Communication and writing-they are two sides of the same coin. Do you agree?
Writing is penning down thoughts while communication is the ability to convey thoughts or ideas. Both are intricately linked since children are taught how to use words, language and speech with flair all through their schooling years, thus paving the way for smart communication skills. As writing automatically adheres to the rudiments of speech and reading, effective writing skills is one of the basic requirements of effective communication.
Having said that, how does communication benefit children? Communication skills to a child is like sunshine to plants! Children bloom into happy and confident individuals with strong relationships, because they learn, make friends and enjoy success by communicating with the world in a more meaningful manner. On the contrary, poor communication skills reduces their ability to process and organise information, use vocabulary, or interact socially.
By imparting strong writing techniques to children, are we indirectly boosting the communication skills in children? We may reason it out in the following ways:
Better stories equate better articulation: Sounds preposterous? Not exactly if one thinks rationally about how stories are written in the first place. In order to pen coherent stories, children compartmentalise their thoughts and plan the ‘cause and effect’ flow. Keeping imagination at the forefront, they set out the beginning, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion in a story without logical gaps. Such a parallel is distinctly seen when children with effective writing skills bracket their ideas or information as a prelude to communication so that they do not drift away from the topic on hand. As Jeff Bezos said, “when you write, you are forced to think and be more articulate.” When words on paper become fluent, they are automatically transferred into verbal communication each day. Celebrated leaders like Winston Churchill and Barack Obama, who had a gift with words, were prolific writers of books and articles, and they enthralled their audience with their inspiring speeches whenever they took the stage.
A voice to inner thoughts: What runs in your mind when you read a child’s writing about his or her innermost thoughts? Maybe, the child is trying to communicate his or her deep-seated fears, desires or opinions. This open communication enhances a child’s self-worth, a virtue that is more likely to yield better long-term life outcomes. Moreover, the innate confidence that exists in such reflections spills into conversations and positively challenges the child’s mind.
Powered up vocabulary: Vocabulary is the building blocks of language. If children patiently invest time and energy and choose impactful words and language techniques while writing, these filter into the children’s vocabulary over a course of time. Gradually, children unconsciously use them while speaking. In the same vein, any new vocabulary heard during the course of the day gets instilled in their pieces of writing.
Quick wit to the rescue: Tongue-tied for words in a high pressure situation? Quite embarrassing, especially for children with low self-esteem. There will frequently be surprising events, both in academic and personal life, that require children to think on their feet. If they struggle with poor communication skills during such situations, their confidence erodes over time so much so that they may become withdrawn and avoid social interactions. So, how do we ensure a smooth flow? Once again, writing comes to the rescue. An entire composition or article is required to be drafted in a short period of time on many occasions. The words will need to flow from the brain to the fingers — to the page — quickly. Frequent practice in speeding up the rate at which the brain processes and deals with the information smartens children during conversations in unexpected tightrope situations.
Knowledge base shored up: Is writing a stand-alone component? Often, children research on the subject topic to obtain background information or illustrate a point. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry-all kinds of genres create their own magic with unique writing styles. Children learn more about the world with each genre of writing. All these learnings keep snowballing into an important knowledge database. Anytime, the children may dip into this database to gather information for engaging in diverse and interesting communication. During conversations, such children stand out because they share unique perspectives about different topics and relate to others on a great number of levels. Consequently, they never feel left out of conversations!
Life’s ‘must-have’ preparatory skill: Don’t you agree that children, right from formative years, are being equipped to carve out successful careers looking forward? Irrespective of career choice, an effective communicator is valued the most in a workplace. Where does writing feature in this? What starts off as writing during academic pursuits like assignments, tests, worksheets, and compositions slowly escalate into something more mature like writing business emails and workplace presentations. All the finest qualities like articulation, confidence, quick wit, vocabulary, and reservoir of knowledge derived from effective writing skills offer a toolbox of strategies to excel professionally.
At Write Edge, teachers groom children to absorb useful writing techniques that fill up both the language and communication gaps to give them the much-needed advantage on many fronts- emotional, behavioural and education.
If you wish to find out more about the Creative Writing programmes at Write Edge, parents can reach out to us to arrange a trial class to find out more.