Speaking effectively is a necessity in life and must be taught to pupils
Everyone likes to listen to a lively speaker.A boring public speaker, makes the atmosphere boring and gradually leads the audience to doze and losing their span of attention - it is very embarrassing for a speaker to continue speaking when the audience are asleep and snoring during one's speech. When a public speaker stands in front of the audience the speaker must grab the attention of the audience.Speaking is a God given gift which needs to be mastered and used effectively. A speaker who mumbles words doesn't woe an audience. A punchy and well presented speech can keep the audience awake. Learning how to speak effectively is a gradual process which takes time to mature like wine - Indeed practice makes perfect and good speaking skills need to be taught and learnt at an early age. There is a saying which goes as follows, if you want children to master speaking skills for life catch them young - the time to teach them how to speak effectively is now.
Research has it that young children master language and speaking skills better than adults. Young pupils' minds are still malleable. They learn and internalize information quicker than adults. According to research anything can be taught to children as long as the subject matter is watered down to their level - children learn through play hence they need a lot of learning aids to master the art of speaking.
Using learning and teaching aids,the teacher can introduce new skills and concepts to them with success and they can assimilate easily what they are taught. It is believed that, if children can master the art of speaking well they need to be introduced to the world of story telling early, they also need to be introduced to name the letters of the alphabet early, by naming the letters of the alphabet children will be 'oiling' their speaking skills. By telling short stories before they go to bed a culture of qualitative speaking would be developing among these little adults. Those who are gifted in sayings, always say, the early bird catches the fattest worm. Children deserve to grasp the bolts and nuts of how to communicate eloquently earlier in life - indeed a stitch in time saves nine.
Children may develop logical speaking skills through brainstorming a variety of techniques and activities.Employing dialogues is a tried and tested method,using real telephones. We speak daily so children should be encouraged to say full sentences on a daily basis. If possible a mother and child or a teacher and child should have an uninterrupted dialogue for say five minutes daily. This would boost the confidence of pupils to speak in public. Engaging children in dialogue would enable them to respond to asked questions precisely and at the sametime improving their speaking and listening skills.Quiz questions may also be used to stimulate the child into speaking. Children must be groomed to like to speak in public through involvement drama clubs and debates at school.
Role play in a classroom situation helps to improve speaking skills.Role play can make pupils discard the traits of being introverts and start being out spoken.Role play would boost confidence in pupils, with adequate and regular practice they would not feel shy, afraid and panic to speak to an audience.Stage fright is likely to vanish in thin air if pupils are nurtured to speak in public. If pupils are taught how to face audience, use gestures and facial expressions in their speaking, green shoots of qualitative speaking skills are likely to sprout and flourish.
Reciting poetry in class goes a long way in improving oratory skills.The more they recite poems to an audience the more they harness speaking skills and in the end they become refined and confident young students.Observing how news readers on television pronounce their words is a recipe for developing speaking skills in children.The more they see effective news readers, the more they are inspired and motivated, the more their speaking skills and confidence are likely to unfold.Let alone the idea that these young students would aspire to become journalists and news readers when they grow up.
Children may be encouraged to pass messages to the next person by whispering the message in the ear of the next pupil.Here is the example of a message which can be passed on to each member in the class: I want tea and biscuits.The last person to receive the whispered message would have to say it aloud, so that every pupil will hear it.If the original message is not distorted then hooray! These pupils would have displayed and acquired good speaking skills during that exercise and at the same time acquiring qualitative listening skills.
The teacher should kick start a story telling lesson by telling a story using gestures and variations of the voice. Using gestures in story telling adds life to the story.Children would want to emulate their teacher's style of story telling when they are given the chance to do so.It is also important to invite an influential public speaker in the community to come and act as resource person and role model of good speaking skills at the school. Organizing a trip to the radio station or forming a Journalism Club where pupils report news to the whole school on a Monday morning can boost the speaking skills of children.
There is life in music,musical games are also a force to reckon with in improving the confidence and public speaking skills of the young comrades.The learn and play, the hands on approach caliber of musical games pave the way in nursing and nurturing effective public speakers. Reading for fluency is a tried and tested method of improving the art of speaking among the little adults.Reading newspapers and magazines aloud and in turns in small groups can also improve the speaking skills of children.
Parents can compliment the effort of teachers by testing their children's speaking skills by making them narrate stories from kids programs, films from the television and bed time stories.Children at home can also improve their speaking skills by being DJs at birthday parties of their peers using a disco machine like the one accompanying this article.They can also use the karaoke machine.If they can sing the song the karaoke machine plays it is a step in the right direction in improving their speaking skills,By being DJs children would improve their speaking skills at the same time entertaining party revelers using their speaking skills and creativity.
Speaking well in public is a basic need and is a skill which needs to be identified and developed at an early stage.Failing to do so,the world would be poorer and deprived of future eloquent lawyers, news readers,charismatic politicians and actors, let alone effective poets like Dylan Thomas, the great Welsh poet.