Communication, as defined by Merriam-Webster encyclopedia, is “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.” Which occurs between a sender and receiver. In order for a classroom to be considered a “Healthy Classroom” communication is one of the most important aspects to be mastered. If there is no classroom communication, a classroom cannot function, as it should.
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The communication process is vital to effective learning within a classroom environment. Classroom instruction that produces positive results acknowledges the need for an abundant use of nonverbal cues, student involvement, and team communication. According to Parker (2003) effective classroom communication can be based or is premised on five praxis, these include: Delivery (Delivering) instruction, Soliciting Participation, Verbal and Nonverbal Communication, Team Building, (and) Assessments. Parker argued that whether by means of direct or indirect communication, instructors must convey instruction to students within a classroom. Whenever a teacher is teaching or describing assignments, he or she must measure the comfort level of each of his / her students with his / her communication style.
Classroom communication, as used in this paper, is a situation or process in which the instructors, lecturers or teachers ask some thought-provoking questions, to foster dialogue between students, encourage them to articulate and (reflect on the theme of discourse). In addition, the questions should encourage students to continually probe their needs, progress knowledge and adjust to teaching behavior. Without a doubt, effective classroom communication is a gateway for learning to takes place (Boulder & Colorado 2004)1. Thus, since good communication in the classroom is pivotal to learning, all basic communication skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication within the classroom setting should be experiential. This is particularly necessary to ensure that as it supports the claim of (Beath & Hebert 1995) that a lecturer does not slip into a monotone during class lessons, different tones and nuances are useful in attracting students’ focus on the lectures conducted.
Non-verbal communication is also a fundamental norm for class lectures (Nurzila &Khairu 2009)2. It is therefore pertinent to note that basic non-verbal skills including the awareness of eye contact; facial expression, motion, gestures, physical contact, and silence are all paramount in communication (McBeath & Hebert 1995)3. It should now be crystal-clear, that verbal and non-verbal communications skills are both important for teachers and students in teaching and learning in the classroom. Therefore, it is no gainsaying, that an educator should possess this knowledge and skills in order to communicate better with the students and to take charge of the class as a whole.
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In addition, lecturers who are unable to recognize students’ communication styles may end up hindering effective teaching and learning as well. Furthermore, the inability of lecturers to identify the non-verbal behavior of students may invariably lead to failure of the lecturer to comprehend the needs of their students. Asian students are more likely to express themselves by using non-verbal cues when compared to students who come from western countries, (Nurzila &Khairu 2009)1.
Moreover, student involvement in classroom discussions typically fosters a healthy communication process. Students should be (encouraged) to participate in the classroom, despite the fact that many students are reticent to voice their opinions. The solicitation of participation serves multiple purposes. For example, students who observe that their questions are worthy of being answered can freely exchange ideas with one another and can build confidence as they express themselves in public. Often, instructors can quickly identify weak areas of student understanding when they are invited to speak up during a class session, (Parker, 2003)5.
On the other hand, effective classroom communication and students’ understanding contrast the constructivist-learning paradigm. In this paradigm, it was postulated that persons or self-schema plays a significant role in shaping students understanding. Moreover, extreme constructivists like Sylvia (1993) may as well argue that classroom communication is a teacher-centered style of teaching, and, that its favors behaviorism learning paradigm in its approach. This view may be contested on the ground that classroom communication evolved in virtually all the learning theory paradigm including constructivism.
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