What can parents do to help children improve in Speaking, Oracy and Communication?
• Encourage your child to talk to you and others in your family about challenging topics. Use items in the news, on television or from their reading to talk about controversial issues. Encourage them to think about other ways of looking at things and consider other viewpoints.
• When your child has a Speaking and Listening assessment encourage them to prepare thoroughly and practice what they want to say. If they are confident enough they could practice in front of you as an audience.
• Encourage them to think about how they speak in different situations and to use an appropriate language in assessed situations. They should practice speaking in a more formal tone without using slang, ‘like’ or too many ‘ers’ and ‘ums’.
• Talk to your children whenever you can! It’s true that in busy households it’s becoming more and more difficult for families to spend quality time talking in a reflective way about what everyone’s been doing. Mealtimes can often be the best time for families to get together like this.
• Help your children to develop their vocabulary by suggesting better words they might have used in your conversations, in a constructive and friendly way!
• Encourage them to take part in activities that involve presenting to an audience, such as a school assembly, parents’ evening, at a place of worship or community centre.
• Discuss topical subjects of concern with them, for example, health issues such as diet, drugs and alcohol.
Encourage them to take part in social activities to broaden their experience of using talk, for example, drama groups, making and performing music with others, and taking part in voluntary or community work.