Marlene Walther , a design technology and business English teacher at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Thunder Bay, Ontario, thinks that communication skills can and should be explicitly taught. She suggests that the best way to teach them is through authentic learning which requires not only teaching the rules of spelling and punctuation but putting them to use. Walther identifies the following elements of good communication:
- Reading and analyzing what is being read.
- Writing and developing the ability to use different styles in different situations.
- Researching in various media, including interviewing.
- Learning the proper use of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Learning by criticism which can be self-criticism or in the form of feedback from others, and the ability to plan for self-improvement.
Barry Lindahl , a teacher of Social Studies and History at West Vancouver Secondary School in West Vancouver, British Columbia, identifies the basic communication skills as reading, writing and listening. It takes time and effort to gain proficiency in elements of effective communication. Time is necessary not only to acquire good communication skills, but to practice and refine them. He points out that some communication skills are intangible and are best assimilated in the course of learning another discipline.
Claire explains that improved skills carry over into other disciplines and there is an improvement in her students’ performance in English owing to what they learned from her French and Spanish lessons. Lindahl's students have developed the ability to research and write effectively which improves their writing in other classes and in the workplace. In Walther's class, students understand that good communication skills are essential to getting their job done, at school and later in life.
Communication skills are essential for students to have a successful future. In today’s world of competitiveness, business communication skills are the most sought after quality of an educated person. Group activities are a great way to develop communication skills in students. Group activities should not only be restricted to classrooms, but teachers should encourage students to complete assignments by working in groups. This gives them better results, helps them to complete tasks faster and develops their habit of effectively communicating and collaborating in a group. Active listening is a very effective way to develop communication skills. Reading out from newspapers, magazines and other sources and later asking questions from that can help teachers make their students active listeners. Active participation of students should also be highly encouraged by the teachers.
Developing communication skills in students can be made possible by infusing a healthy feeling of competition and curiosity in them. Share your views on the context. The comment box is waiting.