The Language Experience approach
aims to build students’ language through scaffolded talk, and to work from a language to assist students to write and to read.
Language Experience can be used to assist students to extend their
vocabulary and language use, and to
use talk for writing. Teachers may wish to use a shared experience that relates to a topic of inquiry or investigation, a text focus, or students' interests.
F-2 examples which demonstrate the Language Experience approach and ideas for lessons can be found at these links:
Language experience approach in detail
Each of the phases for the Example Language Experience are explained below, expand each accordion to view details of the teacher and student roles of each phase of the Workshop.
The full Language Experience approach table can be viewed here.
Reading and oral language focus (approximately 30 minutes)
Shared Reading or Interactive Read Aloud
- share prior knowledge related to the experience.
- ask questions and share their wonderings.
- actively listen to the text.
- view and discuss the visual elements (photographs; diagrams; illustration).
vocabulary instruction, related to the experience, particularly
Tier 1 and 2 words, with some Tier 3 words.
- discussion of word meanings in context, using student friendly definitions.
- modelling of hearing and saying sounds in new words.
Grammar in Context
- practice adding adjectives to expand vocabulary.
The Experience - Using Language in Context (approximately 30 minutes)
- questions students to assist them to make observations during the experience.
- establishes expectations for student to use new vocabulary as they observe and discuss the experience.
- comment on the experience
- use new vocabulary.
Talk and reflection
- practice extending their responses
- practice building on each other’s responses.
- practice accountable talk.
Writing and Reading focus (approximately 60 minutes)
Joint Construction and Talk for Writing
joint construction of a text.
- introduce and invite student to Talk for Writing
- models rehearsing writing by saying the sentence out loud and thinking out loud their own processes for writing
- demonstrates how to incorporate new vocabulary.
- demonstrates how to add new words (for example, adjectives).
- demonstrates the use of appropriate punctuation to convey meaning.
- invites students to add to the text.
- encourages re-reading of the text for revision and editing purposes
- rehearse their contribution to the jointly constructed text by ‘saying it and stretching it’ first.
- use the classroom resources (for example, word walls and anchor charts) to assist with spelling new and familiar vocabulary.
- practice saying the sounds in the words they want to write.
- give constructive feedback to their peers
Drawing and labelling
- models how to draw and label something from the experience.
- students create their own labelled diagram.
- create a short written text to accompany their labelled drawing.
- access classroom resources to use new and familiar vocabulary.
Reading the Text
- asks students to reflect on how they used talk to help them write.
- asks students to report back on their learning with relation to the learning intention and differentiated success criteria using extended and dialogic talk.
Moving through to publishing (Optional 60 minutes)
- supports students to produce a final version of their text for publication in either a print-based or digital format.
Student chooses to:
- re-work their diagram and add further illustrations,
- extend their written text, or retain the original text.