Teaching Communication Skills in Elementary Schools

Nowadays, almost all colleges offer courses in communication skills to all their students. This is commendable. Communication skills are among the basic skills that we all need to have, as human beings. But in my view, communication skills should be taught much earlier in the educational system. One shouldn’t have to wait till they get to college, to learn communication skills. One should have learnt communication skills at elementary school level. By the time one is in college, it is too late to teach certain communication skills effectively.

The communication skills we are making reference to here are the basic ones.  You know, things like being a good listener. And things like being able to think well before speaking. As well as things like being able to formulate ideas clearly, before verbalizing them, and being able to speak politely. These, to my mind, are things that kids should be studying at elementary school level. Certainly not at college level. There can still be communication skills courses for college level students. That is where students may be given a review of the basic communication skills they acquired at elementary school level, before proceed to learn things like appropriate use of email, phone etiquette and so on.

So, just as kids at elementary school level are taught basic literary and numeracy skills, they should also be taught basic communication skills. That way, they grow up with such skills. Good communication becomes part of their personality. For if good communication skills are taught at the earliest levels of elementary schooling, the skills will be hard-wired into the kids brains. Therefore, in future, we will be able to avoid the myriad of problems that are caused by communication problems. And by extension, in the future, we are likely to have a much better society. But if we have to wait till kids go to college for us to teach them basic communication skills, we won’t be helping much. By that age, the kids – really young adults – are already set in their ways. And there is only so much you can do, in terms of changing their communication habits at that age.