As we continue to focus on the learner profile attribute “communicators” this November, it might be opportune to share with you a newly documented section of our curriculum. Our end of year expectations for oral language have been incorporated into a new continuum covering all aspects of communication.
This continuum focuses not only on oral language (listening and speaking) but acknowledges that communication is also visual, and identifies the strand” viewing and presenting”.
Speaking and listening combine into a transactional process. Listening involves more than just hearing sounds. It requires active and conscious attention in order to make sense of what is heard. Purposeful talk enables learners to articulate thoughts as they construct and reconstruct meaning to understand the world around them. “In an inquiry-based learning environment, oral language exposes the thinking of the learner.”
Presenting and viewing involves interpreting, using and constructing visuals and multimedia, allowing students to understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values and beliefs. Visual text includes advertisements, brochures, computer games and programmes, websites, movies, posters, signs, logos, flags, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations, graphic organisers, cartoons and comics. Learning to interpret this data, and to understand and use different media, are invaluable life skills.
As I wandered around school this week on a quest to find and document communication in action, I saw and heard examples of both expressive (creating and sharing meaning) and receptive (receiving and construction meaning) communication – a glimpse of which is captured here (and not just from students!). The statements in italics are examples of learning expectations from our new communication continuum.
Please share your own experiences and ideas about what good communicators by leaving a comment here, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Making the PYP Happen in the Classroom (IBO 2009)
IST Communication Continuum