Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

The Process of Communication in the Classroom

Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

The Process of Communication in the Classroom

Article excerpt

1. DEFINING COMMUNICATION AND ITS COMPONENTS

Living in a society means interacting with its members, thus communicating. Everywhere we look we find people trying to send messages or understand them. And teachers, most of all, depend on communication daily, because their job would be pointless without it. Many have tried to define it and there are many opinions on this matter. One definition, which refers to the process of communication, is the following:

"Communication is a conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional process in which feelings and ideas are expressed as verbal or nonverbal messages."1

Human communication occurs on three levels:

* Intrapersonal;

* Interpersonal;

* Public communication.

Intrapersonal communication means to communicate with oneself. It refers to such activities as personal decision making, thought procession, listening and determining selfconcept.

Interpersonal communication refers to communication that takes place between two or more persons who establish a relationship. Face to face or mediated conversations, interviews, small-group discussions are forms of interpersonal communication.

Public communication occurs when a speaker sends a message to an audience. It may be direct, such as a face to face message delivered by a speaker to an audience, or indirect, such as a message on the radio or television.

The most important characteristics of communication are: it is dynamic (is constantly in a state of change), continuous (it never stops, not even when we sleep; our brain is always active and we are always processing ideas and information through our dreams, thoughts and expressions), irreversible (once it is sent cannot be undone), interactive (it occurs between people) and contextual (is a part of our entire human experience)2.

Communication may also be defined as the vehicle by which people initiate and maintain relations with others. Communication has two main parts: the sender, who encodes (takes ideas and puts them into message form) and the receiver, who decodes (receives the message).

The sender sends the ideas through a channel composed of a primary signal system, the senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching.

This process is presented below:

The code used is formed of words, which must be understood by both parties.

2. THE OBJECTIVES OF COMMUNICATION

When we communicate, we really have four main objectives and four main types of questions, which correspond to these objectives. Asking the questions before starting to communicate gives a better chance of success in the classroom and outside of it. Following these objectives makes the task easier:

* To be received;

In this case, the question is 'Who?', so our interest falls on the receiver. The questions related to this one which clear out the context are: 'Who exactly is my audience?', 'What sort of students are they?' (Knowing the personality, status, age and education of the receiver may be crucial sometimes.), 'What do they need to know?', 'What do they know already about the subject of the message? A lot? Not much? Nothing?' Correct answers to these questions make the communication process a lot more efficient.

* To be understood;

The focus, in this case, is on the subject of the communication and the main questions are What?' and 'How?'. The teacher must ask himself/herself firstly: 'What exactly do I want to say?', 'What do I need to say?', 'What information can I omit?', 'What information must I include in order to be clear, concise, constructive, correct, complete and courteous?', 'How am I going to communicate my message? With words? Pictures? Or both?', 'How will I organize the points I want to make?', 'How am I going to achieve the right effect?'

* To be accepted in a given situation;

In order to be well received and accepted there are two important questions that have to be answered before transmitting a message: Where and When? …

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