CoL Teacher's Meeting - Jannie Van Hees - Language in Abundance

There is no learning that doesn't require a lens on language. LANGUAGE carries the concepts and meaning. When you put the LENS of the language on the topic of the domain you are working in, you need to think, how are you going to do this so it results in heightened levels of language. You have got to be really discerning about what you are doing, could we honestly say in all the work that we are doing, whatever level, are our children having heightened level of complexity as their capabilities? This is something we need to constantly be thinking about.

Where does language occur? Spoken form, print. What we have got to be thinking of.. we could have mileage in print and spoken form - but our question has to be - is it heightening their level of understanding and being able to produce themselves. 


Thinking and Meaning

Concept Knowledge


Langaue Structures


Learners need to try out language and express language as well as receive language. There is often too much teacher talk, or the teacher does not gift enough to the children. 

How do you heighten your children's capability?  High level vocabulary!! Valuing and including. Learner's respond because you notice their question. Not too complex, not too simple. Not just extracting from learners, every moment where you are engaging with your learners is a gifting potential. Kids can learn with your guidance to do this with each other. Wondering and asking opens up possibilities to know. If we are not careful we DON'T unpick why, WHY am I doing this? Why am I doing pair share .. I am doing it because potentially because 'I get more ideas from the other person, and they get my ideas' it is important that metacognitively, children understand why they are doing something. 

Children need to understand that they need to focus and notice to learn. When they do this, their learning will improve. Without this - they are stuck.

We have to be alert about what we are going to say - is what we are saying going to add value. You don't have to be hurried in your response. You need to be kind to yourself, it is ok to tell the kids you are thinking. The kids need to be thoughtful about what they say to each other.

Epitome of great learning is being is DIALOGUE with your children, using this as the direction of your learning. 

We have to talk together ... to and fro talking - conversations, chain linking 

E.g. 'when we opened our compost bin yesterday we saw so many crickets' - 'that's because it's warm in there and there's food'. How can you add on to the first sentence without asking a question?

Get  our kids to increasingly be able to have a conversational exchange. Not necessarily keeping it bound to a 'subject'. 

Get our kids conversationalists! We can't change families but we can change what we do in schools. 


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