Making connections: improving oral language in kindergarten students

Oral language is an essential part of a child's overall education, yet it is not always fully developed as children enter kindergarten. This study examined whether making personal connections to stories read out loud would encourage as well as improve primary oral language fluency. Twenty-five Spanish primary language kindergarten students participated in the study. The researcher assessed oral language fluency, based on a four-point rubric, both before and after implementation of the connections making strategy. The findings indicated that although no consistent data showed a link between the strategy and oral language fluency increase; the act of having students share out loud, in a purposeful and consistent manner, was beneficial. The researcher found that the strategy in question was an appropriate means of oral language development in her classroom. Key words: oral language fluency, narrative response, story reading, schema building, text-self connections