I had an interesting discussion yesterday with three educators. The topic was the oral and written communication skills of young adults attending college.
Each of these women teaches English in a Midwestern college or university.
Each told story after story of their frustration with today’s youth and their inability to communicate verbally – and in writing.
One particular story that is now stuck in my head is a student’s request for the teacher to read their paper in class so they would not have to read it themselves. My friend (the teacher) firmly believes the student did not want to read their assignment because they could not accurately pronounce all the words within the paper that they had just written. She thought that the student felt as if they had done enough by writing the paper and that it was “fair” to ask that the instructor read some of the paper to the class.
There were other discussions between the four of us about poor sentence structure, too much texting, inability to hold a meaningful conversation for any longer than about three minutes and too much Xbox.
I felt I had to chime in. I told them about my experience earlier in the afternoon. I was in the final stages of our on-boarding process with a potential new hire candidate. The position we are hiring for is software developer. This particular candidate had performed well with the various technical aspects of our recruiting process. We were now at the R & D/writing assignment step. The document that was submitted left much to be desired. Not a lot of effort was put into the deliverable. Sentence structure was poor. And to top it all off – our recruiter had to send the document to me. Why? Because the candidate had a typo in my email address – and I never received their initial submission.