Key findings: the first three years of primary school

Similarly, there were common themes in the way the most effective primary schools supported students’ oral language learning and development. These included:

  • transition-to-school programmes through which information was shared about oral language learning and development (including any strengths and needs)
  • both formal assessment and informal daily monitoring of oral language progress of all learners, particularly in the early months after starting school
  • explicit oral language learning expectations were developed as part of school-wide progressions
  • daily literacy programmes with a strong oral language focus
  • identifying students needing additional support early and responding appropriately.

Improvements were needed in many schools to support oral learning and development. These included:

  • giving greater attention to the oral language learning of new entrants (within a rich curriculum)
  • developing formal expectations for monitoring oral language progress or development across Years 1 to 3 and beyond, across all key learning areas
  • taking a formalised approach to identifying students’ oral language strengths (including capabilities in languages other than English), needs and concerns, rather than relying on informal observation and ‘gut feeling’
  • systematically planning for interventions, where particular concerns or needs for oral language learning and development are identified
  • teachers building on the advantage linguistically-diverse learners bring to language learning
  • building and strengthening teacher capability to support oral language teaching and learning.