Speaking and Listening

The Oral Language program at Chelsea Heights Primary School has three main focus areas; Substantive Talk, Vocabulary Instruction and the development of Working Memory Skills.


Substantive Talk

Substantive talk practices allow for students to work together to build classroom discussion guidelines, and opportunities to engage in the 5 core skills of academic conversations:

  1. Elaborate and Clarify
  2. Support Ideas with Examples
  3. Build on and/or challenge a partner’s idea
  4. Paraphrase
  5. Synthesize conversation points

Within sessions, students are explicitly taught these skills, undertaking activities for them to practise in an authentic context.  The overarching aim being that students are exceptional conversationalists who can transfer these skills to their everyday lives. 


Vocabulary Instruction

A strong vocabulary opens a world of possibilities for children and thus, the teaching of vocabulary is central to our English curriculum at Chelsea Heights Primary School.  Through our Reading and Writing programs, students explore rich vocabulary through literature, making connections with the words so that they are able to understand them in books and use them in their writing.  Building connections between words is another aspect of vocabulary instruction (known as building schema), allowing students to organise new vocabulary in their minds in an orderly and retrievable manner. 


Working Memory Skills

Having an effective working memory allows students to retain and retrieve information taught in all areas of the curriculum.  Like anything, it takes practise and particular skill sets to remember and recall information and at Chelsea Heights Primary School we teach and practise these skills in the classroom context.