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.

Don’t hit record yet!

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

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Remember How Important You Are

When teachers at Mission Viejo Elementary School came back from summer break, I was there. They wanted me to present on the morning of the first day. I have worked with hundreds of schools and districts across North America, and … Continue reading

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Four Ways to Prepare Students for the Future

To make students’ futures better, we need to consider what skills they will need—and teach them. If we really want to prepare students for life beyond school, we could begin by asking ourselves what pieces of our own education we are using now as … 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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Teaching Speaking, the Forgotten Language Art

Nobody exactly knows. This is what I find out when I ask teachers, “What are the skills involved in effective oral communication?” I mean, we all have some ideas, but no one knows for sure what is really involved. It’s an … 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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Blame the messenger

Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash You have heard the phrase before. Someone brings you some bad news, and, as you begin to get upset, he says, “Hey, don’t blame the messenger!” In a school I worked at, our team … Continue reading

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