The Education Review Office has just released an evaluation report, ‘Extending their Language Expanding Their World’.
In this report, ERO investigated how effectively young children’s oral language learning and development were supported in their early years of education. ERO asked the question: What is the early learning service or school doing in response to children’s oral language learning and development, including concerns about and needs of particular children? ERO’s findings are based on the analysis of data gathered from 167 early learning services and 104 schools.The findings highlight the importance of supporting oral language learning and development from a very early age. Research evidence shows the early years are a critical time in terms of the rapid language development that takes place, particularly the first 2-3 years.
ERO recommends that leaders and teachers in early learning services and schools:
- use resources such as Effective School Evaluation: how to do and use internal evaluation for improvement and those about teaching as inquiry
- evaluate the extent to which their curriculum strengthens oral language learning and provides evidence of children’s progress and achievement
- also make better use of existing resources, such as Much More Than Words and Learning Through Talk to promote and support children’s oral language learning.
ERO also recommends that the Ministry of Education develops a more coherent and systematic set of curriculum expectations, assessment tools and resources for oral language in the early years (0-8 years) to support children’s learning across the curriculum.