Language is essential for human existence. Without it people would have a hard time making connections, understanding others ideas and thoughts, reading and writing. Students who come from privileged homes, eat dinner with their families while discussing their day, visit museums and parks and interact with others on a regular basis typically do not have a problem building their language skills. It's the students who do not have opportunities to develop their language skills appropriately and often times struggle with reading and writing that lessons around appropriate talk is extremely important. To help you get started you will want to hang up an anchor chart for the students to use while they are practicing. Below are the pointers that you will want to include on your chart.
Be sure to model what this looks like in your classroom to build proper behavior management skills. Once the students know what turn and talk looks like they will be able to do this just by saying "turn and talk."
Once you establish what turn and talk looks like, it is important to teach the students the proper way to build and develop a conversation where the students are listening to each other and not just talking at each other. To determine if your students are really listening you can ask them "tell me what (partner) said." If the student replies with shrugged shoulders or says that they forgot, chances are they need practice holding on to other students' ideas and building on to ideas. You will now want to introduce the following chart to the students and be sure to model this as well.
You will want to make sure that you spend a lesson going over this chart with your students. Encourage them to also fill in some sentence starters that they can say or have used before. Each time a new phrase is said you can draw attention to it and add it to the chart.
During future lessons, be sure to focus the students on the chart by reminding and encouraging them to use it during their conversations. You will be amazed at how the students really rely and refer to the chart. They even begin to teach each other how to use it and when to use it.