Posted by: Kate | October 27, 2009

Communications 101

The other day I read an article about the demise of a Grade 12 program. It was a program that provided practical communications training — writing memos, project drafts, letters, proposals, etc — for students who were going into both technical and business careers as well as those headed towards law, medicine or engineering. The program was canceled due to lack of enrollment, it seems because the colleges and other post-secondary institutions wouldn’t recognize the program.

The article made some very valid points on the benefit of a course that teaches practical communications. I have long said that all students should be taught basic communication skills right along with poetry analysis and essay structure. Once you leave university you may never write another essay, but it is a sure bet you will have to write a memo, an email, a letter or a note to someone at sometime. You may have to prepare reports, or write summaries. You will have to communicate your thoughts and ideas.

Teaching students how to write clearly and concisely is as important as teaching them how to write critically or lyrically, and it is short-sighted of anyone, especially teachers, to dismiss it. If there is one thing you can do for your children that school likely isn’t doing, it’s to teach them writing that is clear and concise. Have them write a recipe. Make them write thank you letters or summer letters. Have them write out the directions to the event for someone. Have them write out the plan for a big party. Teach them that someone has to understand and be able to follow what they write, that the words have a purpose and a meaning. Not only will they benefit, but everyone they work with or volunteer with or live with in the future will also benefit.


Welcome! I always like to hear what people think of a post, it often leads to a great discussion! I am now responding to comments and questions right in the comments themselves, so other people can follow the conversation.

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