The 21st century has marked the advent of the information age or the communication age. Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons. Communication is a two – way lane – there is giving and receiving. Coordination and cooperation cannot be achieved unless people communicate their views, needs and feelings to others. Lack of communication skills among people is the root cause of practically all the problems in the world.
Communication leads to positive feelings, which in turn generates positive actions. Communication is the basic process through which information and knowledge either written or verbal is passed on by a teacher to a bunch of receptive students .Communication to students should be clear, consistent , adequate, timely, flexible and acceptable. A teacher should be open to constant feedback as this will only enrich the communication between the student and the teacher thus opening the channel of communication.
Teaching is a complex activity directed by a complex agent – the teacher, to change the behavior of a complex organism – the student and in a complex environment — the classroom.
A teacher’s job is to inspire and motivate. The way a teacher communicates reflects her innermost self, her skills and her confidence.
The classroom communication between the teacher and the students can be categorized broadly into two: (i) verbal communication, (ii) non- verbal communication. The influence of verbal behaviors is mostly audible, while non- verbal behaviors have a vision-based impact on the listener. Verbal and non- verbal communication go a long way in assisting a teacher to reach out to her students connect with them for progressive learning to take place. Non-verbal behaviors deal with the use of voice, raising or lowering the pitch or loudness of voice helps the teacher in all situations. With eye contact or small gestures, the teacher builds confidence. Smiling is a powerful facial expression that transmits happiness, friendliness, warmth and liking. If you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and students will react favorably and learn more. Head nods, a form of gestures, communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening. Humor is often overlooked as a teaching tool, laughter releases stress and tension for both the teacher as well as the student. Adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to a teacher’s success.
Such non – verbal events are highly conducive to good classroom climate.
Creating a climate facilitating learning and retention, demands good verbal and non – verbal skills on the part of the teacher.
Communication Process follows a certain sequence of events: sender, encoding, transmission, medium, receiver and decoding.
The person desiring to convey a message is called the sender and he must encode it. After encoding, the message is then ready for transmission through some communication medium, for example, face to face conversation, telephone, memo and letter. When the message reaches the receiver, it must be decoded. It is important to note that distortion may enter at any point in the process. Therefore, feedback is essential to ensure that the receiver has received the message and apprehends it in the same sense in which it was conveyed by the sender. Thus feedback is one of the most important factors of communication.
Visual aids to communication: A teacher’s tool:
Visual aids significantly improve the interest of a presentation. They must be relevant to the topic taught. Overhead projectors are widely used to explain various chapters as retention of topics are best done when visual aids are used. Video and films are self-explanatory and maximum attention is displayed by the children. Charts, posters that contain photographs or graphics often are useful, the teachers have to impress the children and a constant level of interest has to be maintained at all times during the process of teaching. The potential for learning greatly increases when educators use visual aids in the classroom. When children have something interesting to look at, it helps the teacher to hold their attention.
Visual aids are an important learning tool that can make an abstract idea become more concrete to the learner. They help the student to focus his thoughts and ideas on the subject, which in turn helps them to understand and interpret the information being presented.
Qualities a teacher needs to have for effective communication.
- A teacher needs to have clarity of thought and proper wording of the message.
- Good intentions or noble motives.
- Proper timings and suitable manner and tone.
- Proper mental rapport.
- Proper emphasis on important words or phrases or portions.
- Creating pictures or imagery where required.
- Using effective phrases, illustrations or anecdotes where necessary, suitable or effective.
A teacher needs to motivate her students from time to time as higher the level of motivation, the higher their efficiency and co-operation and higher the productivity potential.
Time is valuable and thus a teacher should plan her teaching to make sure that time is not lost.
There is no life without communication and communication flows like a river.
Thus I conclude that good communication skills are required by a teacher to deal with multiple problems in our day to day classroom situations. I would like to say that difficulty comes at every step but to overcome it is a skill that few can follow, while many need to learn as only communication can bring a person out of various situations.
I would like to add that communication can make a difference too many a lives.
A teacher is there for the society to make a change for the better and thus should know the skills of communication.
Dr Pearl Z Hilloo.
Bai Avabai F Petit Girls High School,