The linguistic dimension of the Spanish (Catalan) curriculum in secondary education promotes students to produce oral texts of different sorts stressing its appropriateness, coherence, cohesion, and linguistic correctness, using the relevant prosodic and non-verbal elements. Why is not enough time devoted to it? One of the common reasons is that we come from an academic tradition: written language is its priority element. It is also considered that working on the spoken language is a task that can be improvised, which serves to complement the other dimensions. That’s a wrong approach, in my view.
The planning and production of oral texts to clearly and rigorously express one’s own ideas require a good selection and interpretation of the consulted sources of information, planning the linguistic register to be used, working on aspects of prosody (pronunciation, intonation, fluency, etc.), ensuring the corresponding linguistic correction, structuring well what one wishes to communicate, etc. Using a guide or a rubric adapted to each stage or typology can be a good tool for being clear about the performance criteria to be taken into account.
There are many possibilities for working on it in the classroom. We can take advantage of ordinary academic tasks: ask them to make presentations on the different subjects, comment or debate on curricular content-based topics, carry out a school radio programme, present a previously prepared material, etc. It should be kept in mind that working on this competence is not the exclusive task of the language teacher. Still, it would be much more helpful and productive to plan it in a coordinated way among the whole teaching team. Nor should we forget that audiovisual communication tools and information and communication technologies make it easier for orality to be expressed through these languages and supports.