Magazine article NATE Classroom

Editorial

Magazine article NATE Classroom

Editorial

Article excerpt

The third issue of Classroom and so the over-arching theme is EN3: Speaking & Listening. We know how powerful these skills are--how they are crucial to learning and development--and the vast majority of activities which go on throughout the school day in every part of the curriculum are relevant to the practice of speaking and listening. Standards reached in both skills, however, are no more likely to be celebrated than those for reading or writing and assessment is still as tricky as ever.

Are you better at speaking or at listening? I was taught at school to listen but definitely not taught to speak and perhaps that's why it is the English skill which has always caused me most anxiety. Now that I am not in a classroom every day, often working in relative isolation with emails as the main method of communication with the outside world, I worry about 'losing my voice'. I feel a need to practise more in order to keep up a measure of confidence and fluency and so can certainly empathise with those students who, when put 'on the spot' in front of even a small audience rather than just chatting to friends, find the whole exercise incredibly stressful and threatening in a much more personal way than reading or writing.

Clearly, in class as well as at home, children need to find their own voices as soon as possible, to gain confidence, to realise that others will listen to them with interest and that they should also listen in turn. …

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