EC3. Vocabulary and Oral Language in Early Childhood: The How

Course Progress

Oral Language: The How

Welcome to the Oral Language in Early Childhood: The How! This is the second module in a six-part series that explores the foundational knowledge needed to support diverse young learners in a variety of settings. The content in this module is designed to assist early childhood educators and related stakeholders in helping young children acquire foundational oral language skills needed to become fluent readers. 

Estimated Completion Time: 2.5-3 hours

  • Vocabulary and Oral Language in Early Childhood: The How
    • Pre-Assessment: The How of Oral Language
    • 1. Facilitation of Oral Language
    • 2. Language-rich Environments
    • 3. Shared Book Reading
    • 4. Vocabulary Routines
    • 5. Engaging with Families
    • 6. Summing it Up
    • Post-Assessment: The How of Oral Language
How to use this Module


Welcome to the Early Childhood (B-K) series in the Ohio Literacy Library! We present six modules in this series designed to assist all educators and other interested stakeholders in helping young children acquire foundational early literacy skills. 

In this module, we will address the practical use of oral language in early childhood settings. We will make connections to the previously discussed oral language content presented in the modules on The Why and The What of Oral Language. Specifically, we will discuss what each of these skills looks like across developmental milestones in the early years, and identify considerations for adapting and modifying content to support the individualized needs of young children across environments and experiences. 

Whether you are an early interventionist, caregiver, teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, parent, related service provider, higher education faculty or candidate, or have another role in helping a child develop their early literacy skills, we want to first say THANK YOU. We know that your time is valuable and you would not be here if you weren’t interested in supporting outcomes for young children and families. 


The University of Cincinnati Systems Development & Improvement Center


  • EC1: Building Emergent Literacy
  • EC2: Vocabulary and Oral Language: The Why and the What

Module Description

This module introduces one component of early literacy learning by addressing the how of oral language. Oral language includes concepts like:

  • Oral Structures
  • Stages of Oral Development
  • Receptive and Expressive Communication
  • Vocabulary

Each subcomponent of oral language will be addressed in this module. Listening, speaking, and vocabulary are all addressed in this module, focusing on activities that can be implemented in a child’s natural environment (i.e., home, classroom, and community). 

The content of this module is designed to assist early childhood educators, families, and other stakeholders in learning why oral language is an essential component of early literacy learning and how to support all children.

OCCRRA Approved Module

OCCRRA Approval Badge

Do you teach young children birth to age five in Ohio? This module is approved by the Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association for continuing education credit. Follow the steps below to earn credit in OCCRRA!

Steps to Register for an OCCRRA Approved Training

  1. Go to the OCCRRA Registry to search for the training.
  2. Enter the name of the ALL Ohio module (e.g., Oral Language in Early Childhood: The How) in the search box at the top of the page under Professional Development Events.
  3. Click on the training to review training details and add the training to your cart.
  4. View cart and checkout. You must successfully check out to complete the registration process.
  5. Once you checkout, you will see a screen verifying your order has been successfully placed in OCCRRA.
  6. You will receive confirmation email for your training registration from OCCRRA.
  7. Go to the Oral Language in Early Childhood: The How module in the ALL Ohio library and enroll in the course.

When you’ve successfully completed the module post-assessment, you will receive a certificate of completion and badge. Our ALL Ohio project Team verifies completion of module learning once per week. You will not receive credit in OCCRRA until our team has verified your completion.

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As you go through the course, you will have the opportunity to click the Mark Complete box at the end of each section. When you do this, the sections you have completed will be crossed off in your outline, and you will be taken to the next section of the course.

Your progress will automatically be saved within the learning management system, and you can view your course progress through the progress bar located near the top of most sections.

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To access the note feature, simply click on the purple Take Notes button fixed in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. When you click on this button, a Take Notes box will appear. This box can be moved anywhere on the screen. Within the box, there is a SAVE button as well as a Print Button.

The easiest way to print all the notes you take from the entire module is to click View All Notes. When you click View All Notes, you will be taken to a page like the one below.

Click the boxes of the Notes you would like to print, and then click Download Selected. All your notes will be downloaded into one document separated by headers.

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Additional information included on each module’s home page include:

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Professional Development Certificates are available for each comprehensive learning module. To earn a Professional Development Certificate, you must obtain a passing score of 85% or more on the module post-test. Please note that you are only allowed up to two attempts to obtain a passing score to earn your certificate.


When completing professional development modules within All Ohio, you can earn badges based on your engagement in and mastery of content within each comprehensive learning module. You earn Achievement Badges when you demonstrate proficiency with module content (i.e., obtaining a score of at least 85%), whereas Engagement Badges are awarded based on your level of participation on the site.

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Desired Outcome

After completing this module, you will understand the core concepts related to oral language development with young children. Our goal is that as you engage with this content, you will reflect on the current practices that you use and consider how these align with recommended practices. We hope your engagement with this content supports your growth as you assist in the ongoing development of young children.

Learning Objectives

This module aims to increase your knowledge and understanding of oral language. By completing this module, you will be able to:

Number 1

Identify routines to explicitly teach oral language.

Number 2

Discuss various instructional strategies that can support language development.

Number 3

Describe how to collaborate with families and related service providers.

Number 4

Explain considerations for facilitating oral language for all children.

Helpful Resources Related to this Module:

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

Enroll in this Module