Finding a remedy for 'Like-itis'

If you've recently conversed with a child or teen, then you may be aware of a mysterious virus spreading its way through our young people. Headshot “So, he was like, ‘Did you see that new movie?’ And I was like, 'No,' and he was like, 'It was totally awesome!' and I was like, 'Dude, that movie sounds so cool.’"The symptoms include the following: stringing multiple phrases together to form one incredibly long run-on sentence, substituting the word “like” for the word “said,” and the misuse of descriptor words such as “awesome” or “totally.”Now I’m all for kids conversing with each other, even in unconventional ways, if it serves their purposes. But has this way of conversing become the primary way our children communicate—even with adults? Will they ever make it through a college or job interview if they can’t clearly express themselves verbally? How can we help them become more articulate?This was the topic of discussion at TLSP’s annual August Back to School Kick Off at Concordia High School. Erik Palmer, our presenter and author of the book Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students, spent the day addressing teachers about practical strategies they can use in the classroom to help students become more articulate. Teachers are pressured more than ever to “cover the important stuff,” which leaves areas such as public speaking neglected or outright ignored. Yet, in the world of work, verbal communication is critical. And we should teach good public-speaking principles to our students now. 64 All 180 participants received a free copy of Palmer’s book and enjoyed fellowship and lunch with colleagues. Erik was thrilled to see us take this topic on in such a way and said, “No other schools around are talking about this—this is great!”This led us to wonder—can our Lutheran schools become the vanguard in public speaking? Could we be blessed with an opportunity to foster the development of well-spoken young adults? What could the potential be?As the Partnership continues to foster academic excellence in all of our schools, we will embed these principles into our existing web of support. Continue to keep our teachers and students in your prayers as we expand our understanding of preparing students for their future.