Oral Language: Essential for English Learners

When it comes to reaching fluency in a language, English Learners (ELs) must master both written and spoken language skills.  Take a look at 4 essential components of oral language that need are essential for English Learners to master.

Phonemic Awareness

The English language consists of around 41 phonemes, which are the smallest units that make up spoken language.  Phonemes are combined in order to form syllables and words. Further, in order for ELs to achieve phonemic awareness they must have the ability to identify, as well as manipulate, phonemes in spoken word.  Additionally, ELs must understand that phonemic sounds work together to make words.

Vocabulary Development

In order to begin reading, ELs must have a certain level of vocabulary development according to their age group.  The knowledge of stored information about the pronunciations and meanings of words is pertinent for communications.  Vocabulary development is also key to developing literacy and reading comprehension skills.


Phonics is a way to teach reading, which places emphasis on how letters correspond to certain sounds, as well as knowledge on to use phonics in spelling and reading.  Phonics is demonstrates that there are predictable relationships between phonemes and graphemes. Phonics is used to recognize familiar language, and gives ELs the ability to decode unfamiliar terms.

Oral Reading Fluency

In order for ELs to master English language skills, they need to have the ability to read words quickly and accurately.  Once ELs reach this level, they are able to recognize and comprehend words simultaneously.  Being able to read English aloud give ELs the speed, accuracy, and ability to properly express themselves; in turn, they are more likely to comprehend and recall the materials they have reviewed.

The Latino Literacy Project offers teachers and parents information that is essential to help ELs in their journey to English language proficiency, both written and orally.  The Project offers seminars and webinars to better equip teachers and parents with the tools that are essential for ELs to obtain excellent oral language skills.

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