Helping Children Communicate in the Digital Age
If you had met Varun two years ago, you would have been delighted to make the acquaintance of this sociable, enthusiastic, articulate 12-Year old. He blossomed in one of the premier schools in the city, under the guidance of his caring teachers. Like any other child, he was allowed an hour of electronic time to explore his favourite content online.
Come, December 2021, with nearly 20 months of all his learning and communication (with friends, family, classmates, teachers, community) coming from electronic platforms, Varun’s mode, means and understanding of communication has undergone a sea change with Zoom classes replacing his physical classroom.
Today, his parents have realized that skilling him to communicate effectively, both online and offline, is the essential way forward. Notwithstanding their reservations on how much “electronic time” is “safe” for him.
So what does communication mean to parents and children in an era of virtual connections?
From celebrations and online classes to webinars and more – the world is learning to communicate on digital platforms. With screens replacing school books and online classrooms becoming the only mode of learning, children have learnt to rapidly adapt and adopt the new normal. So how do parents bring a balance between physical and virtual communication? Parents need to ensure that their child does not lose touch with the critical aspects of human communication.
A few suggestions for parents to help your child communicate effectively in the digital age:
1. Use of positive body language like maintaining comfortable eye contact and open body language, the warmth of a smile, a pleasant greeting, understanding non-verbal cues and appropriate use of hands to express themselves better.
2. Voice Projection, Facial Expressions, Tone and Pitch are critical elements of communication that can be used to express an emotion in different situations. A skilled communication skills trainer can help students understand the subtle differences and provide invaluable classroom exposure.
3. While today’s children are digital natives, they may not necessarily be aware of the positive and the negative forms of digital communication. From virtual friends, and gaming apps to ads with inappropriate content, monitoring screen time to ensure your child is safe in this digital communication age, is a must.
4. Children observe and emulate – and parents will always be role models. So being highly aware of your physical and digital communication, will act as a guiding light.
5. Listening skills become even more important in the current scenario, when online fatigue sets in and communication tends to become impatient and hurried. Helping your child develop good listening skills will help build her/his overall communication skills.
6. Building your child’s confidence is another critical skill set in the 21st century. Children should learn and master the art of Confident Communication – where they learn to Convey, Convince, and Concur in order to connect better with others. You can hone this skill through diligent guidance. A reputed and established communication skills institute can also help provide the much needed interactions with a skilled trainer as well as other students.
Maintaining conversation flow, engaging in meaningful debate and dialogue, employing the nuances of body language, exuding confidence and clarity, and above all expressing empathy and grace are all skills that a student can equip themselves with, as they prepare to excel in a world where communication is more important than ever before.
It is said that 7% percent of meaning is communicated through the spoken word, 38 percent through tone of voice, and 55 percent through body language. Students across the globe are choosing to take courses in Public Speaking and Communication to help them master the skill of Effective and confident Communication.
From getting your family to agree to your choice of restaurant, convincing classmates and colleagues to work on a project with you, confident and assertive body language empowers verbal communication and brings others around to your point of view, teaching valuable leadership and negotiation skills.
Dealing with interpersonal conflict and other difficult conversations are useful when learnt at a young age. The ability to manage expectations is also part of verbal communication, as is providing feedback. While some communication can be managed through emails, text messages and Zoom calls, face-to-face communication helps produce excellent teamwork. Children build rapport and trust when they work together in person.
Improving verbal communication requires practice. And what you practice can be perfected. Speaking clearly and concisely, pacing your speech, and ensuring you don’t ramble or repeat yourself sends out a strong message about your personality.
In Dubai alone, several communication skills training institutes have moved to virtual classrooms and now conduct animated, energetic sessions on Elocution & Storytelling, Speech & Drama, Creative Writing skills, Public Speaking, Vocabulary Building and more for children as young as 6. Besides enhancing their communication skills children develop invaluable skills like group interaction, self-expression and creativity.
Trinity College, London Graded examinations help them develop communication skills through poetry, reading, drama, mime and performances. These classes also spark their imagination and encourage creative thinking.
For older children in the 11-16 age group, advanced communication skills gives them the communication tool box that will later help them to participate in Group Discussion and Debates, hone their Speech Writing Techniques, Ace an interview, Demonstrate Impressive Leadership Skills, Speak Impromptu to a large audience, Build Rapport and Develop Inter-Personal Skills with people across cultures and be confident, composed and convincing.
The Trinity College, London (arguably one of the world’s most renowned vocational boards) Communication Skills graded examinations for individuals are designed for candidates to develop and refine a range of transferable communication skills. Through creating and delivering talks and presentations, acquiring speech writing techniques and interacting with the examiner in tasks focused on persuasion and negotiation, candidates develop skills that can have positive impact on their education, their future careers, their relationships and ultimately their own well-being. The syllabus has been thoughtfully devised to cover a wide range of interesting communication skills.
For over 22 years Confident Communication a premier institute in the U.A.E. has helped students move from self-consciousness to self-confidence, with the guidance of passionate in-class trainers, equipped to train students in new age communication skills. We are grateful for the trust that parents place in us to guide their young wards to a confident future.
Today, at age 14, Varun has enhanced his vocabulary, voice modulation and expression to adapt to an online audience as well. His weekly sessions in Advanced Communication Skills give him an opportunity to keep practicing and evolving his skills as he prepares to take on the world with poise and self-belief, assurance, confidence and courage.
Online classroom sessions for preparation of graded examinations certified by The Trinity College of London Speech & Drama (for Age group: 6 to 10) and Communication Skills (for Age group: 11 to 16) and Writing Skills classes begin in January 2022. Click here to know more.
Importance of Graded Communication Skills Examinations
Communication Skills Trinity College, London Examinations
When we asked some of our students across grades, to tell us why they felt graded exams were important here’s what they said;
Grade 3: So, what were your main tasks for the Grade 3 exam and how did these tasks help you?
Well, overall the different interesting tasks helped me to gather my thoughts together – think deeply (carefully) about causes that matter and what concerned me. With the help of my trainer, I learnt how to make my talk interesting – I used a powerful introduction, made relevant and focused points and gave a thoughtful ending. I also learnt about precision and how to write my ideas in a logical manner.
In Task 2 I spoke about and described a place of interest I recommend. This encouraged me to think about all the different aspects that make a place interesting. I used descriptive language to bring the place alive. I spoke about Sri Lanka, my home country. My trainer helped me to use expressive vocabulary. This made the tourist destinations interesting and the cuisine of the place sound appetising. I also learnt how to sound convincing and how to persuade the listener to visit the place. It was fun getting visual aids together. I displayed the pictures on a board with some catchy captions. This helped to make my talks visually more appealing.
Task 3 – The interactions with the examination helped me to develop my conversational and inter-personal skills. I am learning to use vocal skills, voice modulation, eye contact, gesture and facial expression to
make me a more animated speaker.
Overall, I’m on my way to becoming a more confident speaker because of the Communication
Grade 4: Do you think the tasks for the Grade 4 examination will help you as a communicator – How and
Definitely – I learnt to plan a proper presentation and how to express my ideas eloquently on a personal interest and challenge. Creating a power point presentation and using visual aids enhanced the presentation.
In high school and college, I will have to give presentations and will be evaluated so the Trinity Communication Skills exams are already giving me a head-start!
In Task 2, I learnt to inspire my audience through persuasive skills to participate in an activity ‘Waste Management’ It was interesting to learn how to be convincing, give relevant points and use gestures effectively etc. My trainer’s guidance helped me in all my tasks.
I found the last task for the Grade 4 exam most useful. I could express my ideas on the value of pause, emphasis, variations in pace to make a speech more impactful.
So I am learning the value of these speech techniques and will be using them in my communication henceforth. It has been wonderful learning how to integrate verbal and non-verbal skills to become a more animated speaker.
The Grade 4 Communication Skills exam taught me to keep the audience engaged throughout and to interact confidently with the examiner.
Grade 5: How do you think they develop your confidence?
Well, I have discovered I have a voice and how to use my voice to engage my audience!
The variety of tasks in the Grade 5 syllabus kept me stimulated throughout the examination preparation.
Giving a presentation on a charity ‘The Princess Trust’ made me realise how important it is to support a cause. It adds value to our lives if we support a cause and through our confident conviction persuade others too!
Task 2 encouraged me to listen to current news stories – the different ways the news is was delivered on the radio, TV, or as a podcast and then choose one which appealed to me. With the help of my trainer I learnt the different techniques used to deliver a podcast, radio or TV broadcast.
Also learning how to handle different questions by the examiner helped me to think quickly on the spot and answer intelligently. This will be useful when I am interviewed by journalists when I become a celebrity.
The reflection task helps me to think things over carefully, answer thoughtfully with sensitivity and understanding.
Grade 6 (Advanced category of the Trinity Grade 6 examinations) – What stood out for you in the preparation of this exam?
I absolutely enjoyed preparing for this exam.
In the first task, we had to give a presentation on an idea for a business enterprise / creative endeavour or social event. This made me think about some of the greatest inventions. The Wright Brothers’ invention of the first aircraft and Steve Jobs creative Smart iPhone.
I enjoyed thinking about my own creative endeavour and worked on how to write out my speech, persuade the audience to buy my product, etc. I had to have a strong sense of audience throughout the presentation. The seeds of entrepreneurship have been sown! I
definitely learnt the value of persuasive skills.
Learning interview skills has been a great asset in Task 2 – My trainer and I had several interviews and he gave me valuable tips. These will hold me in good stead in the future whether
I apply for a part time job in the summer, college interviews or later when I am ready for my career to take off.
This third unseen task was a little intimidating in the beginning. But it has helped me to do research on well-known speeches – how different speech language techniques make a speech emotive – whether it’s the use of repetition, use of rhetorical questions, using analogy and figurative language.
I learnt the value of being spontaneous and speak with flair.
The first task in Grade 7 – got me thinking about various social issues deeply and in a more reflective manner – Whether it was child labour, women’s rights – I chose what I felt deeply about and what was close to my heart.
Under the guidance of my trainer, I researched on the topic, added my thoughts and ideas.
Putting together the presentation helped me to assimilate information and choose what was
most valid and relevant.
I learnt how to speak to an audience, include the personal element, and sustain an animated delivery. Developing a sense of audience is crucial throughout a presentation.
For the second task I had to discuss the content and delivery of an advertisement which was provided by the examiner. During these last few months I have learnt to look at advertisements in a new light! I have understood the different techniques used – verbal and visual – Why & how they are persuasive – which Ads. are sincere and genuine, which are gimmicks and manipulative.
The last task being unseen, I was encouraged by my trainer to read about relevant social or political issues. This helped me to have stimulating discussion with the examiner who gave me an overview of an advertisement – my second task.
Engaging in a discussion with the examiner helped me realise the importance of understanding
another person’s perspective and the significance of listening to, as a communication skill.
My communication journey with Confident Communication has been enriching in every way possible. Grade 8 has brought together all the Communication Skills I learnt over the years and enabled me to talk with authority and sensitivity on politics. I learnt to think quickly and express ideas spontaneously.
In Task 1, I gave a presentation on aspects of the communication process in politics. I gave a critical evaluation of communication tools used in politics. It was interesting to talk about styles of delivery, vocabulary and audio visuals used. I did my research by reading popular political speeches and watching related video clips. I enjoyed reflecting with the examiner on the range of communication skills used.
Task 2 was an unseen task. But the several scenarios I had practiced with my trainer helped me to master this task. I had to give a public address in response to a scenario – the outline for which, was provided by the examiner.
I gave a public address on ‘The Wild Life Sanctuary – The Tour’
In Task 3 I had to present an overview of a contentious issue from current affairs or social media. I chose to speak about Cancel Culture. Debating skills have helped to me reason out ideas, use persuasive skills and speak convincingly. My trainer helped me to think about two perspectives on a given issue and express my ideas concisely, coherently and convincingly.
The Trinity College, London Communication Skills exams undoubtedly introduce us to a wide range of communication skills. I have learnt to be analytical and perceptive. These exams have given me the confidence to take on different communication activities and speak with clarity and confidence – whether it is giving a public address at the podium, speaking up and speaking out in general or just interacting with a friend or acquaintance.
I am well prepared to take on
different communication activities in university, in my future career and in life
To know more about our Graded Trinity College of London Examination you can drop us a WHATSAPP on + 971 52 714 3729
Speech & Drama - Does it teach children self confidence ?
Speech and drama is an empowers young children with effective, clear communication skills that serve them through life. Through an exploration of poetry, reading aloud, drama, games, performances and improvisation, children learn to think creatively and express themselves with clarity and charisma.
It is a powerful way for children to learn the necessary building blocks for a life of effective communication. It enables them to develop self-confidence, a creative imagination, empathy, and maturity in interpersonal skills and spark their imagination