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Complete Sentences

Students respond in complete sentences to build language proficiency


Students are encouraged by teachers to always speak in complete sentences to help encourage English language development. To help students build this skill, the teacher prompts students with nonverbal cues and provides sentence frames to give students a structure for their sentences. Teachers should aim for a ratio of 50:50 teacher-to-student talk to encourage as much student conversation as possible. To help push students to the next English proficiency level, teachers can prompt students to further elaborate and may ask probing questions (e.g., “How did you get that answer?”). Similarly, the teacher should encourage correct, complete sentences, identifying any errors and providing scaffolded supports that allow the student to self-correct.

Student Does

  • Follows sentence frames to speak in complete sentences
  • Speaks using complete sentences during classroom conversations
  • Self-corrects incomplete sentences with guidance

Teacher Does

  • Creates nonverbal cues to prompt students to answer in complete sentences
  • Constructs sentences frames for students to follow
  • Closely monitors student speech to catch and correct errors