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.

Ready for the Real World

Read “Speaking Out” from Educational Leadership May 2022 issue

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Redefining Reading

[This was originally published at the HMH Shaped Blog. I am reposting it in response to the NCTE’s recent position statement which includes these lines: My wife recently rediscovered her grandmother’s copy of The Scarlet Letter. The edition was published … Continue reading

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I Hate “Public Speaking”: Why Those Words Need to Go

I want all students to become better speakers. Every time I say that I get a response like “Oh yes, public speaking is so important!” I hate that response. Let me explain. The words have a terrible connotation. “Public speaking” … Continue reading

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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

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Talk First. Write Later.

“F9. Action” That was Mason’s response to the prompt “What’s your favorite movie? Why is it your favorite?” It was part of a Getting to Know You assignment at the start of the 6th grade year. I had to look … 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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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

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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

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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

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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

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