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Posted on September 20, 2012 10:53 pm
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Zafer Unal
Zafer Unal
Reps: 957
Communication Strategies for Teachers
Communication Strategies for Teachers
How effective we are as teachers has a great deal to do with how we communicate. We communicate ideas, information and expectations in a variety of ways – through speaking, through gestures and other body language, and through the written word etc. Teachers must be able to use a variety of communication strategies in classroom (1) Non-verbal, (2) Verbal and written, (3) Technology and Media and communicate with ESOL and ESE students effectively.

Non-Verbal Communication Strategies for Teachers
Talking with individuals while the class is working can be very distracting. Learn to develop nonverbal communication with your students to let them know that you approve (smile, nod, hand signal, wink, etc.) or disapprove (raised eyebrow, pause and look, shaking head, frown, etc.) of their behavior or work.

•Eye Contact
Appropriate: Teacher maintains eye contact with the student
Inappropriate: Teacher glares at the student

•Body Language:
Appropriate: Teacher faces student; alert posture but not threatening. Gestures support statements.
Inappropriate: Teacher crowds student, points, shakes fist, threateningly.

•Facial:
Appropriate: Expression suits message
Inappropriate: Excessive affect; contorted, disgusted, enraged expression

Verbal Communication Strategies
•Voice:
Appropriate: Normal volume, natural sounding, varied for emphasis.
Inappropriate: Whiny, hesitant, broken, too soft or too loud; shouts, screams.

Speaking to a Class
•Appropriate: Plan ahead, Practice, Observe and talk with teachers you respect, and be observed or tape yourself.
•Inappropriate: No planning, practicing, observing others and yourself

•Writing:
Appropriate: Detailed instructions.
Inappropriate: Unclear, short or confusing instructions in writing.

Using Technology for Communication:
Advantages:
•More successful lessons: visual, interactive, and differentiated – message goes out there
•Increases motivation, engagement, and student performance

Disadvantages
•Tends to go too fast,
•Some focus too much on tech,
•expensive, time consuming and has learning curve

Common Technologies Used in Classroom:
Computers, projectors, ipad, ipod, mp3 players, software programs, internet, smartboard etc.

Tips:
•Remember that technology is a tool not the mean
•Use course website and email for assignment description - always use your school email
•Use presentations and streaming videos to enhance your lessons / messages
•Encourage your students to use technology – teach word processing skills (writing, spelling, grammar functions for better communication)
•Online communications are effective but not private
•Creatively find and use resources (web 2.0 tools) – rubric builder, webquest, lesson plans, videos, photos, etc.
•Do not treat your school computer like your home computer and always back up your data


Communicating with ESOL Students
The following techniques are useful in matching speech patterns to the needs of those who are experiencing difficulty with oral skills.

•Talk slowly, naturally and clearly, repeat, use synonyms
•Avoid using lots of slang and idioms (my bad, dude, pal, had a ball, raining cats and dogs, b-ball etc.)
•Use simple sentence structure (subject-verb-object) and high-frequency words
•Use drawings, dramatic gestures, actions, emotions, voice, chalkboard sketches, photographs and visuals
•Use normal volume! Do not shout, they are not deaf.
•Ask simple yes/no questions so that newcomers have an opportunity to respond
•Accept one-word answers or gestures
•Be patient. Try to imagine yourself in their country as a student.
•If a student has trouble understanding you, write down what you are saying. If you have trouble understanding the student, ask him or her to write down what he/she is saying.
•If the student response is heavily accented, correct by repeating the words correctly. Do not ask the student to repeat the correction. This can be very embarrassing.
•Don’t treat students like children. English language proficiency does not indicate intelligence or ability level.
•Don’t make snap judgments about someone’s English skills based only on speaking ability.
•Don't jump in immediately to supply the words for the student.
•Don’t act as if you understand the student if you don’t. Admit if there is a communication problem.
•Don't ask "Do you understand?" unless you have taught it. This is not a reliable check since many students will nod "yes" when they don't really understand.

Communicating with ESE Students

Communicating with Hearing Impaired
•First: Establish the level of hearing impairment (deaf or hard of hearing)
•Deaf can sometimes read your lips – learn what is needed first.
When communicating:
•Get the other person's attention before attempting to talk or communicate
•Stay in their field of vision.
•Speak your greeting in a normal voice and tone.
•Establish the gist of what you are going to talk about.
•Make eye contact
•Use gestures and visual clues
•Be polite for interruptions
•Learn basic sign language

Communicating with Visually Impaired
•First: Establish the level of visual impairment (blind or hard of sight)
When communicating:
•Say who you are when you start to speak.
•Be guided by the actions of the visually impaired person because they may not be able to see your actions.
•Speak naturally – do not avoid visually descriptive language or phrases such as ‘see you later’.
•Indicate that a conversation has ended or that you are leaving in order to avoid the student speaking when no-one is there.
•You may need to explain the reason for sudden loud noises or laughter.
•Guide dogs are working dogs and must not be distracted or fussed over. Unless you are involved in making an arrangement to accommodate them, they should generally be ignored; eye contact is discouraged.
•It can sometimes be helpful to give information about the physical environment.
•A blind student may or may not use a white cane or stick. ‘Symbol canes’ are usually just held, and their purpose is to advise that the person has difficulties seeing. Long canes are used to check the ground (e.g. for obstacles, steps, kerbs) for several paces ahead. A cane or stick with a red band means the person also has a hearing impairment. Do not move a blind person’s cane without their permission.
•A blind person learns the location of things, do not move them around without letting the person know.
•Respect the person’s ability to do things for him or herself – do not provide assistance without first asking. Be aware that they may not want or need help.
•If your help is accepted, offer the blind person your arm - never grab the person’s arm or attempt to direct him or her by pushing or pulling.
•If you are helping a blind person to their seat, place their hand on the back of it when you arrive.

Communicating with Stutterers
•Do not ever complete their sentences or speak words for them.
•Try to refrain from using words or phrases like "take a breath," "relax," or "slow down".
•Never pretend that you understand what someone who stutters is saying.
•Tell if you did not understand or misunderstand them
•Become more attentive and patient while listening to someone who stutters.
•Help them feel comfortable talking to/with you
•Do not wait for them to raise their hands to speak. Don’t let the most vocal students do all the talking; give everyone a chance to speak. However, do not demand speech immediately – give time.
•Do not time pressure your students!
•Fear, anger, grief, humiliation and frustration can cause speech disruption. When possible, don't encourage the student with a speech problem to talk while experiencing these emotions.
•Try to word questions so that the student can reply without long, involved answers.
•Try to give chances for leadership in recreational activities.
•Try to assign definite classroom duties which do not require speech responses.
•Do not react emotionally to stuttering. Do not show embarrassment, impatience, or anxiety.
•Talk to other students privately when needed!

•Should I excuse the student from oral presentation of projects or reports?
Excusing the student who stutters from oral classroom work may result in momentary relief, but the next time such a situation is faced, the fear and anxiety will be even greater. To make things easier: The use of a slide projector or overhead projector for the presentation of material. (The student will feel more relaxed and likely stutter less if the class is attending to the overhead.)
tape record part of the presentation. (People who stutter are usually more fluent when they talk with one person, or speak into a tape recorder in the privacy of their own home.)
arrange for the student to meet with you two or three times before the presentation day for "rehearsal" - Once the student knows you are on the same side, anxiety will lessen.
students with severe stuttering problems might be given the opportunity to do the first few oral presentations privately in front of the teacher, the next few in front of a small group, and gradually work up to presenting in front of the entire class.

•Should I discuss the stuttering problem with the student's other teachers?
It is important that the rest of the staff (especially those involved with the student and the guidance department) be made aware of the problem. Help everyone to realize how this speech problem might affect the student's work in their class.
Votes: +27 / -0 Vote Up This Article Is Useful   Vote Down This Article Is Not Useful  

Comments posted for this article: 34

I really liked this article and all of the great tips you give for communication. Also, I liked how you had some tips abut ESOL, ESE, and other tips for communication. I found this article very helpful.
  Posted on: February 18, 2013 9:47 am

qaWeBu
qaWeBu
Reps: 125
I believe that all teachers should keep this close and in sight! I have seen my fair share of teachers who do not follow this very simple code of conduct.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 2:22 am

Amanda Smith
Amanda Smith
Reps: 94
I really think these are great steps for 1st time teachers. Every movement is going to count in the classroom.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 2:46 am

uLyJaj
uLyJaj
Reps: 99
These are fantastic steps to follow. Non communication skills are a must for teachers!
  Posted on: October 26, 2014 2:17 pm

SeguHu
SeguHu
Reps: 96
These are great steps. I feel that communication with students, parents, and other teachers is a very important.
  Posted on: February 19, 2015 4:23 pm

Jen
Jen
Reps: 225
I really loved this article. Great steps to follow.
  Posted on: February 25, 2015 7:02 pm

Danielle Brock
Danielle Brock
Reps: 100
I enjoyed reading this idea.
I will use this in the future for sure
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 11:12 pm

Getube
Getube
Reps: 104
Thank you for this article. Very helpful.
  Posted on: March 9, 2015 6:07 pm

unuhaj
unuhaj
Reps: 102
Very helpful post. Thank you for your input.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 12:14 pm

Robyn Jones
Robyn Jones
Reps: 104
Great article. This is great advice for teachers that need tips with keeping constant and professional communication.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 2:24 pm

aNuLyB
aNuLyB
Reps: 103
Great post and useful strategies!
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 10:46 pm

genusa
genusa
Reps: 102
With the integration of ALL learners into a mainstream classroom, this information is so valuable to a teacher of ANY number of years. Thank you so much for these tips!
  Posted on: March 14, 2015 3:20 am

HaLyvy
HaLyvy
Reps: 100
All of these strategies are great ways to help create a positive learning environment. Great post!
  Posted on: October 4, 2015 7:11 pm

meXyHy
meXyHy
Reps: 158
This a great guideline for teachers. I would use this.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 8:28 pm

eSyTyt
eSyTyt
Reps: 101
Great tips for first time teachers.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 1:06 am

yseHug
yseHug
Reps: 100
All of these are great tips and a wonderful read! Being a first time teacher can be confusing and scary but this makes everything much more clear.
  Posted on: October 18, 2015 5:30 pm

gudure
gudure
Reps: 11
Very useful tips!
  Posted on: October 19, 2015 3:32 am

Chelsea
Chelsea
Reps: 103
This was a very helpful post! I really enjoyed reading the tips about non-verbal contact with students. I think this is an easy form of communication for teachers to sometimes overlook. Positive non-verbal communication is a great skill for new teachers to practice. I also found the tips for communicating with ESOL/ESE students helpful.
  Posted on: February 23, 2016 6:00 pm

ezyHes
ezyHes
Reps: 101
This is one of my favorites. Thank you for these tips.
  Posted on: March 5, 2016 4:52 am

yDydez
yDydez
Reps: 100
Great tips to use!
  Posted on: October 4, 2016 4:56 pm

Krystalynn Gulczewski
Krystalynn Gulczewski
Reps: 203
For hearing impaired students you can also write down what you are trying to talk about or include them into a discussion in the classroom by using technology. This can be done using sites like polleverywhere.com where the students will send in answers to polls or questions via text or through the website you provide the students. You can also use sites like google docs where the students can add comments to a document and you can discuss.
  Posted on: October 6, 2016 10:32 pm

yZaHuM
yZaHuM
Reps: 100
I never thought of some of these things. Thank you for the ideas.
  Posted on: October 8, 2016 4:12 pm

juWuPe
juWuPe
Reps: 203
I really enjoy this information that was provided. It will be very helpful for the near future.
  Posted on: October 9, 2016 7:26 pm

sazaXa
sazaXa
Reps: 200
All of these tips on communication are very helpful. I feel I use many ways to communicate and that I can benefit from being conscious of them
  Posted on: October 13, 2016 1:39 am

Nicole McVey
Nicole McVey
Reps: 201
This is extremely helpful for developing a proper empathetic approach for students with various learning, speech, behavioral, etc. disabilities.
  Posted on: October 14, 2016 1:00 am

qunumy
qunumy
Reps: 201
These are great for students such as myself and a reminder for teachers who have been in the career for a while. Thanks for posting!
  Posted on: October 17, 2016 1:56 am

uQaMeV
uQaMeV
Reps: 200
These are all great strategies to help future teachers.
  Posted on: February 21, 2017 12:24 am

XequMa
XequMa
Reps: 201
Thank you for these strategies! It is always very helpful to have info on modifications so we can accommodate all students.
  Posted on: February 28, 2017 11:52 am

eqeJaQ
eqeJaQ
Reps: 200
These are such help strategies, thank you for posting this!
  Posted on: March 1, 2017 1:22 am

Travis Cannon
Travis Cannon
Reps: 211
this is very important for all of us.
  Posted on: March 2, 2017 10:17 pm

aDuZyJ
aDuZyJ
Reps: 99
Thank you for sharing these communication strategies. Non-verbal can be just as important as verbal and written.
  Posted on: March 3, 2017 10:47 pm

Jenna Herberson
Jenna Herberson
Reps: 200
I will make sure to use these strategies in my classroom.
  Posted on: March 6, 2017 3:38 am

aWyVys
aWyVys
Reps: 201
I liked this article especially for the content it covered about students with a stutter. Personally I had a stutter due to having anxiety speaking in front of people when I was younger. I loved how the content encourages to not diminish the workload for students who have a stutter, but to provide them with the opportunities and resources to help them persevere and accomplish the needed tasks.
  Posted on: October 2, 2017 2:01 pm

azuTen
azuTen
Reps: 217
Great Post!
  Posted on: October 8, 2017 6:12 pm

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