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.

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. That’s not a typo. She … Continue reading

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What the Oscars can tell us about speaking

Are you going to watch the Oscars this year? In the Before Times,  I attended an Oscar party. As the guests came into the party, we were given an Oscar “ballot.”  Each of us marked off our predicted winner for … Continue reading

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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! Educational conferences have themes such as “Raising Student Voice” (NCTE) and “Speak Up! Finding and Using … Continue reading

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“Fake News” is frightening…but not the way you think it is

Millions of Americans do not believe Joe Biden was elected president. Every election until now reported results and every citizen accepted that those results were accurate. How did we get to a point where millions of us do not believe … Continue reading

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Give Students a Digital Voice First

You want students to speak to the class. Maybe students are reciting poetry or participating in a mock trial or presenting their research reports or giving a book talk or making a podcast. Every teacher has speaking activities. I’ve written … Continue reading

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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

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Listen to the Rough Draft of the Speech. Yes, LISTEN…

Do you ever ask to hear the rough draft? Yes, you read that correctly. I want to hear my students’ rough drafts. Every day, students are speaking in class. Often, teachers assign some talks with higher stakes than the daily … Continue reading

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Don’t hit record! Don’t turn on the Zoom mic! Don’t Flipgrid! First…

Fourth graders are learning about the Reconstruction. The teacher wants to test out his new green screen tools. He has students speak and posts the video on YouTube. A huge problem: he is so focused on the tech tool that … Continue reading

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Fake Quotes: A lesson in how easily we can be duped

We all see the news: trolls are posting fake stories. We all think, “That’s terrible!” We worry that our students will be duped. Why do these falsehoods spread? Why do fake posts work? The answer to that can be found … Continue reading

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Evaluating Speaking

Look around your building. You will see students speaking, sometimes informally, sometimes formally. Sometimes teachers grade those speaking assignments. Now look closely at the rubrics and score sheets that are being used. Each one is unique. No two teachers have … Continue reading

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