Strategy

Daily Conversation

Everyday Conversation

UDL 3.3

Daily Conversation is an intentional, interactive strategy that supports students’ language skills (e.g., speaking, listening, vocabulary acquisition) as teachers purposefully engage students in reciprocal exchanges throughout the day. To facilitate Daily Conversation, the teacher identifies and creates opportunities to engage students in conversation (e.g., circle time, free play). As opportunities arise, the teacher initiates conversation with students, intentionally engaging in dialogue to ask questions, respond to questions, share experiences and model listening skills. Daily Conversation allows teachers an opportunity to purposefully support students’ speaking and listening skills, building upon foundational elements of language through casual and engaging interactions. Frequent modeling and consistent opportunities to practice through reciprocal exchanges make Daily Conversation effective for early learners.

Implementation Tips

Asking Questions
Ask questions to facilitate conversation. Use open-ended questions that encourage students to expand upon their thoughts and contributions (e.g., “Why do you think….” or “Tell me about...”).
Providing Feedback
Observe students’ language skills and provide targeted feedback to promote language growth when speaking (e.g., “Can you speak up so I can hear you better?” or “I couldn’t hear what you said about your dog. Can you repeat it? This time try to slow down when you speak.”).
Modeling Active Listening
Model listening skills when students are speaking. Use nonverbal gestures to indicate interest (e.g., eye contact, head nodding, facial expressions).
Vocabulary Acquisition
Introduce new words to students. Through interactions and exchanges, integrate increasingly sophisticated words into Daily Conversation that will expand students’ vocabulary.
Expressive Language
Use descriptive language in exchanges that are expressive of feelings, ideas and thoughts (e.g., “Today is going to be an exciting day! I can hardly wait to go out in the sun to observe our class tree!”).
Engaging Students
Share relevant stories and experiences with students to engage their interest and promote excitement. Allow students to ask questions, contribute thoughts and ideas relating to the topic.
Reinforcing Language Norms
Reinforce speaking and language skills throughout the day (e.g., “While Julie talks we should all listen quietly.”; “Right now we are talking about our book, not snack time. Do you have something to share about our book?”; “That was nice of Joe to share his toy. What should you tell Joe?”).

Examples

Individual Exchanges
During play time, the teacher observes students’ interactions as they explore and uses these opportunities to promote students’ listening and speaking skills through Daily Conversation. During free choice play time the teacher observes a student building a tower. The teacher approaches and asks, “What are you building? What does it do? Who goes here?” As the student responds to each question, the teacher models active listening through body language, eye contact and aligned follow-up questions. Next, the teacher observes a student deeply engaged in drawing a picture. The teacher asks, “What a colorful picture! Tell me about your picture.” The teacher repeats the process of provoking and engaging students in conversation throughout the duration of play time.
Whole Group Conversation
A teacher has observed that her students enjoy sharing personal experiences and thoughts with their peers. During circle time the teacher allocates a time for students to share these tidbits to promote language development, while keeping it casual, enjoyable, meaningful and relevant. The teacher begins circle time and asks open-ended questions to initiate conversation (e.g., “Who wants to share something exciting about their morning with the class?”). During these exchanges, the teacher models appropriate listening skills and is observant to students’ language skills, reminding students to “slow down,” “speak louder,” and “listen quietly” as their peer speaks.
Integrating into Instruction
During story time the teacher engages her students in reflective thinking while also promoting speaking and listening skills. The teacher asks probing questions regarding the story, encourages students to make predictions about the story, and calls on students to comment and contribute thoughts and ideas relating to the story (e.g., “What was your favorite part in the story? Why?” or “Has something similar ever happened to you? Tell me about it.”).

Related Strategies