Did you know May is Better Speech and Hearing month? To participate, I encourage you to have Speak Week. The purpose is to support conversations by decreasing texting, emailing, instant messaging, and facebook. Instead you are encouraged to have real conversations face to face, on the phone, or via skype. You may be thinking, WHY???
There are many benefits of having “real” conversations!!! Socially, so much can be lost and misinterpreted in written messages (even with emoticons). Think about the look on someone’s face when you share something important. It’s priceless, right? Or think about the importance of the tone of voice or casual sign when on the phone with a friend. It provides you important pragmatic clues about your listener. Have you ever sent an email and had it misinterpreted or taken the wrong way? These are all common occurring breakdowns due to the lack of dimension of written conversation and ability to use all of our senses to create rich communication. Besides, face-to-face communication is an essential skill to teach our children. Think about the many conversations required as a parent or professional; 1-on-1 meetings, team meetings, conferences, parties, impromptu connections, live speeches, etc.
Speak Week also provides additional opportunities to practice other speech and language skills. For example, using targeted articulation sounds, asking appropriate questions, maintaining a topic, using fluency strategies, etc. These skills require “real” conversation to practice!
Enjoy Speak Week and connecting with friends and family!