Oracy in year one

A blind spot in Norwegian language and literacy education?


  • Atle Skaftun
  • Åse Kari H. Wagner




circle time, oracy, organisation of classroom work, station work and plenary, student talk, year one of the Norwegian L1 subject


This paper focuses on opportunities for student talk in Year One of the Norwegian L1 subject, based on observations from six classrooms (24 lessons) with two teachers in each. The analysis of the data first identifies how the lessons are organised (plenary, individual work, station work and work in groups/pairs) and then focuses on student talk within each organisational frame. The results are discussed with reference to Wegerif's (2007) concept of ‘dialogic space' and Segal and Lefstein's (2016) four-level model for understanding dialogic qualities. The data reported in this paper suggest a clear contrast between the established and well-developed oracy practices at Norwegian kindergartens, which involve a high level of student participation, and highly regulated and teacher-dominated practices in Year One of Norwegian L1, offering students little opportunity to engage in oral interaction or to explore matters in their own language. While having two teachers in the classroom could have stimulated dialogic interaction, which has been shown to be effective (Clarke, Resnick, Penstein Rosé, Corno & Anderman, 2016), it actually seems to produce more discipline, more control and more student silence. One important exception from this trend is circle time, which seems to be a promising space for dialogic activities.




How to Cite

Skaftun, A., & Wagner, Åse K. H. (2019). Oracy in year one: A blind spot in Norwegian language and literacy education?. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 19(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2019.19.01.09