Conversation

Parents, as your child is completing assignments, try to incorporate time and ways for your child to talk about what they are learning. When we are able to summarize information in our own words and are able to talk about a subject, it helps us process the information and learn it on a deeper level.

Here are some tips and ideas for incorporating more speaking and listening across the day.

Tips

  • Connect your child with a variety of people with whom to speak (i.e., family members, friends, children of other families, etc.). This helps children learn different styles and essential discussion skills.

  • Leverage technology when possible. Any device or program that allows children to record their own voices or listen to someone else speaking is a good tool to use during this time.

  • Truly talk with your child. Ask them questions that require more than a single word answer. When your child responds, make a follow-up statement. Now is a great time to reconnect with one another!

Ideas

Elementary Children Could:

  • Record themselves reading a story by using a computer, tablet, or phone. This could be a video or even just a voice recording. This will help them practice their fluency. They (and you) can even play it back later to identify any “bumps” they had.

  • Engage in virtual buddy reading! Children can connect with someone else through the phone or through video conference and read a decided-upon book together.

  • Listen to read alouds online.

  • Speak to family members (through the phone, video conference, or in-person) about what they are learning.

Middle and High School Children Could:

  • Connect with their classmates/friends at certain points in the day. They can connect in the morning to share their plan for what they are working on, and then connect again at the end of the day to share whether they met their goals and any interesting things they learned.

  • Set up book club meetings with a small group of their peers. They can set up a schedule to read a certain portion of the book and then meet (e.g., daily, 1-2 times a week, etc.) to discuss. Book club meetings are a great way to build upon others’ ideas, hear different perspectives, and engage in higher-order thinking!

  • Speak to family members (through the phone, video conference, or in-person) about what they are learning.

  • If learning a world language:

    • Connect with native speakers who may be able to engage in short conversations with you to practice your skills!

    • Record themselves speaking in the language. Children can listen to themselves and record it multiple times until their fluency, accuracy, and accent are precise! It’s a great way to track and hear their growth in speaking! They can use their phone or a website like Flipgrid if they want to share their recordings with others.

    • Listen to podcasts to practice their listening and comprehension skills. For example, News in Slow French will have them practicing their language skills and also staying up-to-date about current events! Children can then converse in the target language with their friends about what they listened to!