The ability to communicate effectively is an important skill. Cultivating good oral communication skills takes practice and reinforcement. Thankfully, there are many ways that parents can incorporate the teaching and reinforcement of oral communication skills in everyday situations.
Have your child share about his/her day, or any topic of interest, but make sure you are facing each other, so you can focus on your child’s posture, eye contact and voice projection. Content does not always have to be a priority. You want to ingrain good foundational oral skills in your child.
Poetry is a great tool to practise delivery skills. Select a short, funny poem as ‘Poem of the Week’ for your child to practise with.
Use short sentences from well-known stories or fairy tales for your child to practise oral delivery skills. “Who ate my porridge?” (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and “I will huff, and I will puff, and I will blow your house down!” (The Three Little Pigs), for example, are great for children to practise tone, facial expressions and voice projection. Encourage your child to come up with other good sentences from his/her favourite stories.
Consistency is key! Practising good oral communication skills should not only be done close to exams, but across the board at all times. Be vigilant in correcting your child’s incorrect pronunciation and incorrect language usage. (I want go toilet vs. I would like to use the washroom.)