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.

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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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

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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! I’ve seen educational conferences with themes such as “Raising Student Voice” (NCTE) and “Speak Up! Finding … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Listen to the Rough Draft of the Talk. 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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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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“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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Speaking Well Does Not Mean Speaking White

I didn’t think I would have to clarify that. But I had an interesting experience over a tweet I wrote. My tweet: An irate response to that tweet: “How dare you tell students that you must speak a certain way! … Continue reading

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