Partner Talk

Oral language is an essential component in a Balanced Literacy classroom.  Partner talk can meet many of the oral language learning outcomes, for all age groups.

Speaking, listening, and thinking abilities are all improved during partner talk.  Students need to have numerous opportunities to share their thinking orally and to listen to other students share their ideas.  This strategy is easy to incorporate into most lessons and does not have to take a lot of time.

NOTE: You must set the criteria for what a good listener and what a good speaker looks and sounds like before trying this strategy because students need to feel safe and respected before they may be willing to share their ideas.

When to use partner talk: 

– before a guided reading lesson or a whole class read aloud to share their predictions

– to rehearse what they are going to write about before they begin writing

– during a science lesson to share their thinking and/or the connections they have made

– about a picture to develop some language about the concept that is going to be taught.

Partner talk allows students to:

– practise taking turns as a speaker and as a listener.

– practise their delivery of information

– practise their enunciation

– listen purposefully to understand ideas and information

– use a variety of strategies when interacting with others

– use the features of oral language to convey and derive meaning

– ask questions for clarification

– practise staying on topic in a focused discussion

– make and share connections

When/where do you use partner talk in your classroom?