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June 03, 2013

UK

How to get the weaker communicators in class really talking

Teaching-English"Communication expert Jean Gross says it's time to adopt and adapt second-language strategies for use with socially-disadvantaged students in the UK

A couple of months ago an article in the Guardian described the successful communication strategies used with pupils at Gladstone Primary in Peterborough. The school made national news as the only school in the country where none of the children speak English as their first language.

When I read the article I was struck by the fact that exactly the same strategies are also needed for children who have English as their first language but whose language is limited as a result of social disadvantage.

These children too need help in making the transition from the everyday conversational language we use when the speaker and listener share a context, when they are both looking at the same thing. For example, to the more formal language we use when there is no shared context.

Read the full story from The Guardian.

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