How can I encourage my child to speak in front of his class?

The key is to provide your child with plenty of opportunities to communicate in a variety of contexts. Start with relatively “low-pressure” experiences like ordering food at a restaurant or asking for help locating a specific item in a store. Gradually, introduce more performance-based opportunities like reading aloud to a family member or reciting a favorite poem at the dinner table. As your child builds confidence with continued practice, encourage him to make eye-contact and maintain a reasonable pace and volume. Eventually, you can fold in opportunities that more closely reflect experiences he may encounter in the classroom such as giving an oral book report or participating in a science fair presentation.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

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