There are a number of different aspects of speaking and listening to teach. The physical skills are just as important as the others. Making these skills really explicit and giving examples of both good and bad physical skills will help the children to consider these both when speaking and listening.
When I taught this in class I asked a child to talk about their favourite toy and the first time I didn’t listen or show I was listening – I didn’t make eye contact, I turned my back on her and I even started talking to someone else. When I asked how she felt she said not good and in role playing we were able to establish what we should do from this example. We then redid the role play and I paid attention, asked questions and looked at her when she was talking.
So what sorts of things should you encourage every time the children are speaking and listening?
- good eye contact
- face the speaker
- don’t interrupt
- do ask questions and seek clarification
You can also consider the position of the children in relation to one another. For example a circle lends itself well to these behaviours particularly when working in a small group.