Teaching Oral Communication Skills in the K-8 Classroom
This course is occasionally offered in Summer Session
Dates and Times for this class: Not currently scheduled for 2012
Credits/Clock hours available
Many children and adults fear speaking in public. Teaching students at a young age how to speak with skill, enthusiasm and confidence will not only serve to meet the WA state EALR in communication, but will give children the foundation of a vital life-long skill. This workshop will cover specific teaching methods for giving children the tools they need to develop effective oral and physical communication skills, and reduce communication apprehension, through storytelling, reader's theatre, oral interpretation of literature, and public speaking.
Oral Communication skills learning is a vital component of the WA state Arts and Communication EALRs. However, the majority of communication teaching in k-8 schools is focused on interpersonal, written and media communication rather than public presentation skills. There has been a reduction in the teaching of oral communication skills in recent years due to a greater emphasis on subjects more strongly included in standardized testing. Teachers also attribute this reduction (along with larger class sizes and less time) to an inadequate understanding of how to teach specific oral and physical delivery skills and a certain sense of inadequacy in terms of their own public communication effectiveness. This course will increase teachers’ understanding of the importance of early communication skills learning and will inspire them to employ more specific and effective techniques in teaching these skills.
Studies indicate that children who learn the art of public communication at an early age, with specific skills comprehended, are less likely to suffer from communication apprehension and continue to be more confident in their speaking in subsequent years. Currently most “public speaking” instruction is given in secondary and higher education settings, yet the most effective time for students to learn oral communication skills is during the elementary education years.
Topics covered in course:
- Psychology of communication apprehension in child development, and benefits of early oral skills learning.
- Justification for oral communication activities and creative drama as meeting educational requirements and supporting learning across the curriculum.
- Methods of teaching oral and physical delivery skills to differing age levels.
- Specific and varied activities in speaking and creative drama and be used to help children learn, practice and improve communication skills:
- Theatre Games
- Reader’s Theatre
- Oral Interpretation of literature
- Public Speaking
Goals or learner outcomes:
- to recognize the roots, causes and psychology of communication apprehension in children (and, subsequently, adults).
- to learn techniques to reduce communication apprehension in children while giving them the tools to develop effective oral communication skills.
- to appreciate the differences and connections between oral communication and written communication skills learning and the necessity of both to meet the state’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs).
- to develop the leadership and role modeling skills to effectively draw out the best in children by using a variety of oral communication activities in their own classrooms.
- to leave the workshop with a plan of action and specific tools to include more oral communication activities in their classroom teaching.
For registration information and details on other summer courses offered by Woodring College of Education, please go to the webpage of the Professional Development Resource Center.