Treat others as you would like to be treated.

That’s what my Mum instilled in me from a young age and what I have instilled in my children.

A great way to do this is by showing kindness. Thinking about others with this in mind and stopping to think about whether they are ok or maybe not and perhaps they’d like a friend to talk to or just to lean on. 😊

Social and Emotional element of the Oracy framework

Consider the impact the listener has on the speaker. If you are bored and disinterested the speaker will loose confidence. Remember the role play I talked about in the post about the physical skills? This element goes hand in hand with that.

Some things to consider when listening are smiling, nodding and offering words of encouragement.

How are you feeling?

Feelings are tricky to understand as adults so you can imagine for a child they can seem pretty scary at times – particularly if you dont have the language to express how you feel.

Talking about feelings and reading stories that discuss feelings can be a great thing to do from a young age. 

We all look after our bodies and take care that we feed it the right things and if it is hurt we see a doctor to fix it. 

What about our minds? 

These are equally as important and need looking after. Doing things like walking, meeting with friends, drawing, reading, listening to music can all help us keep our mi ds healthy. When they are not we need to seek help.

Check out the poster below which gives you some ideas to help you nurture your child’s mental health.

What will you be?

Thinking of others?

I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of looking in from the outside and making a judgement about another person without having all the facts.

Let’s take a look at George who perhaps shouts at everyone and people looking on think he’s rude and a problem. Then let’s dig deeper… George has learning difficulties and finds everything a struggle, he doesn’t understand social situations and he finds his school work a constant source of frustration. 

It is human nature to behave according to how we feel. Many of us will understand being frustrated due to not being able to do something.

The fact is we encounter people every day in our lives and we don’t know what they are going through or what has happened to them. We don’t know of their struggles. 

We should remember to be kind as there is usually a reason for ‘acting out’. A friendly smile for George’s Mum rather than a scowl may be enough to help her through another difficult day. 😊

Better Listeners

It is important to explicitly teach skills of listening but equally important is providing opportunities to reflect and evaluate on how well they listen.

The Listening Ladder as described by Stott and Gaunt (2019) gives a guide as to specific areas to work on:

  • Giving 100% of their focus to the person speaking
  • Being calm and still
  • Giving eye contact to the speaker
  • Offering nods or short words of encouragement
  • Reacting and refocusing
  • Asking questions to clarify understanding
  • Asking questions that dig deeper
  • Summarizing the speaker’s ideas

Transform Teaching and Learning Through Talk (Stott, Gaunt 2019)

The idea of the Listening Ladder is that you work on one area at a time before you move onto the next. Give it a go!