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ORAL LANGUAGE RETELL

Name: Lenny
DOB: April 2, 2010 (age 8)
Year level: Year 2
Gender: Male
Literature: The Gruffalo by Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson

Sheldon: Can you tell me what happened in this book?

Lenny: M-Mouse [Pause] got greeted by animals and found the Gruffalo.

Sheldon: Did anything else happen?

Lenny: Um, [Looks at the page] the Gruffalo said he’d taste good in a slice of
bread.

Sheldon: Yes and…

Lenny: The mouse found a nut and ate it.

Sheldon: Can you please find and point to the fox in the book?

Lenny: [Flicks through the pages until he sees the first fox, points to it and
waits]

Sheldon: Where are the claws

Lenny: um, [Looks at the page and points to the claws on the fox]

Sheldon: Can you point to the mouse?

Lenny: [Scans the pages and points to the mouth of the fox]

Sheldon: Where is the mouse?

Lenny: oh-h-h [Puts finger in mouth and points to the mouse]

Sheldon: How does the mouse’s fur feel?

Lenny: Um, [Pause] soft [Moves finger over the mouse]

Sheldon: Point to the mushrooms.

Lenny: [Scans the page with his finger and points to the mushrooms]

Sheldon: What do you think they smell like?

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Lenny: [Moves book to his face] Um, [pause] Poisonous.

Sheldon: Point to the rock, can you find anymore like this?

Lenny: [Points to the rocks on both pages with hands crossing over each
other]

Sheldon: What is the mouse walking on to cross the river?

Lenny: A slippery log [Moves his finger along the page to show the log]

Sheldon: What do you think the mouse is telling the owl in this picture?

Lenny: [Points to the mouse] He is going to have tea with the Gruffalo.

Sheldon: Where do you think the owl came from?

Lenny: The tree [Slides finger up the page to show the tree size]

Sheldon: Can you see any other birds in this picture?

Lenny: [Points to the small bird with one hand and plays with string with
the other hand]

Sheldon: How are these two birds different?

Lenny: Blue and has sharper beak and that one doesn’t live in the tree.

Sheldon: What do you think is going to happen to the mouse?

Lenny: It’s going to get eaten.

Sheldon: Here it says oh no! oh help! It’s the Gruffalo! What else can you say
instead of this?

Lenny: Um, [Pauses and looks at Sheldon] Oh no it’s the Gruffalo!

Sheldon: Anything else?

Lenny: [Looks at Sheldon] Are you going to eat me?

Sheldon: What do you think is in the grass ahead?

Lenny: [Looks at page and plays with string on his shorts] A fox.

Sheldon: It says here I hear a hiss in the leaves ahead?

Lenny: [Looks at Sheldon and says fast and loud] A snake!

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Sheldon: It is a snake well done. How do you think the snake feels after seeing
the Gruffalo?

Lenny: [Looks around the room] Threatened.

Sheldon: Does she feel anything else?

Lenny: Um, [Pauses and looks at the door] Scared.

Sheldon: Can you close the book for me? What would you do if you ran into the
Gruffalo in a park?

Lenny: [Close book and looks at Sheldon] Run away from it and call the
police.

Sheldon: Anything else?

Lenny: [Giggles and looks at the book] Punch it!

Sheldon: Why do you think the snake and fox run away from the mouse?

Lenny: [Looks at the cover] Because the Gruffalo is behind him and is really
scared.

Sheldon: What would you do if the mouse tried to eat you?

Lenny: Squash it [Claps hands together].

Sheldon: How do we know the mouse lives in the woods?

Lenny: Um, [Pause and looks around the room] because he is in the woods.

Sheldon: Last question, can you use this picture to help you describe what’s in
the woods?

Lenny: Trees, butterflies, animals and mushrooms [Points to the cover]

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ANALYSIS OF LITERATURE RETELL

Vocabulary
Use of adverbials, descriptive language
 Adverbials – No evidence of adverbials displayed
 Descriptive language – Able to use minimal descriptive language (‘slippery’,
‘blue’, ‘sharper’, ‘good’

Grammar
Pronouns, conjunctions, sentence structure
 Pronouns – Uses of pronouns is evident – ‘he’, ‘he’d’
 Conjunctions – Minimal use of conjunctions -‘and’
 Coordinating conjunctions – ‘and’
 Sentence structure – Uses short and simple sentences. Few connectors,
adjectives and adverbs. Begins some sentences with ‘um’.

Language of Story
Literate language
 Good comprehension and limited use of basic sight words – ‘have’, ‘the’, ‘so’,
‘come’, ‘they’
 Some difficulty listening to and then comprehending questions - Sheldon
often needed to repeat question. Thought Sheldon said ‘mouth’ instead of
‘mouse’.
 Takes time to respond – Pauses before answering. Used ‘um’ before
answering.
 Uses adjectives to describe feelings – ‘threatened’, ‘scared’.
 Used limited examples of language found in the book during the retell (i.e.
‘Oh no it’s the Gruffalo!’, ‘taste good in a slice of bread’)

Comprehension
Blank’s levels of questioning
 Level 1 – answered the level 1 questions with ease, was able to locate the fox
and their claws. Needed assistance with answering the question – ‘Can you
point to the mouse?’ He pointed to the fox’s mouth instead of the mouse.
Heard ‘th’ instead of ‘se’. After Sheldon repeated the question, he realized it
was ‘mouse’.
 Level 2 – was able to identify the differences between the owl and the small
bird. Used descriptive words such as ‘blue’, ‘sharper’. Described what the
mouse might be saying to the owl. Used words such as ‘he’, ‘going’, ‘tea’,
‘Gruffalo’. Used descriptive language to explain how the mouse crossed the
water – ‘slippery’.
 Level 3 – With assistance, described with minimal words the next scene to
occur. For example, he was asked ‘what do you think is in the grass ahead?’
He replied with ‘a fox’. Sheldon then said, ‘it says here I hear a hiss in the
leaves ahead’. He then quickly said ‘a fox!’ Thus, being able to associate the
‘hiss’ word with snakes. Lenny took the role of the mouse and used a

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different sentence to ‘oh help! Oh no! it’s the Gruffalo’. He first said ‘oh no!
it’s the Gruffalo!’ Then with guidance he said ‘are you going to eat me?’
 Level 4 – Was able to answer these questions but with minimal response.
Asked ‘what would you do if you ran into the Gruffalo in the park?’ He replied
with ‘Run away from it and call the police’. Then after Sheldon said ‘anything
else’ he said ‘punch it’. Used very minimal vocabulary to describe what he
would do. Did not use full sentences or descriptive words.

Other Observations and Comments
Lenny was often distracted when he was asked questions. He would often play with
objects that were close to him and looked around the room whilst answering
questions. As Lenny was speaking, he would start sentences with the word ‘um’. This
suggests that Lenny lacked some confidence and was nervous answering the
questions. Lenny was well spoken and pronounced his words correctly, however was
unable to produce two clause sentences. He used the conjunction ‘and’ quite
frequently, although he often used it to list adjectives. Therefore forgetting to pause
between listing objects. Lenny used tone and pace as he was speaking. He used a
consistent pace as he was retelling the story.

Strengths of the Child’s Retell
 Lenny used adjectives to describe what was happening.
 Followed short simple instructions.
 Uses simple connectives to link ideas.
 Uses a small range of processes and strategies when speaking – uses props to
support speaking (Points to pictures in the book to help describe them).
 Used adjectives to describe how the animals were feeling – ‘threatened’,
‘scared’

Areas of Weakness of the Child’s Retell
 Sentence structure is limited – spoken sentences are very minimal. Lenny
used minimal clauses and linked sentences only using the conjunction ‘and’.
 Lacked in confidence when answering questions – Used the word ‘um’ before
sentences.
 Basic and limited adjective use – ‘soft’, ‘slippery’, ‘scared’,

Summary Statement for Reporting to Parents
Lenny has displayed limited recalling skills as he identified and described the main
events and characters in the story. The Gruffalo is one of Lenny’s favourite books so
this provided him with an opportunity to display how much he can comprehend.
Lenny was often distracted when he was asked questions and this was evident as he
looked around the room and played with objects that were close to him. However,
he was able to follow short instructions and answer simple questions. As he was
answering the questions, he used simple sentences that often included adjectives
and the conjunction word ‘and’. Lenny was able to use a range of processes and
strategies as he was speaking. This was evident as he pointed to the pictures to
describe a scene or character in the book. Lenny is able to describe how the

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characters feel as he used words such as ‘threatened’ and ‘scared’. Thus, being able
to connect with the characters and understand how they feel in the situation. As a
result of these skills, Lenny has been placed in the Early Phase of Speaking and
Listening. During this semester, Lenny will be given opportunities to expand his
speaking and Listening skills, thus being able to move to the Exploratory phase. This
will be achieved through incorporating three activities into his learning program.
These activities will be used to assist Lenny in improving his use of vocabulary such
as adjectives. He will also be given opportunities to expand his conjunction word
knowledge to assist him with forming two clause sentences. The activities include
word jar, adopt a word and fridge words. All of these activities will support Lenny’s
oral language development, thus providing him with opportunities to move to the
Exploratory Phase of Speaking and Listening.

First Steps Map of Development Oral Language Phase
The analysis of Lenny’s retelling of The Gruffalo indicates that he is currently
displaying skills in both the Early and Exploratory Phases. Lenny displays more skills
in the Early Phase, however his ability to use some different ways of talk such as
tone and pace, indicates that he is working his way towards the Exploratory Phase.
With consistency and activities, Lenny will be given opportunities to work towards
the next phase.

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ACTIVITIES

Skill Development ACTIVITY ONE – Word Jar
FS OL Phase of
Early
Development:
Focus Indicator: Adjectives
Source: The Oral Language Book (p. 63)
Cameron, S., & Dempsey, L. (2016). The oral language book:
Reference: Embedding talk across the curriculum. Auckland, NZ: S&L
Publishing Ltd.
This activity will provide Lenny with an opportunity to build and
foster word consciousness and learn new words. Children will be
given a word jar template (PM54) and there will also be a whole
class word jar. Whenever the children come across an unfamiliar
word, they will put this word in the jar. Each week the types of
words will change. For the first week, the children will need to
find adjectives to place in their word jar. If the children are
Description: reading a book and they come across an unfamiliar adjective, they
will place it in the jar. If the whole class is reading a book together
and there is an unfamiliar adjective, the teacher will place that
word in the whole class jar. Once a week the children will walk
around the classroom and explore their friend’s word
jar. The children will also need to place the words in alphabetical
order, act out the adjectives and more. As a result of this activity,
Lenny will be able to expand his adjective vocabulary.

Skill Development ACTIVITY TWO – Fridge Words
FS OL Phase of
Early
Development:
Focus Indicator: Adjectives
Source: The Oral Language Book (p. 63)
Cameron, S., & Dempsey, L. (2016). The oral language book:
Reference: Embedding talk across the curriculum. Auckland, NZ: S&L
Publishing Ltd.
This activity will reinforce the meanings of new words by
providing multiple exposures to the word through extended talk
opportunities. The children have recently been exploring new
adjectives by placing them in their word jar. Now that they have a
variety of new words, they will learn the meanings behind them.
Children will take home a list of new words each week. These
Description: words will then be attached the families fridge with a magnet. The
parents will assist the children with these words, providing them
with guidance and motivation. Parents should ask the children
questions such as ‘How have you been using these words at
school?’ and ‘Can we think of another word that means the
same/opposite of this word?’ At the end of the school week, he
children will have the opportunity to their fridge words with their

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peers at school. As a result of this activity Lenny will be able to
discuss new adjectives and their meanings. It will also provide
Lenny with an opportunity to create sentences with these words
in his home environment.

Skill Development ACTIVITY THREE – Sentence Starters
FS OL Phase of
Early
Development:
Focus Indicator: Sentence Structure
Source: The Oral Language Book (p. 119)
Cameron, S., & Dempsey, L. (2016). The oral language book:
Reference: Embedding talk across the curriculum. Auckland, NZ: S&L
Publishing Ltd.
This activity will assist Lenny with the development of sentence
structure. The children will be given opportunities to practice and
gain confidence in speech through talking strips. The teacher will
first model these talking strips so that the children will be able to
work in groups to complete them. Each strip has a different topic
to promote discussions. For example, one strip that the children
Description: can use is ‘Book Talk’. The first strip says ‘A book I enjoyed reading
is…………. By……………..’ Whenever there is a blank the children will
need to fill it in with their opinions or ideas. There are numerous
talking strips to choose from and the children can always develop
their own strips. As a result of this activity, Lenny will learn how to
develop sentences and also how conjunctions are used to develop
more than one idea in a sentence.

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Reflection
300 words
This assessment provided me with an opportunity to analyze a child’s oral retell of a
children’s literature book. I have enjoyed exploring different resources and content
that has assisted me with this analysis. The First Steps book and Oral Language book
have both allowed me to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of Lenny’s oral
language development. They have also assisted me with developing three activities
to help support Lenny’s oral language. It was awesome being able to plan for and
assess a young child in a real life situation.

Prior to this assessment, I was unsure as to how to analyze children on their oral
language. I now feel as though I will be able to effectively analyze and develop a
sound oral language program for a child on my internship and when I become a full-
time teacher. I also feel as though I am more confident and comfortable enough to
be able to differentiate and accommodate for all levels in my classroom.

On Wednesday the 18th of April, we conducted a moderation session. It was
interesting to see the other university student’s findings. I compared my student’s
analysis to those in my class and it was interesting to see the different levels. My
student was 8 years old, and was at the same level as one of my peers’ student’s
analysis. We explored both of our analysis and it was good to compare an 8 year old
to a 4 year old. They all were at different levels so it was a good experience and
opportunity to see other people’s analysis.

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References

Brace, J., Brockhoff, V., Sparkes, N., Tuckey, J. (2006). Speaking and listening map
of development. Melbourne: Rigby Harcourt Education:
det.wa.edu.au/stepsresources/detcms/navigation/first-steps-literacy/
Chap. 1

Cameron, S., & Dempsey, L. (2016). The oral language book: Embedding talk
across the curriculum. Auckland, NZ: S&L Publishing Ltd.

Donaldson, J., & Scheffler, A. (2000). The Gruffalo. London: Macmillan Children’s
Books

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