"Oral skills –– both speaking and listening –– are at the very foundation of literacy. Classroom talk helps students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge and understanding. The strategies in this section provide simple but powerful tools for improving communication in every classroom and all subject areas. Whatever you teach, these tools can help you to obtain more precise information about what your students know and can do. This, in turn, can help you to provide better feedback and guidance. Students need authentic opportunities to learn how to listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations –– in pairs, and in small and large groups. Students are sometimes assigned an oral activity (e.g., working in small groups) without a clear understanding of what is expected and how to be most effective. By taking the time to teach specific oral strategies in the context of your subject area, you will boost your students’’ confidence and performance."