Search form

 Book Review: Well Spoken

 Title: Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students, by Erik Palmer. Stenhouse Publishers, 2011.

Description:  Well Spoken not only offers strategies and a curriculum for teaching speaking at all grade levels, it also makes the case for why speaking should be taught. The author, Erik Palmer, who was a classroom teacher for 21 years before moving into educational consulting, argues that many schools teach writing but do very little in terms of speaking. The assumption, he explains, is that because nearly every student can speak on some level, these skills do not really need to be taught. The fallacy of that argument is obvious, as everyone understands the difference between speaking to one person and speaking to a group.

The book offers teaching strategies for all grades. Although most of the example are pulled from middle school-age kids, the teaching strategies and curriculum laid out in Well Spoken are very clear and could easily be adapted to any age level. The book thoughtfully breaks down the process of teaching speaking while explaining its real-life value.

Bottom Line: Speaking should be taught in schools, because to paraphrase Palmer, schools should be preparing kids for life, not just helping them be better at school. Well Spoken provides a thorough guide for any teacher or school interested in integrating speaking into the curriculum.

About the Author:  Erik Palmer is an educational consultant based in Denver, Colorado. Palmer received his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado. He was a classroom teacher for 21 years before becoming a consultant. His areas of specialty include improving oral communication and updating instruction to incorporate 21st-Century tools.

To Purchase: Well Spoken retails for $16 and can be purchased from Stenhouse Publishers.

Related resources

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of an interview with author Erik Palmer.

Article by Daniel B. Kline, EducationWorld Contributing Editor
Education World®             
Copyright © 2011 Education World