As one of the Manaiakalani EHSAS projects at Pt England School 6 five year old children were chosen to participate in a research project. The object was to improve the oral and written Language by motivating the children using an authentic audience. The children participated in the daily oral and written language programme following the Literacy Cycle.
When the children had edited their work they were supported by the teacher to practise reading their work to a high standard. The work was then recorded in iMovie and published in Flickr and on the class website. We found that the children became very keen to publish their work because they loved sharing it with their family and friends. However their best audience was themselves. They would all sit and watch themselves over and over again commenting on their performance. Over a period of months their confidence in front of the camera increased and the reading developed in phrasing and fluency. Their actual writing also developed but the quality depended upon the relevance of the topic to the children. The authentic audience proved to be a very powerful motivation for these small children.
In 2009 the same children are being included in the current work to see what the results will be in the future for their achievement in oral and written language, reading and their confidence to communicate in a range of settings. Their progress can be followed on their new blog, Going Places.
Project Lead Teacher