Speaking well in front of an audience, being able to present ideas clearly and fluently is an important key to success, not only academically, but also in one´s personal and professional life. These are not innate skills, but rather something which we have to learn. At the British Council School, we understand this. That´s why our students practice these from their time in Infants and Primary, taking part in Choral Speaking competitions, and in Secondary, at our Declamation days. This week, we have been able to see some of the progress in confidence and stage presence at the KS5 Declamation y the KS2 Choral Speaking.
Developing good speaking skills is one of the biggest differences between the English and Spanish curriculums. We believe that it is, in fact, a basic skill and one of the most important subjects at our School.
As well as the obvious benefits of speaking well in front of an audience, it has also been proven that such social skills benefit students´ own self esteem and self-confidence. From the age of five, children at School start to take part in «choral speaking», by learning how to tell stories in a group. From the ages of eleven to fourteen, they learn how to defend a topic, for two minutes, in a formal setting, in front of an audience. And from the age of fifteen onwards, they take part in formal debates, as if they were professional polititians.
To debate effectively, students have to learn how to take the stage, modulate their voice and tone to get the desired effect, emphasize important words, control their hand movements, gestures and facial expressions, wait their turn, use silences, listen to their adversaries, take mental note of specific points, and defend their own arguments...etc. They learn all this in class, before then putting it into practice.
Congratulations to all our students for exciting us and for convincing us of the power of Oratory!!!