Developing Children’s Oral Competency At Private Schools In Shanghai

While there is a lot of evolving educational debate on the subject of oracy and what it means, essentially it’s the ability to communicate effectively in any number of oral formats. To put it even more simply: if you have good oracy skills then you’re a good talker and a good listener. With oracy, you can communicate effectively in casual conversations, formal debates, speeches, theatrical performances – any situation that requires the verbal articulation of ideas. This can be achieved through a varied curriculum in both state schools and private schools in Shanghai.

It’s the versatility of this skill that makes it so essential for children to learn as early on as possible. Oracy is entirely relevant to every child, regardless of their academic ability or intended career path. Whether they are interviewing for a job, presenting ideas to their colleagues, leading a team, giving an important speech, they are going to need oracy.

What is being done to build oracy in the Prep School at Wellington College?

The purpose of Prep School in Wellington College, a private international school in Shanghai, is to literally prepare pupils for Senior School and everything beyond that. Oracy is one of the essential life skills that is needed to successfully overcome some of the challenges encountered in future academic years and adult lives.

Developing Children’s Oral Competency At Private Schools In Shanghai

Starting with the fundamentals, Wellington equips pupils with the ability to navigate any conversation fluidly and respectfully. During their time attending this private school in Shanghai, pupils are taught to understand social cues and responses, to mirror body language and use facial expressions and physical gestures to reinforce their points. They learn to practise active listening, to listen respectfully and wait their turn to respond, and many other facets necessary for achieving solid oracy skills.

Developing Children’s Oral Competency At Private Schools In Shanghai

How can parents help develop oracy at home?

While this might seem over simplistic, all you have to do is talk. Simply by engaging children in conversation and showing genuine interest, broadens their opportunities to practice their abilities around speaking, listening, analyzing body language, interpreting social cues and establishing meaningful dialogue.

Developing Children’s Oral Competency At Private Schools In Shanghai

In any and every conversation, remember that the goal in terms of building oracy is to let children know that their thoughts and opinions are being heard, understood and valued. Let them share what’s on their mind, let them see that their words have made an impact, they will want to share again and again.

Some of this might seem a little bit forced or unnatural at first, but the idea is to make the child think more deliberately about how they are engaging in the conversation, as well as the elements that make it run smoothly and in a way that is enjoyable for everyone involved in it. Parent workshops are offered at Wellington College, a British international private school in Shanghai to give parents useful guidance on this.

Equally importantly, parents can experiment in these home discussions; try different techniques to see what leads to the best conversations. The idea is to make family chats as relaxed and enjoyable as possible, so that children are eager to share and to practise expressing themselves. It should not feel like homework. All that matters are that everyone engages in the conversation in a genuine and open manner.

As most every private school in Shanghai is doing, parents are encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback on their child’s progress with the school and teachers. Together with parents’ support, children can flourish in developing oracy.

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City: Shanghai
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