How to Teach Your Child Conversation Skills? [At Home & School]

Developing conversation skills effectively is essential for children navigating the complexities of social interaction and communication.

In this article, we explore how to teach your child conversation skills, focusing on proven activities designed to cultivate proficiency in verbal exchange.

Importance of Developing Your Child’s Conversation Skills

Effective communication is a cornerstone of early childhood development, facilitating interaction and ensuring the fulfillment of needs.

Children progress from simple gestures to complex conversations, learning to understand and express their thoughts, emotions, and information.

Even before birth, communication skills steadily evolve, encompassing various modalities such as verbal language, sign language, and pictorial systems. As children navigate these milestones, they cultivate the foundation for successful social interactions and academic achievement.

Teach Child Conversation Skills by Applying Warming-up Exercises

Warm-up exercises help children get to know each other, build camaraderie, and ease communication barriers.

The following activities are designed to initiate interaction and establish rapport among students:

  • Name circle: Participants introduce themselves sequentially, fostering familiarity within the group and facilitating the exchange of names.
  • Name tags: Students create and wear name tags, prompting discussions about each other’s tags and initiating interactions based on personal preferences.
  • Three adjectives: Participants anonymously share descriptive adjectives about themselves, encouraging group speculation and discussion about individual characteristics.
  • Choosing pictures: Students select and discuss pictures representing their likes and dislikes, facilitating conversation and providing insight into personal preferences.
  • Groupings: Various methods are employed to divide participants into pairs or groups, fostering diverse interactions and providing new stimuli for engagement.
  • Back to back: Students pair up and engage in descriptive exchanges about each other’s appearance, fostering communication and rapport.
  • Similar and different: Pairs of students discuss similarities and differences between themselves, encouraging dialogue and understanding.

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Implementing Interview Activities

Interviews are ubiquitous forms of communication in various media and market research contexts.

In educational settings, interviews are effective language practice and development tools, encouraging active listening and conversation.

The following activities are designed to enhance students’ interview skills and promote meaningful dialogue:

  • Self-directed interviews: Students generate questions based on personal interests and preferences, then pair up to interview each other, fostering communication and self-expression.
  • Group interview: The other members of each group question one student, challenging the interviewees to respond creatively and prompting a group discussion about the interview process.
  • Guided interviews: Groups receive answers and must formulate appropriate questions, encouraging critical thinking and linguistic accuracy.
  • Opinion poll: Students collaborate in groups to design and conduct an opinion poll on a chosen topic, facilitating group discussion and data analysis.

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Playing Guessing Games

Guessing games are engaging activities that promote interactive communication and critical thinking skills.

These games capitalise on participants’ curiosity and encourage active engagement by challenging them to deduce or infer information.

Below are some popular guessing games designed to stimulate imagination and linguistic proficiency:

  • What is it?: Students analyse a blurred image and speculate on its identity based on visual cues and context clues, fostering observation and deductive reasoning skills.
  • A day in the life: Groups create detailed schedules of a person’s activities, prompting others to guess the individual’s identity based on the provided information, enhancing descriptive language skills and inference abilities.
  • Packing a suitcase: Students guess the contents of a fictional character’s suitcase by asking questions about objects or qualities they would likely possess, promoting creativity and deductive reasoning.
  • Lie detector: Groups formulate questions for individuals, who must answer truthfully except for one question. This challenge requires participants to detect deception and engage in critical analysis.
  • What’s in the box?: One student examines an object in a box and describes it while the other guesses its identity, encouraging descriptive language and inference skills.
  • New rules: Groups establish unique conversational rules and send spies to other groups to uncover their rules, promoting teamwork and strategic thinking while improving communication skills.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Playing Guessing Games

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Giving Jigsaw Tasks

Jigsaw tasks, akin to puzzles, involve participants holding different pieces of information or materials that must be assembled to form a complete solution.

These activities foster cooperation, communication, and critical thinking skills among participants.

Below are several jigsaw task activities designed to enhance collaborative learning:

  • The same or different?: Students compare sets of drawings with their partners to determine similarities and differences, encouraging descriptive communication and analytical skills.
  • Partner puzzle: One student describes a complete picture to their partner, who arranges puzzle pieces accordingly without seeing the picture, fostering descriptive language and listening skills.
  • Ordering: Students work in pairs to sequence halves of comic strips, collaborating to create a cohesive storyline and practising storytelling skills.
  • Town plan: Pairs exchange information about missing details on different versions of a town map, such as street names and locations, facilitating directional communication and map interpretation.
  • Weekend trip: Groups collect information about a destination and plan a weekend itinerary, encouraging teamwork, decision-making, and negotiation skills.
  • Strip story: Each student receives a sentence from a story and collaborates with classmates to arrange them in the correct sequence without writing, promoting memory recall and storytelling abilities.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Giving Jigsaw Tasks

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Having Questioning Activities

Questioning activities encompass questioning, humanistic exercises, cultural awareness, board games, and strategies for warming up or tackling factual topics.

These activities promote critical thinking, communication, and reflection among learners.

Below are the activities included in this section:

  • What would happen if…?: Students engage in a chain of questioning and answering based on hypothetical scenarios, encouraging imaginative thinking and dialogue exchange.
  • Question game: Groups use dice, question boards, and cards to facilitate a game in which participants take turns asking and answering questions, promoting interactive communication and engagement.
  • Go and find out: Students are assigned tasks to question classmates, record responses, and foster information-gathering and communication skills.
  • Find someone who…: Students circulate the room questioning peers based on a handout, recording responses and promoting interaction while discovering commonalities.
  • Something else: Students imagine themselves as something other than human, responding to prompts across various categories, stimulating creativity and self-expression.
  • Question and answer cards: In pairs, students engage in questioning sessions based on provided cards, enhancing communication skills and content retention through active dialogue.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Having Questioning Activities

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Doing Ranking Exercises

Ranking exercises prompt students to prioritise items from a given list based on importance or preference, fostering critical thinking and discussion skills.

After ranking, students often engage in discussions, defending their choices and reaching consensus within small groups.

Below are the activities included in this section:

  • Rank order: Students individually rank items on a handout and then share their rankings with peers, leading to discussions on the importance of various items.
  • Guide: Groups discuss and rank items based on given criteria, with speakers defending their group’s choices in a subsequent discussion to reach a consensus.
  • Priorities: Students individually rank items on a handout by importance and then, in small groups, attempt to reach a common ranking, comparing their group results with individual rankings.
  • NASA game: Students individually rank items based on given criteria, compare their rankings with peers, and then discuss and compare results as a class.
  • Looking for a job: Groups simulate a hiring scenario, discussing criteria for selection and ranking job applicants based on suitability, with group speakers defending their choices in a collective discussion.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Doing Ranking Exercises

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Applying Values Clarification Techniques

Applying values clarification techniques aim to help students become aware of their values and act in accordance with them, following the principles of the values clarification approach.

Students engage in tasks encouraging self-reflection and discussion, fostering a deeper understanding of personal beliefs and behaviours.

Below are the activities included in this section:

  • Personalities: Students reflect on individuals who have influenced them, noting points to share with the class. This leads to discussions emphasising positive influences.
  • Lifestyle: Students discuss the significance of objects they have brought, highlighting similarities and differences with their partners’ choices.
  • Aims in life: Students fill in a handout detailing their aims in various life areas and periods, then defend them in small group discussions.
  • Spending money: Students decide what they would spend different amounts on, discussing their choices and reasons in small groups.
  • Unfinished sentences: Students discuss incomplete sentences with different partners in a structured group activity, encouraging reflection and communication.
  • Values topics: Students engage in a game where they share information about specific topics based on dice rolls. There are opportunities for questioning and discussion, allowing for exploring personal values in a supportive environment.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Applying Values Clarification Techniques

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Conducting Problem-Solving Activities

Problem-solving activities engage learners in critical thinking and decision-making processes, often involving collaboration and discussion.

These tasks require students to analyse situations, generate solutions, and defend their choices.

Here are the problem-solving activities included in this section:

  • Desert Island: Students individually create lists of survival items, then pair up to combine their lists and negotiate a group selection.
  • Rescue: Groups devise criteria for selecting individuals for rescue, present their criteria, and discuss them with the class.
  • Desperate decision: Students work in groups to brainstorm and evaluate various courses of action for a given scenario, presenting their solutions to the class.
  • Fire: Individuals choose items to rescue from a fire, justify their choices, and discuss their decisions with peers.
  • Group holiday: Groups select a holiday destination together, providing reasons for their choice and engaging in discussions with other groups.
  • Everyday problems: Students share personal problems, and peers suggest solutions in a supportive atmosphere.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Conducting Problem-Solving Activities

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Playing Discussion Games

Discussion games engage students in lively conversations, encouraging them to express their opinions, explore various topics, and sharpen their communication skills.

These activities foster critical thinking and collaboration, making language learning enjoyable and interactive.

Here are the discussion games included in this section:

  • What is being advertised?: Students analyse advertisements to determine the advertised product, present their findings, and discuss their interpretations.
  • Secret topic: Two students discuss a topic without revealing it, inviting others to join the conversation until the secret topic is guessed.
  • Shrinking story: Students retell a story sequentially, observing how details change as the story is passed along, highlighting the importance of effective communication.
  • Futures: Students envision positive and negative aspects of the future, discussing their hopes and fears in groups and recognising the interconnectedness of global issues.
  • Magic shop: Students trade positive human qualities, reflecting on their choices and considering the value of different attributes.
  • What evidence?: Groups discuss the evidence needed to support various statements, promoting critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning.
  • People: Groups create fictional biographies for individuals in photographs, comparing interpretations and discussing differences.

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Implementing Thinking Strategies

Thinking strategies aim to develop students’ critical and creative thinking abilities by engaging them in structured exercises that encourage idea generation, evaluation, and decision-making.

Here are the thinking strategies included in this section:

  • Brainstorming: Groups generate as many ideas as possible on a given topic, then select and rank the most original or practical ones.
  • PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting): Students individually identify the positive, negative, and interesting aspects of an idea, then share and discuss their findings with a partner and the whole class.
  • Consequences: Groups consider the short-term and long-term consequences of given actions, exchanging cards with other groups to explore different scenarios and sharing their findings with the class.
  • Alternatives: Students brainstorm multiple courses of action for a given problem situation, compile a list of suggestions, and optionally rank them in small groups before discussing potential consequences as a class.

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Doing Role Play and Simulations

Role play and simulations are educational activities that mirror real-life situations to engage students in interactive learning. While simulations are more structured and involve diverse elements, role plays often focus on short scenes, either realistic or fantastical. Here are the activities in this section:

  • Telephoning: Students act out telephone conversations based on role cards, practising phrases and communication skills.
  • TV Interview: The group role-plays as an “ideal family” being interviewed by another group acting as interviewers, stimulating discussion about family values and ideals.
  • Controversy in the School: Students take on different roles (parents, teachers, principal, etc.) to prepare arguments and viewpoints on a school-related issue, culminating in a panel discussion.
  • Swap Shop: Each student receives a role card representing a collector or enthusiast and object cards representing items they have or seek. They interact to negotiate trades and practice communication skills.

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Telling Stories

Telling stories encourages students to produce longer, connected texts, developing their imagination and language skills.

They utilise stimuli such as individual words or pictures to prompt storytelling, engaging students in comprehensive language practice.

Here are the activities in this section:

  • Chain story: Students create a story collaboratively, each contributing a sentence that includes a word given on their slip of paper.
  • Newspaper report: Groups write a newspaper report using three of the five provided pictures and present their reports to the class.
  • Picture stories: Students write texts for pictures or fill in speech bubbles to create a narrative.
  • Letters and telegrams: Students write telegrams of different lengths based on a given letter, practising concise communication.
  • Keep talking: Students speak for one minute on a given topic, starting with the sentence on paper.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Telling Stories

Teach Child Conversion Skills by Playing Miming Games

Miming activities involve students acting out actions, people, or objects, which others must guess.

These activities promote language learning by encouraging communication through non-verbal means and enhancing observation and improvisation skills.

Here are the activities in this section:

  • Adverb Charade: Students mime simple actions accompanied by adverbs, allowing classmates to guess the action and how it’s performed.
  • Miming People and Objects: Students either individually mime people or objects for others to guess, or they combine their efforts to mime a short scene together. Variations include group performances and chain miming.
  • Daily Life: Groups of students receive different dialogues and mime them while classmates guess the scenario depicted.
  • Hotel Receptionist: Students role-play scenarios where one communicates through miming due to losing their voice, with classmates guessing the message being conveyed.
  • Messages: Students mime messages to their partners without revealing them while their partners interpret and write down what they think the message is. Finally, students share and compare interpretations with their partners.
Teach Child Conversion Skills by Playing Miming Games

How to Teach Your Child Conversation Skills at Home

Effective communication is a fundamental skill for children to develop, impacting their social interactions, academic success, and overall well-being.

As a parent, you play a vital role in nurturing your child’s conversational abilities.

Here are some strategies on how to teach your child conversation skills at home:

  • Give wait time: Encourage your child to take their time when speaking, allowing them to formulate their thoughts and express themselves more clearly.
  • Model/repeat new words: Introduce your child to new vocabulary by using those words in conversation and repeating them in context, helping to reinforce their understanding and usage.
  • Ask open-ended questions: Instead of yes-or-no questions, ask your child questions that require more elaborate responses, stimulating critical thinking and expressive language skills.
  • Read, read, and read more: Regular reading exposes children to various language structures and vocabulary, enhancing their communication and comprehension abilities.
  • Turn off the TV: Limit screen time and encourage face-to-face interactions, which can provide opportunities for meaningful conversations and strengthen interpersonal skills.
How to Teach Your Child Conversation Skills at Home

Developing Children’s Conversation Skills with UNIS Hanoi

Teaching conversation skills to your child is a valuable investment in their future social and academic success.

By implementing these strategies, parents and educators can create an environment conducive to effective communication development.

Developing Children’s Conversation Skills with UNIS Hanoi

Our International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes at UNIS Hanoi prioritise holistic development, including early conversation skills. Our enriching curriculum teaches students to engage in meaningful conversations, express themselves confidently, and collaborate effectively.

Discover how to teach your child conversation skills with UNIS Hanoi and empower them academically and socially. Learn more about our IB Programme and join us in shaping your child’s future success! Apply now and give your child the gift of effective communication.

FAQs About Teaching Your Child Conversion Skills

FAQs About Teaching Your Child Conversion Skills

Besides how to teach your child conversation skills, we will now explore some specific strategies for helping your child become a conversation pro.

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UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.

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