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You can teach your child to communicate

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd April 2001 03:00 AM

DO you know why when you ask around for a volunteer to read or talk in front of people, you get poor response? This is usually common in classroom situations.

DO you know why when you ask around for a volunteer to read or talk in front of people, you get poor response? This is usually common in classroom situations. Usually by the time children reach Senior One, they have lost their enthusiasm in public speaking and hardly practice the art. What usually happens is that a few assertive children soon become the voice of any group in the classroom they are part of. Consequently their public speaking skills get established. All the others with potential to be much more charismatic and articulate lag behind and the skill is not developed. That is why it is important that as parents, we keep an eye on what is happening to our children. Even if your children are the quiet type, it is essential that you empower them with communication skills. This will help them to share their ideas and knowledge in large and small groups. It also helps the children to be able to speak their mind and take part in classroom and general debate. Following are some of the tips you can give your children: l Public speaking is an art that can be learned and practised regularly. Make it fun. As your children grow older, encourage them to join clubs such as drama and debating clubs which give children opportunities to speak in front of others. l A confident presenter prepares first. Confident people take great care to "think before speaking" and always do as much preparation as possible. Do not leave adequate preparation to teachers alone. Set aside time to encourage your children to: l Think seriously and creatively about their subject of their presentation or debate. l Consider needs and interests of their audience. l Make very clear concise and easy-to-read notes or visual aids. l Practise how to make a presentation in order to gain confidence. If it is a play they reading lines for, be their first audience. Encourage them to recite their lines to you. After mastering their lines, encourage them to act them out. This will make acting better and easier. l It is more interesting to listen to speakers who smile and look relaxed. An interesting speaker also uses a strong, lively tone rather than a flat monotonous one. l When speaking publicly, encourage eye contact with the audience. This means that the speaker cares about the audience. l Train them to start and finish on a positive note. The writer is a lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo (ITEK). Ends

You can teach your child to communicate

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