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The expressive realities of 5- and 6-year-olds in low socioeconomic schools

Jannie van Hees

Many 5- and 6-year-old students in low socioeconomic schools have difficulty expressing ideas fluently and coherently in English, which impacts on their ability to participate fully in the classroom and to make the transition to literacy. The classroom has the greatest potential, outside of home and family, to provide the quality and quantity of interaction and expression these children need to expand their English language resources to support their ongoing learning. This article reports on a study investigating the realities of these students’ competence and experiences in oral expression and some important findings for how teachers can create rich oral and expressive classroom environments for their learners.

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