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Educator, Parent, Chief Education Officer

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Thank you for your informative article. Your focus on formal and informal communication is important as students are "losing" both types of skills. Sherry Turkle does an excellent job of explaining why we need to focus on and teach conversation. Here is her TEDTalk - Connected, but alone?
http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together.html as well as her article in the NY Times called "The Flight from Conversation" It also provides good insight into the problem. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-convers...
The real challenge (and required in the CCSS) is doing all of this in a virtual, collaborative environment.

Author, speaker, educator

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Thanks for your comments Marti, Melanie & Debra. I can especially see how giving extra points for conversation starters would reinforce its importance. While I wish rich, respectful use of language was sufficiently embedded in our culture to make grading it unnecessary, attaching a grade often highlights the importance of developing or refining a skill for many students. I

High school English teacher from Lexington, Ohio

Totally agree! Yesterday my

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Totally agree! Yesterday my co-teacher and I showed our sophomore English students a video on the Socratic seminar strategy from teachingchannel.org. Students first take notes on their claim/counterclaim for a statement based on our literature selection, the novel Ender's Game. When they are engaged in the conversation, we give them extra points for using conversation starters such as "I respectfully disagree, but..." or "The way I see it, ....." and so on. Since speaking/listening is a key standard in the common core, teaching the art of conversation is actually part of our curriculum. THE WAY I SEE IT, these conversations will lead to stronger, more evidence-based pieces of writing!

I agree in the importance of

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I agree in the importance of teaching communication skills. Thanks for sharing these tips. One thing I have found that works with my Grade 9 students is to specifically teach how to give feedback and express your opinion in a meaningful and appropriate manner. Our students have some amazing insights, but lack the emotional maturity or vocabulary to express themselves in a way that gives their voice power.

Executive Director, Founder of Arts & Learning Conservatory

Thanks for this post It is

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Thanks for this post
It is Very important post..nowadays for students to not know how to have a conversation,they are not better speakers and listeners.But after reading and following the ideas creates very good effect to become a good speaker as well as good listeners.we have to guide our students how to make better conversation.what are the important points behind this to make our conversation effective. making eye contact,presence of mind,ask open ended question ,Turn taking etc are the important points as taken care of it in our centres as well,

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