The Essence of Communication Essay
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Sample Essay on The Essence of Communication
Structuring a rapport with students requires the teacher to conduct thorough self-evaluation of their individual roles in the educational process. Fundamentally, teachers need to establish a core set of characteristics that anchor their professional life and spill over into their personal life, as designed in the meta-model (Busnarda, T. EDUC 3F01 Lecture Notes. September 29, 2002).
Communication is composed of two central categories, verbal and non-verbal communication. Listening, understanding, and consistency are major components of the verbal aspect of communication. Additionally, eye contact, gestures, proximity, and paralinguistic; the set of nonphonemic properties of speech, such as speaking tempo, vocal pitch, and intonational contours, that can be used to communicate attitudes or other shades of meaning, are all essential components of the non-verbal aspects of communication. A unique combination of skills, values and habits that make up these forms of communication may become second nature to a teacher. Communication is both an art form and a process. Within its art form, communication requires sensitivity; one must be sensitive to the different approaches in learning and the further need to be acutely aware of the subtle signals one can send. Essentially, communication intertwines verbal and non-verbal components exhibited within classroom interaction; it is the basis of transmitting information from one person to another.
Verbal communication deals directly with the process of interacting with individuals on a face-to-face basis (Fried, R. 1995). This process is sensitive and requires careful observations. For instance, listening can be tuned in and out, and, there is a tendency to drift from one to the other, subconsciously (Allport, A., MacKay, D., Prinz, W., & Scheerer., E 1987). However finding this balance is key, because listening is essential for teachers, teachers need to learn to be good listeners otherwise they wont be able to relate to their students (Adler, R. and Towne, N., 1978).
The listener of the communicative event plays a vital role in understanding and interpreting the information that has been transmitted (Fried, R. 1995). Listening is a complex process requiring equal commitment from both parties (Fried, R. 1995). They each exchange feedback necessary in recognizing their mutual contributions. Without feedback it is assumed that the communicative process is incomplete, (Fried, R. 1995). Listening requires self-discipline; a lack of this is reflected in the many conversations (Freid, R. 1995). Without self-discipline conversations can travel incognito with one another, rather than just enjoying the conversation. Ultimately, it is important to recognize that without listening one cannot fully understand what is being communicated, thus hindering the communication process.
Listening is the pre-requisite of understanding (Allport, A., MacKay, D., Prinz, W., & Scheerer., E 1987). Understanding is important in the communication process because it deals with clarification (Fried, R. 1995). By asking probing questions and repeating what has already been said, the listener actively takes part in the conversation, while simultaneously comprehending the message of the dialogue (Allport, A., MacKay, D., Prinz, W., & Scheerer., E 1987). The role of understanding is also valuable because once there is a clear understanding of the meaning of the message exchanged from sender to receiver, the likelihood of formulating an informed response increases substantially (Fried, R. 1995).
Consistency is necessary for teachers in the instances of applying fair and routine judgments or discipline within the classroom. Being consistent also involves exercising good judgment (Fried, R. 1995). The establishment of rules in conjunction with the students is an important first step. Moreover, to achieve this cooperation, listening, and understanding must be present. However, it is essentially the responsibility of the teacher to administer the rules consistently by understanding their intent. This can be done by posting the rules within the classroom for everyone to see at all times or ensuring the students mentally remember them. In addition, consistency gives the teacher credibility to administer justice fairly and maintain structure and order in the class (Fried, R. 1995).
Non-verbal communication contributes to a teacher’s awareness of their own behaviour and the behaviour of their students, contributing to them being improved receivers of their student’s message (Danziger, K., 1988). It also reinforces the signals that the teacher sends to their students while increasing the degree of communication between the teacher and their students (Danzinger, K., 1988).
Eye contact is an important channel of interpersonal communication and helps regulate the flow of one’s communication (Miller, P., 1999; Danziger, K., 1988). Eye contact sends a signal to the students, and increases the teacher’s credibility, this opens the classroom up and keeps the students attention focused on their teacher (Miller, P., 1999). Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern and credibility within their learning environment (Miller, P., 1999).
Gestures are contrived movements that keep the students focused and alert on the topic that the teacher is lecturing. Gestures open up conversation and animate the material (Miller, P., 1999). Teachers who fail to use gestures when lecturing often come across as boring and stiff (Miller, P., 1999). However, capturing the student’s attention with hand gestures and vocal tones animate the teaching, emphasizes the meanings of the teacher’s message, and keeps the students focused on the information (Miller, P., 1999). Therefore, learning and concentration is effectively constructed through the teacher’s non-verbal behaviour (Miller, P., 1999).
Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance one should stand when interacting with students (Miller, P. 1999). The teacher’s proximity in relation to their students must be of a distance such that neither invades the unspoken territorial boundary (Miller, P., 1999). Looking for non-verbal indications of discomfort would be a good judge of determine invasion. Rocking and tapping are common forms of subtle hints students can send their teacher, signaling that they are uncomfortable (Miller, P., 1999; Danziger, K., 1988). The distance standing between your conversations should be comfortable and balanced allowing for a relaxed atmosphere.
Paralinguistic is a form of non-verbal communication that includes the vocal elements used when teaching a classroom (Danziger, K., 1988). Tone, pitch, rhythm, loudness and inflection are the five major elements one can use when speaking (Queen, J. 1995). In order to communicate best, it is most important to incorporate these elements. One of the major criticisms of teachers who speak in monotone is that they are perceived as being dull. Student’s interest lies in the teacher’s creditability and teachers who have learned how to modulate their voices are more often heard within their classroom (Queen, J. 1995).
Communication is essential in every aspect of one’s life. It plays an integral role in every day activities and accomplishing minor to complex tasks. It is important to be able to relate the information you are thinking in a mannerism that the comprehensive to others.
Effective communication in the classroom is essential in the learning process; it translates information in several different ways allowing the entire class to benefit from the teacher’s diversity. As a result teachers who reiterate or emphases the important information, make that stand out in their students minds, thus helping students differentiate the important information and non-essential information.