MODEL2TALK: An intervention to promote productive classroom talk

The Reading Teacher | Chiel van der Veen, Femke van der Wilt, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers, Sarah Michaels

This article describes an intervention – the MODEL2TALK intervention – that aims to promote young children’s oral communicative competence through productive classroom talk. Productive classroom talk provides children in early childhood education with many opportunities to talk and think together. Results from a large-scale study show that productive classroom talk has a positive effect on young children’s oral language abilities. This is of great importance, as good oral communicative competence is related to later reading comprehension skills and social acceptance, and mediates learning, thinking, and self-regulation. How to promote productive talk in your classroom? Start by giving children more space to share their ideas, listen to one another, reason, think together, and reflect on their communicative performance. The examples in this article support teachers to adopt productive talk and move towards a classroom culture in which children think and communicate together.

The effect of productive classroom talk and metacommunication on young children’s oral communicative competence and subject matter knowledge: An intervention study in early childhood education

Learning and Instruction | Chiel van der Veen, Langha de Mey, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of productive classroom talk and metacommunication on the development of young children’s oral communicative competence and subject matter knowledge. This study can be characterized as a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test-intervention-post-test design. A total of 21 teachers and 469 children participated in this study. 12 teachers were assigned to the intervention condition and participated in a Professional Development Program on productive classroom dialogue. Multilevel analyses of children’s oral communicative competence pre- and post-test scores indicated that our intervention had a significant and moderate to large effect on the development of young children’s oral communicative competence. No significant effects were found for children’s subject matter knowledge. The results of this study suggest that dialogically organized classroom talk is more beneficial than non-dialogical classroom talk for the development of children’s oral language skills.

MODEL2TALK: Dialogische gesprekken in de kleuterklas

Beter Begeleiden Magazine | Full-text | Chiel van der Veen, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers

MODEL2TALK is een onderzoek van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam naar het verbeteren van de gesprekskwaliteit met kleuters. In dit artikel beschrijven de onderzoekers hoe leerkrachten eenvoudige gesprekstools kunnen inzetten die kinderen uitdagen om te praten, echt te luisteren, te redeneren en samen te denken. Dit levert een gesprekscultuur op waarin kinderen steeds beter leren communiceren en samen denken.

Productive classroom dialogue as an activity of shared thinking and communicating: A commentary on Marsal

Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal | Chiel van der Veen, Claudia van Kruistum, Sarah Michaels

In Eva Marsal’s article, a model is presented that teaches children to philosophize by acquiring a set of skills in step-by-step exercises. In the classroom examples that Marsal provides, however, it remains unclear how teachers support the kinds of thinking and philosophizing that her Five Finger Model aims to promote. This is why, in response to Eva Marsal’s article, we argue that productive classroom dialogue can be seen as a complementary approach that supports teachers in bringing dialogue into their classrooms. As its aim is to promote children’s “meaningful learning and cultural development in an emancipatory way” (van Oers, 2012a, p. 59), it enables them to do more than appropriate or reconstruct conventional cultural meanings. Through productive classroom dialogue, children learn how to collaboratively progress in communicating, thinking, and understanding. As such, we believe it to be a suitable context for philosophizing with children that goes beyond step-by-step exercises. In this commentary, we subsequently elaborate the notion of productive classroom dialogue and discuss how it interanimates with Marsal’s Five Finger Model.