Youth Amplified Website Launched
A nine month project has come to fruition with the launch of Youth Amplified, an innovative new website designed to help 11-18 year-olds improve their speaking skills and overcome the lack of experience and confidence which prevents so many from engaging fully in their communities, schools and workplaces.
Youth Amplified, which is free to access, has been developed against a background of growing evidence of young people’s detachment from civic and community life and mounting concern among employers and others about their ability to communicate effectively in the workplace.
Developed by Speakers’ Corner Trust and the University of Leeds working with schools and youth groups in West Yorkshire, the website features animations, videos, self evaluation exercises and a teacher guide designed to help young people improve their ability to negotiate, persuade, project, argue, listen and above all speak effectively. It was created by the BAFTA-winning digital design agency Bold Creative and the project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Peter Bradley, SCT director, said:
“An inability to communicate is a recipe for failure on every level. But by the same token, people who are able to express themselves effectively are more likely to be successful and fulfilled both as individuals and in their relationships with others whether as citizens, in their community or at work. We need to focus more attention on helping young people to develop the practical skills they need – and we need them to have – to become self-confident, fully functioning members of society.”
Stephen Coleman, Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds, who led the research programme, said:
“Schools are getting much better at explaining how the political system works and what young people can do to make themselves heard but almost no guidance is provided on how to speak in public in ways that will gain attention and respect. Youth Amplified is designed to meet an increasingly important need among both young people and the teachers who are seeking to equip them with essential skills for life.”
Katie Peate, the project coordinator, added:
“By working with young people in the course of this project, we learned a lot about what they wanted to say and why they felt unable to speak up in public. At the beginning of the project, some of them were barely capable of simple small talk, let alone constructing a persuasive argument. Their progress has been incredible and the lessons they and we learned have contributed a great deal to the resources we’ve developed.”
Youth Amplified has already been welcomed by leading educationalists. Stephen Fairbrass, Senior Lecturer in Citizenship Teaching at Bradford College, commented:
“There has never been anything quite like this. This is a really innovative and important educational resource which will help educators support young people in the development of the skills they need to engage in their communities, schools and even workplaces.”