Connector March 2024

CONNECTOR.AE 46 CONNECTOR.AE 47 Kids And Education Kids And Education Every teacher has their own methods for teaching communication skills to students. However, interactive elements such as group discussions, icebreaker activities, and dramatic exercises can enhance the development of strong communication skills among students. Commenting on this and highlighting his methods, Andrew Stenhouse, Assistant Head of Primary, The English College Dubai says, “In my classroom, I employ engaging strategies to foster effective communication skills among students with daily assessment to track their progress in this essential area. Upon students’ initial introduction, I initiate icebreaker activities such as bingo, encouraging them to discover each other’s interests and talents. Through these games, students bond and acquire new information about their peers, laying the foundation for meaningful connections. Subsequently, I integrate daily practices such as ‘think-pair-share’, encouraging students to articulate and expand their ideas collaboratively, thereby honing their communication skills through active participation.” their peers and educators. As the renowned British educator Sir Ken Robinson once said, “Communication is at the heart of human interaction. The ability to convey a message, to inform, to persuade, and to connect with others is a fundamental skill that underpins academic success and personal development.” This quote underscores the vital role that effective communication plays in shaping students’ educational journeys and overall well-being.” Improves Performance In School When children learn how to communicate effectively, they gain the ability to ask questions and interact with their teachers one-on-one, clarifying doubts and ensuring clear understanding of concepts. Good communication skills also help students to evaluate, understand, and discuss subjects openly with their peers. This combination improves school performance because the child no longer feels doubtful or confused. Helps Students Build Good Leadership Quality A great leader is not only a good orator but also possesses strong communication skills. In real life, beyond school, leadership skills are tested in various tasks. While delegating tasks during challenging situations is vital, a genuine leader relies on good communication. They solve problems through effective communication and remain approachable in tough times. Therefore, mastering communication boosts confidence in handling leadership roles in the future. How To Help Students With Communication In School Talking about enhancing communication proficiency, Andrew Stenhouse, Assistant Head of Primary, The English College Dubai, adds, “To further enhance communication proficiency, I incorporate dramatic activities and group projects into the curriculum. Additionally, collaborative endeavours such as designing Formula 1 cars, conducting scientific experiments, and architectural challenges like constructing the tallest Burj Khalifa model using marshmallows and spaghetti foster effective communication within groups. As a vigilant educator, I continuously monitor student interactions, providing guidance and modelling effective communication practices.” Sharing the importance of communication, Donna Young, Secondary Psychology teacher and Career Advisor, at Horizon International School, says: “Communication skills are the cornerstone of education. By providing clear guidance and diverse practice opportunities, fostering meta cognition through reflection, and offering meaningful feedback in a supportive environment, we empower students to become effective communicators. It also helps students speak and listen better to others. Besides this, encouraging wider reading, educational visits, work experience, and student-led activities further enrich their journey, fostering self-regulation, social interaction, and a broader worldview.” Sharing her key strategies, Rachel Smith, Phase Leader, Bloom World Academy, adds, “Strategies used in the junior school include using the rhyme ‘eye-to-eye, kneeto-knee, I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me’. Students focus on key elements of nonverbal communication, such as eye-contact and listening while a partner is asked to effectively communicate and elaborate on their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. This is also used to explore barrier games such as spot the difference. Students question one another based on a visual image to ascertain differences in their pictures, using verbal communication. Besides this, in my grade 2 class, students often take on the role of teacher during our enquiry cycle. Individual students may go further with their learning and then use this as a basis to tune in or give further input in our next lesson. This encourages students to effectively communicate their learning and explain their understandings to scaffold their peers.” In summary, strong communication skills benefit children not only during their school years but also in making decisions after school. These skills enable them to make informed choices and prepare them for handling the complexities of the real world. Therefore, it’s vital to teach and encourage kids to develop their communication skills in school.