Teaching Thinking, Language and Communication Skills

to Leicester Primary and Secondary Pupils

Rosemary Sage

University of Leicester, UK

This paper summarises work completed in part 1 of a project to develop language and thinking skills in Leicester schools.

Numerous studies have identified communication skills as being most predictive of long-term school success. A Communicastion Opportunity group Scheme (COGS) took place in a primary and secondary school involving 36 students aged 7-15 years. Altogether there were 24 subjects in two types of teaching group and 12 controls.

One teavching group was taught for an hour a week over ten weeks (weekly) and the other for two hours daily over five days (intensive), by teachers trained in the COGS method. Experimental groups showed significant gains compared with controls. Integrating systematic teaching of communication into the curriculum appears to significantly increase student performance. The project also has fostered a learning community of schools, support services, national charities and the university.

Key words: communication, language and thinking, success skills, teaching methods, learning communities, networks.