Author Archives: Erik Palmer

About Erik Palmer

The #1 language art is speaking. By far. I'm committed to promoting the teaching of oral communication in all of its forms.

100 English Teachers Walk Into a Bar

Originally published in California English          One hundred English teachers walk into a bar. One by one, the bartender asks them why they became English teachers. The first one says, “I love poetry! I write poetry and … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | 2 Comments

Essays Muttered Aloud!

The annual convention of the largest association of English teachers in America. The president of the organization addresses the thousands in attendance. A keynote address? Not exactly. More like reading an essay at the audience. Listen to a piece of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teaching Speaking, the Forgotten Language Art

What are the skills involved in effective oral communication? Nobody exactly knows. This is what I find out when I ask teachers the question. We all have some ideas, but no one knows for sure what is really involved. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | Leave a comment

Give Students a Digital Voice First

You want students to speak to the class. Maybe they are sharing What I Did This Summer or About Me presentations to start the new year. Later, students will be reciting poetry or participating in a mock trial or presenting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can Numbers Be Biased?

We love statistics. Specifically, we love raw number statistics: number of students proficient or advanced, number of babies named Emma, number of hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes, and more. We also love percentage statistics: grades; batting averages in baseball, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Student Voice! You don’t have it if you don’t speak well.

voice The sound produced in a person’s larynx and uttered through the mouth, as speech or song. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/voice Student voice. What a hot topic! I’ve seen educational conferences with themes such as “Raising Student Voice” (NCTE) and “Speak Up! Finding … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | Leave a comment

But what about the introverts?

I get this question a lot when I do workshops. In my presentations, I point out that speaking well will benefit all students for their entire lives; I share a framework that makes the complex art of oral communication simple … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | 1 Comment

Never make a slide like this.

I show people how to be more effective oral communicators. Part of that job is to make the complex simple. What does it take to deliver a talk well? What are the essential skills? How can those skills be condensed … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | 2 Comments

Shortchanging Speaking

A student turns in this paper: many people think that we should not have ginetticly modifyed foods we could be having health problems in the future if we eat them, Some studys say that they cause cancer. we should pass … Continue reading

Posted in Speaking | 2 Comments

Instead of an essay

“What does democracy mean to you?” That was the writing prompt I gave to my class. I was expecting a three-paragraph essay about the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens. Ryan asked if he could make a video. Of course, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment