Use your voice as an instructional strategy to support comprehension.

My mother was an actress and taught public speaking classes when I was growing up, and as a result, she would not only read with a lot of expression, but she talked to us using a lot of expression. It was like growing up with Mother Goose. It worked unbelievably well. We learned a lot of vocabulary and it made whatever she was talking about interesting and understandable.

The use of expressive voice as a strategy to aid comprehension is well-documented in research. Voice inflection is a well-known strategy in the professional presenter world. Great presenters are fun to listen to because they are masters at using their voice as a tool to teach. For the same reason, it’s a great strategy to add to your toolbox  to teach students.

As a parent, I used this strategy with all 3 of my children, but found that for Lily, who has Down syndrome, this strategy was especially helpful. As a matter of fact, I found that if I didn’t use this strategy, she struggled to follow along.

This skill is not taught in any teaching programs I have been involved with, yet it is a trait that many of the best teachers possess. This skill comes naturally for some people, but everyone can develop this ability and find their unique ‘teaching voice’. A voice that is purposefully used to motivate, inspire, and teach. I have found that  it is helpful to borrow knowledge from other industries to improve our own teaching practice. Thankfully, there are a number of YouTube videos that are intended to teach professional presenters that can double as teacher-training.  Search for tutorials on how to use voice inflection.

If this is something you would like to better develop, you are in luck. We are living at a time where we have access to learning so many things online.