Communication In The Classroom

The Concept of Classroom Communication

Communication is a complex business. Communication in the classroom is a process whereby the teacher creates, negotiates exchanges and interprets meaning with the learners. This could be verbal or written. It should be noted that interaction should be part of this process. It is not also a one way traffic thing. It is inter – relationships between a number of systems, it is not only a property of words.

These systems include all the means of communication that is capable of being conventionally coded, short term manipulation:

  1. Language
  2. Tone
  3. Gesture
  4. Posture 
  5. Body movements
  6. Physical proximity
  7. Eye contact
  8. Facial expression

These can be thought of as being woven together to form the fabric of communication.

In the classroom, the teacher should not do the whole of the talking. The teacher should be a facilitator of knowledge. Guide learners from what they already know to what they do not know. Learning should be collaborative, interactive and reflective.

Make learners to contribute to the learning process. Their contribution should form the basis of the chalkboard summary. By doing this, learning is made real, rewarding and interesting.

When communication takes place in the class, it simply mean that the teacher has taught well. It is also your responsibility to create a conducive atmosphere for learners to use language for themselves in the class. These give the learners an opportunities that enable them to say what they want to say rather what they are directed to say.

This should be gradual as they as they are essential part of developing fluency.

Pause and think!

Have you observed closely or anchored a classroom communication before? If yes,

  1. How much talking occurs in the class?
  2. Who is doing it?
  3. Where is the talk directed?
  4. What is the talk about?

Attempt to answer these questions as the answer will provide important clues regarding the quality and effectiveness of the teaching – learning communication process.

In the classroom situations, if communication and learning are to be assured, all the participants (teacher and pupils) need to have knowledge, skills and attitudes which are appropriate to both talking and listening. 

Types of Classroom Communication 

There are 4 major types of communication patterns:

  1. Expositions – The teacher describes, informs, instructs, or explains.
  2. Questions and Answers Exchanges – The teacher frequently used of testing and checking purposes – closed situation.
  3. Discussions – This is open situation. The participants explore ideas and feelings together.
  4. Listening – The receiver hears and responds to the speech of other people.
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