tries to correlate that particular event with his or her life and shares experiences upon it. It is also very important that the teacher should freely interact with the child by asking questions to understand if the learner is interested in hearing that particular story or not. This kind of interaction should be in unrestricted form so that learners can speak without restraint or write their queries on paper.  Hence shared stories can relate to the formation of shared focus with the child which is also equally important to arouse continued attention of the particular child. All this can help in the Oracy and literacy development of that particular child.

(Dastgahian et al., 2019) explained through his judgment saying that while reading a book or while sharing the story, a teacher should maintain continuous eye contact with the child so that he/she can understand how much the child can comprehend the syllables and words, or is willing to know more. Accordingly, the teacher has to adopt strategies and techniques. In some cases, a sweet gesture can best suit the students. So the process of reading from a storybook or sharing an old story is interesting if it can be carried out in the right manner. It involves the necessity of a positive environment where the learning process can be done appropriately. For example, a peaceful classroom atmosphere is best. It is the place where a student would not get distracted.

Average researches on the concept of Oracy and literacy development have shown that nearly 50% of children and adults think that the process of reading is quite uninteresting (May et al., 2016). On the other hand, children who are in school levels tend to develop reading habits more as compared to that of adults. The concept of Oracy and literacy development is incomplete without encouraging students to recreate their thoughts once they have heard of a story. While children share what they have heard or raise doubts, they bring out new words, which is a form of language development. Hence children should be able to reproduce words and ideas, which would enhance their vocabulary.

The prime objective of a teacher is to build personal connections with students by asking questions about characters/events from the story as stated by the considerations of (Walqui, 2019). The learners reply by accessing their Oracy skills and are also able to connect themselves emotionally. The second motif is to seek positive experiences or influence students to share similar stories through oral or written means.

All this can encourage the learners towards critical thinking which cannot otherwise be developed. Sometimes a child starts to write his viewpoints using letters, words, spellings, and vocabulary according to the exact form he had heard earlier. In terms of child learning development/educational process, Fredrick Frobel propounded the kindergarten system of education. His teachings focus on the process of storytelling. According to him, the process is somewhere like the early pillars of a child’s development.


The essay had discussed several advantages associated with reading books and sharing stories in shaping the Oracy and literacy development of children. Above everything else, reading books enhances the brain development of a child and helps him/her to imagine better. At the same time, the child develops the capability to deal with emotions and express them through the right words (Language). It fosters in the relationship that the child builds with others right from the developmental years of life. Additionally, by sharing stories about any past lesson, story or image can help to build language through oral and written means. The concept of Oracy is even aligned with good rhythm, repetition of some keywords and rhyming words, which can be adopted while reading a book. It is due to all such reasons that reading a book or sharing stories can leave a positive impact on the language development of children as per the opinions of (Hibbin, 2016).

Part B:  Reflective account related to the practice


I am currently an academician working as an instructor in a private school. In this section, I will reflect instances of how I have carried out my job in the recent past. I have always believed that reading a book, and sharing stories are helpful in Oracy and literacy development of children. That is the main reason I believe in adopting them. By sharing a story, I can help my young learners to understand how a word is spoken, and he/she can develop basic literacy skills by this. Apart from that, I have always used these two concepts for my young students so that they can develop the habit of reading books and stories. Children of the present digital age are normally not so fond of it. I have very smartly applied the concept of playing with the imagination of every student of mine and have helped him/her grow curiosity in hearing whatever story I narrated to them, whenever in my classes. By doing so, I have taken care of their immediate needs i.e. development of the brain, development of social abilities and the ability to interact with me or with their peer mates. Also, as a child, I used to feel in my childhood that most of the things that are written in stories are just fantasy and have no real-life existence. However, when I used to narrate stories to my students, they could question me verbally, which made them dynamic and they did not have to accept whatever they heard randomly. I could engage their minds continuously while they were present in any class.

In all my teaching principles, somewhere I followed the ideals of Fredrick Froebel (Anderson, 2016). He had explained the concept of storytelling and how beneficial it can be for a child. Storytelling is a unique way or developing Oracy and literacy development of a child.

Most of the time, I used to ask myself… Was I right in doing things this way? However, my results have always been successful and I hope to continue the same tactics in the future for my students as well.

My students even used to reflect on the lessons and their characters later while they are at home. As a result of this, they started to react up the facts, read them again at home loudly, hence developing their Oracy and literacy skills further. In this way, they developed a strong bond with what they read or hear and write to me too, every time we read new things. This is the main reason I have been adopting the two techniques always. Another very important part is finding fun in whatever we read. I ensure that my students find fun in whatever I narrate or they hear, and they do not have to mug up everything in a boring manner. I use this same principle with my children at home. The best part out of all this is that the students start to share their own life experiences of what happens in their families. I have been able to progress in my career as a teacher because if all this that I have learned and carried out so far. My students are fluent and very friendly in comfortably using their language. Mostly the language been used in English. However, I have never stopped them whenever they use any other vernacular language like French, Spanish or anything of their mother tongue to express their heart out. So learning had always been a natural process for them in this way. Oracy and literacy are associated with how syllables letters and sounds are used. Every time they spoke in a language or use any particular rhythm or sound, all this is maintained naturally. Earlier, when I was a teacher in a playschool and later at a kindergarten, I used to use the same principle for my students there too. As I reflect upon my teaching experiences with children, there are certain facts that I would like to reflect upon. I have always believed that young children learn best when things are interesting. Hence I try to make my teaching-learning process interesting every time. To do this, I used to make funny sounds, sweet and happy gestures through eye contact, body gestures for my learners. As a result of this, I would find all of them to be patient listeners while I read. Most of the time, we teachers generally find it a hard time to engage students in one place for a long time. Learners tend to be more impatient, get home seek and want to go home when they do not find the place or the reading contexts interesting. To ensure this, I used to adopt telling and creatively retelling stories. I tried to read books of various genres to my learners so that they do not get bored of hearing the same kind of stories over and over again. On the first day of my class, I used introducing the main characters of the story. These are the things that happened in my teaching process. By this, the learners start to arouse their interest. The children started to question me more about the characters and what would happen to them. In my next few classes, I would always try to engage them by telling stories clearly and slowly. Once I read to reach the end of a story, whether I narrated it on my own or by reading a book, I paused for a few moments. I utilized the next classes on discussion with my learners about how they feel the story might end. Students read about the lessons themselves in their homes. It was very fascinating to hear from the guardians and parents of such learners about this. Once we assembled next, students would wait eagerly to hear what I would speak to them. The students would start to ask me numerous questions verbally, and sometimes they jot down a set of queries in English or another language on a sheet of paper. These were nothing but their efforts to think critically over the lessons. It was a very smart way in which carry out Oracy as well as literary development for them every time. Finally, I presented the concluding parts of the story.

In my concluding section, I would point out to few more interesting aspects associated with the learning process. Sometimes my learners would come up to school with books of their choice. They would plead to me about being allowed to read them aloud to the class. The interesting part is that, when a child is allowed to do that, other students patiently listen to it. Hence it helps to learn new stories, correlating it with old stories, sharing experiences, old sounds, syllables, and words. Above all, it helps in Oracy and literacy development most efficiently (Agosto, 2016).






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