Wednesday 28 September 2011 was designated UK No Pens Day, in an event run by the Communication Trust’s ‘year of communication’, known as the Hello Campaign.
They anticipated a quarter of a million students would set aside their usual writing equipment and take up podcasting, debating, vocabulary and maths games, all to raise awareness of the importance of spoken language.
Jean Gross, the Communication Champion for Children (appointed by the government) said that insufficient talk goes on in British classrooms. She didn’t mean the cheeky or disruptive kind; many teachers would say there was quite enough of that.
Some evidence suggests that that the average length of a pupil’s response to a teacher’s question is just four words! Many children have little or no conversation in a day with one or more adults.
Some children have speech/language, understanding and expressive difficulties, but the decline in verbal communication should concern us all. Personal communication is what keeps humanity worth living. So, talk to several people today face to face, not through electronic media, but human to human.
Talk to your children for more than just a few seconds today.
Talk to somebody else’s children?…. well, better be careful on that one!
Photo: Patsy Lynch