The topic researched is the different types of communication and their importance in the teaching environment.
There are four main types of communication: verbal, non-verbal, written and visual. Each of these have there own way of passing on information from one person to another. They each have there own advantages and disadvantages. The report looks at each one in turn and looks at ways poor communication can cause barrier to learning.
Verbal communication is a way of expressing yourself wth words and getting the correct message across. It can be spoken words either face-to-face or chatting on the telephone. It is important to set the right tone and pace and use simple words and less Jargon. The choice of words would also need to be considered as there may be learners for whom English would be their second language. In another word use KISS (Keep it Short and Simple).
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When communicating verbally it is important to use simple language and not to use Jargon. It would be best practise to back up the lessons with Visual aids and handouts for referencing. Introduce point in a logical order to avoid ambiguity and summerise key point regulary. Always give construcive feedback and allow the learners to ask question to confirm their understanding.
When using verbal Communication remember to use KISS.
- Able to clarify and ask questions straight away
- Able to be flexible and adaptable according to the audience
- Able to check if the messages had been understood
- Build a rapport with learners, use humour.
- Tone and body language can give the wrong message
- The instruction can result in misunderstanding and incorrect responses if badly presented.
- Leaners may have different connotations for different words
- If no notes are taken then may be difficult to remember
Non-Verbal Communication is the use of body language, facial expression, and hand movement to convey the message across. As a teacher, you should be aware of your body language, of your dress, the language used, as each of these are observed by your learners.
The other areas that a teacher would need to be aware like making eye contact and addressing each of the learners. Also need to watch their facial expression to see how they are react. The teacher should be aware of his/her posture, gestures and body contact. The teacher would need to be positioned so they are visible to all learners, If the teacher is stood behind a desk, it can cause a divide.
By paying attention to these attributes enables the teacher to send clear positive vibes to the learners and for the learners to feel safe and comfortable.
Below is a diagram with some nonverbal ways to communicate.
- able to communicate something that you don't want other to hear
- The conversation can be short and brief
- Able you to communicate in places where you are supposed to be silence.
- You cannot have long conversation.
- Difficult to understand and requires many repetitions.
Written communication can be in forms of emails, handouts, presentations slides, manuals, and overhead projectors etc. It is another way of communicating to your learners using visual aids.
When creating written documentation, it is best practise to keep the written documentation brief and precise. Making sure that no jargon, slang or abbreviation is being used. The wriiten documkentation must be spellchecked and proofread to see if anything can be misinterrpreted.
A lot of colleges and unversities use a central database or Intranets to put their handouts and notes. Regardless of how the information is displayed it still need to be well written and the audience needs to considered.
- Good for instructions and vital information
- There is a lesser chance for the message to be misunderstood.
- It is a good reference if you need to come back to it.
- Not very personal.
- Learners tend to forget to read them.
- There is no one to ask immediate.
- Difficult to engage a tone so can be misinterpreted eg emails.
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Barriers to Learning, due to poor communication.
To avoid barriers to learning when using verbal and non-verbal communication the teachers would need to consider many factors. They would need to have knowledge and understanding of diversity and cultural differences.
In some cultures, making direct eye contact can be seen as rude or offensive. They would need to take into consideration the audience i.e. age, disability, religion, learning difficulties. Their own body language would need to open and inviting.
Using a simple language vocabulary would suit all levels of literacy learners. Establishing their level of the minimum core would enable the teacher to pitch at the right level for example not asking the class to do research on the computer if they have never used one.
Most of the barriers can be overcome by the teacher, if they are receptive to the learners needs.
"Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960s. His research provided the basis for the effectiveness of spoken communications.
Here is a more precise (and necessarily detailed) representation of Mehrabian's findings than is typically cited or applied:
7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression. " (Mehrabian)
As the saying goes, "action speaks louder than words." If we are constantly aware of the signals, we send out and if it is done in a positive, approachable, and fair way then there is no reason why a teacher and learner cannot communicate in a successful way
- Petty.G (Forth edition) Teaching Today: Communication blocks, p40 to p41
- Gravells, A, Simpson, S, (2008) Planning and Enabling Learning: Communication p71-p87