Teaching Communication

Teaching Communication

Teaching Communication

Teaching Communication

Synopsis

We learn most of our communication skills without consciously working at them. Teaching Communicationsets out what those skills are and how to develop them.

Excerpt

Our aim is to provide practical information about teaching communication in schools and in post-compulsory education and training. We are seeking to identify a clearly laid out schema of what teaching communication means in practice.

The need to enable young people consciously to develop 'communication skills' is now firmly established—it can rest on a purely functional base and is often labelled 'English' or 'social and life skills' as well as 'communication'. We agree with that. But we want to go further.

First, in addition to learning 'skills', we believe that studying communication is about the personal development of attitudes and values; about knowing oneself; about knowing other people and relating to them; about critically understanding mass-media messages; and about being confident in the use of communication technologies.

Second, teaching communication is not about learning the requisite linguistic and social skills in isolation, like a series of performing tricks, but about acquiring knowledge of how and why we communicate and about the application of that knowledge.

Communicative competence in our life roles—personal, social and economic—is founded on our knowledge about social, cultural and economic contexts. It depends on using and applying that knowledge.

Third, in a school or college context the idea of communication skills still has the notion of something basic for the less able, something that can be left for the more able student to 'pick up'. We believe that all pupils and students should be deliberately exposed to some of the experiences and activities that we describe in this book as 'communication work'.

We enjoy being teachers of communication (most of the time!) since it provides a constant flow of new ideas and experiences. We hope that some of our enjoyment will be shared with you through this book.

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