I have had the privilege of observing many lessons recently, and have noticed how well teachers use what I term echolining as a means of deepening understanding.
I would classify echolining, is when a teacher repeats a child’s answer to underline and clarify their answer to themselves and others. It gives a fuller and more effective learning response than simply to praise for an answer, and can help to emphasise the actual learning intention in the lesson.
New parents are encouraged to talk to toddlers, expanding on their words. An example of this is if a toddler points at a cup and says ‘red’, it is suggested you say something like ‘yes, that cup is red’ or ‘yes, that is a red cup.’ Echolining does exactly the same, but in a more educational manner. It can be used to extend learning, focus learning or simply to draw attention to the most important aspect at that part of the lesson.
Echolining is particularly well used with names. Some teachers use names as a suffix, to ensure all children are creating an answer. Other teachers use names as a prefix, allowing that child to focus on the question or statement meant for them, while allowing the teacher to differentiate to a singular degree.
It is fascinating to listen to the questions that teachers ask, and the genuine impact they have on driving a learning intention home.