Improving Verbal skills: Bridging the Verbal Gap


Finding the Right Words

Blind and deaf since the age of 19 months, Helen Keller grew up and became the first deafblind woman to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Although she had already begun communicating with her family with simple signs by age seven, she was only able to share her brilliant mind and heart because of the help of a tutor and lifelong friend, Ann Sullivan.

Ann gave Helen the gift of words and helped her connect those words to the meaning in her world. As a result of their courage and perseverance, Helen went on to become a lecturer, women’s rights activist, and author.
Most of us may not have the opportunity to be a part of a story as incredible as Helen Keller’s. However, working with students from low socioeconomic populations, we have a similar opportunity to bridge a communication gap by improving verbal skills for these students.

In her 1-hour course, “Improving Verbal Skills for Children from Low S.E.S. Backgrounds,” Birdie Chesanek outlines a unique and powerful tool that will help your students improve their verbal skills and access their true academic potential.

Ms. Chesanek has worked in education for over twenty years. Since 2009, she has received training from Joyce Juntune, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, on strategies to bridge the gap between verbal and nonverbal skills for students from low-SES backgrounds. She has co-presented at the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented Annual Conference and is a presenter for El Paso ISD’s gifted and talented program.

It’s All in the Verbal…

There are two types of intelligence. Fluid intelligence is general reasoning ability and uses a minimum of previously learned strategies. This is the intelligence we are born with and is thought of as non-verbal because it is like intuition.

Crystallized intelligence, also called verbal intelligence, is learned through education. This type of intelligence is only developed through practice and is related to logic, reading comprehension, and sequential reasoning.
Many students from low socioeconomic backgrounds have very high non-verbal intelligence but score very low in verbal intelligence.

Improving verbal skills is the key factor for student success in school, for college readiness, and consequently, for 21st century job skills.

Addressing the Learning Gapimproving-Verbal-Skills-learning-gap

If students have high non-verbal intelligence but score low in verbal intelligence, the great news is that we can help them bridge that gap!

Ms. Chesanek explains that giving students the verbal skills they need allows them to move information from their short-term memory, through their working memory, and into long-term, permanent memory.

Mind Sketching to Bridge the Gapimproving-verbal-skills-please-help

While our students may not have extreme disabilities, like Helen Keller, they do need us to help them access verbal communication and put it to academic use.

In this course, you will learn a clever and simple strategy for improving verbal skills that will teach your students how to put words into ideas and transfer those ideas into long-term memory.

Here’s how it works:

  • Mind Sketching: A basic sketch of a thought or idea that gives essential features without detail.
  • Complex Language: Verbal skills are developed using the interconnections of language, the use of language detail, and the appropriate vocabulary.
  • Verbal Memory: Improving verbal skills gives students the memory for words, numbers, and ideas.

Let’s Get Sketching!

Your students will love the mind sketching activity! Utilizing creativity and fun, this activity can be accomplished in a few minutes a day. Your students will not even realize that they are improving their verbal skills and memory.
Ready to begin improving verbal skills with your students? Click on the link below to get started with mind sketching today!

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Did you know that this course is mobile ready? That means you can complete the course on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other mobile device!

Images courtesy of Flickr via City of Boston Archives.