Once children learn how to speak, it's important to develop speaking and listening skills by engaging them in active conversation. Try to engage young children in back and forth conversations with at least five cycles. Ensure children are expounding upon topics and if they are asking multiple questions, answer them in order to keep the conversation flowing. Teach children that all conversations should involve a two-way flow, with one person speaking and the other person listening. Children must take turns in conversation and never speak over another. Volume control is also important and children must develop patience, manners and self-control when engaging in conversation.
|Photo Credit: Freepik|
As homeschooling parents, we have the advantage of being our child's primary teacher. We must ensure our children listen and respect us as well as show the same courtesy to others. Children must be taught to listen to others. They should have the ability to speak comfortably with other people as well. While many people teach children not to speak to strangers, children should feel comfortable in their own speaking skills to speak comfortably to unfamiliar people in appropriate situations.
Children should also have the ability to maintain a conversation by keeping the topic flowing. Children should learn how to ask questions, exchange information, present facts and verbally express their emotions Just as children should feel comfortable speaking, they should have confidence to begin, continue and end conversations. Conversations tend to change direction and children should learn how to stay on topic in a conversation, as well as know how to handle a conversation that has changed topics. Children should feel comfortable politely interjecting in currently established conversations as well.
Previous generations may have taught that children should be seen and not heard, but this is not sage advice. Children should speak freely and feel comfortable in the family environment that they will not be shut down when expressing their feelings. Instead of demanding children to remain silent, teach them to think before they speak. Children should not feel rushed to speak or behave in a verbally impulsive manner. They should know that there is nothing wrong with taking your time to properly express your feelings. If children become confused by a conversation, they shouldn't feel pressured into a response, but feel confident that they can calmly express their concerns, comments or questions.
The following videos are designed for those learning English as a second language. They are a good demonstration of proper conversation, engaging in back and forth dialogue and show the importance of displaying verbal manners in society. It isn't enough for children to understand how to particiapte in a conversation through speaking, but they must also demonstrate active listening skills.
Teach children to acknowledge what other people are saying by parroting back a portion of their statement or queestion, maintaining eye contact and showing that they are listening by either verbally agreeing or making a polite remark or nodding their head in agreement. Likewise, when we as adults engage in conversation with children, we should use facial gestures and comments to let them know we are listening.
Speaking and Listening Videos For The Young And Old
Speaking and Listening Resources for Parents, Teachers and Child-Care Givers
- Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers, and Child-Care and Family Providers
- Can Your Follow Directions? Game for young children to teach them how to follow directions.
- Conversations and Social Skills for Children
- Tips for Teachers: Engaging Children in Conversation
- Tips for Day Care Workers and Child-Care Givers To Engage Children from Birth to Five-Years-Old in Conversation