“Good Literacy Floats on a Sea of Talk”

September 9, 2022

Good literacy floats on a sea of talk
James Britton

Earlier this week the English Language Learning (ELL) Department shared with staff their expertise in working with students for whom English is a second language. The above quote was shared, and it resonated with me. It prompted me to think: “Who or what has the loudest voice in your home? What is the most dominant voice in your home?”

For some, the loudest and most dominant voice is the TV, YouTube or Netflix. For some children, the only or most conversation happening in a home is watched by them, rather than participated in by them. They listen to talking on the screen but do not engage in it themselves.

Research shows that children who participate in conversation at home from an early age, tend to perform better socially and academically. The more important question to be asked however is, “what is the nature of conversation they are watching?” versus “the nature of conversation they could engage with in the home?”

I strongly encourage parents to actively engage in conversation as a family to build resilience, creativity, spiritual life and a deeper understanding of life in their children. Through conversation you will find out how they are feeling about life and school; through conversation you can talk about social, political and economic events happening in the world; through conversation you can build confidence in their ability to speak up in the classroom; and through conversation you can shape their hearts and minds.

In Deuteronomy 6, parents are called to teach their children through conversation, the beautiful truth that “The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (v4). In verse 7, we read, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” That is how natural our conversation about God and life should be in the home! It is not easy, but as the Bible says, “You reap what you sow”. If you sow into your child’s heart and mind, the importance of conversation, especially on the matters of life, then you will reap the benefit of children who in their older years will converse freely and often with you!

Good literacy floats on a sea of talking – I encourage you to have an “ocean” of talking in your home!

Mr. Richard Vanderpyl
Head of School