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In brief

Vocal Skills Pocketbook

By Richard Payne

Management Pocketbooks pound;6.99

It would be interesting to know whether any researcher has looked into why some children with otherwise adequate hearing are unable to hear their teachers properly for significant periods of time. Unless the teacher pays deliberate attention to pace and clarity of speech, and to simple things such as not talking while writing on the blackboard, there's a risk of not being understood. Children, I suspect, are even less likely to protest at this than adults are.

This subject is ideal for the Pocketbooks approach. The text is straightforward, easy to understand, and begging to be presented as bullet points, as with "Movement - Golden Rules", which starts with: "Do not pace around" (some teachers could improve significantly just by obeying that one) and goes on to "Always move for a reason".

Everything's here: preserving your voice; when and how to use a microphone; projection; varying pace and pitch. It's not too fanciful to suggest that a teacher struggling with classroom issues might well find that at least part of the solution can be found here. It's also essential reading for people who give talks and presentations to teachers.

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