“The art of communication is the language of leadership” ~ James Humes
All sort of communications happens around us but we are only able to understand and interpret few of them. This is not only because they are happening in language which we do not understand but many a times just because it takes too much of our brain and time to understand them.
Communication which is easy to understand and process by our brain is considered to be effective. Effective communication is a skill by which information is shared and transferred and in education system this skill plays a major role as maximum sharing of knowledge can only happens if effective communication takes place among peer group and between student and teacher. This skill is exhibited through interaction and language plays main role in its effectiveness. However the language need not always to be verbal, it can also be non-verbal or visual.
In today time verbal communication is the most efficient way to interact but for this command over language is very important. We can motivate, inspire and lead people with the language that we use. Verbal communication uses words to convey the information and for a student selection of these effective words is only possible if they have command over subject specific language. As an educator our responsibility begins from here. The first word a child learns is from its mother but the first subject specific word that a child learns is from its teacher. Therefore as a teacher it should be our goal to make the child aware and friendly with all such vocabulary.
Ways to improve Verbal communication skill:
- Provide subject specific Command terms to the student
- For a particular unit provide list of difficult words with their meaning.
- Encourage students to write letter, blogs, and articles as per the subject requirement.
- Give opportunity of debating in class
- Give open ended topic and let them speak for a minute.
- Encourage role play
- Give opportunities for paraphrasing.
At the same time nonverbal communication is transfer of information through visual aid, facial expression, artifacts or signs. This type of communication is very helpful for students who have language disability. Such student struggle in writing long paragraphs or also at times in making effective sentences, but if they are trained with the skill of non-verbal communication they get an equal opportunity to put forward their thoughts/ ideas. Also in work like extended essay and internal assessment of IBDP where students are limited to word limit this skill is very helpful in conveying the message.
The nonverbal and visual communication are separated by a very thin line. Basically visual communication is a subtype of nonverbal communication in which the ideas are presented in a way which can easily be visualized like tables; graphs; diagrams; images ; flowcharts mainly all that what we can see but the nonverbal communication along with these also include body language; gestures; volume pitch and tone and emotions.
Ways to improve Non- verbal communication skill:
- After completion of the topic let students summarize their understanding in the form of flow chart.
- Give opportunities to present information in the form of table and graphs.
- Play games like dumb charades.
- Do stress management activities which will help students to tune their volume and control their body language.
- Conduct activities which give student opportunity to look into each other eyes and speak confidentially or express them without using words but just with gestures.
Communication skill is of foremost importance because if a student masters this skill and is able to excel in all the 7C’s of communication he/she is also able to achieve other ATL skill as these 7 C can be related to other skills as follows.
- Completeness: If the communication is complete, that is the other person is able to draw correct conclusion from then it is considered that student has also developed organization skill because he/ she is able to organize the thoughts before speaking.
- Conciseness: If the idea is presented in short clear sentence then it is considered be concise and if the child is able to do that he has learnt self-management skill to some extent.
- Consideration: While conveying our own thoughts if we think about its impact on other persons emotion we are actually displaying affective skills.
- Clarity: When the ideas are clearly transferred either verbally or non-verbally, it indicates that before transferring brain has given a thought to it therefore thinking skills have played its role.
- Courtesy: In nonverbal communication if our body language is showing respect to others then also we do display affective skills.
- Concreteness: If the communication is supported with instances basically evidence it indicates that some research has been done before conveying the information which must have developed research skills.
- Correctness: A correct communication is always the one with examples, evidences and which is easily interpreted that means, critical thinking and transferring skills are achieved.
As we can see good communication skill covers up all the other skills and develops leadership qualities it is important not for students but also for teachers to display them. Teachers are always the role models for the student and they easily learn what they see.
Ways to exhibit good communication skill
- Give effective feedback
- Use variety of teaching aid
- Use appropriate body language while teaching
- Ask many questions in class
- Be active listener
- Use different styles to convey information
- Take notes in class
- Participate in group discussion