Communication skills are central to success in school, work, and life. Research indicates that developing strong communication skills are important for a variety of reasons:
Strong communication skills are associated with improved interpersonal relationships and health outcomes.
Reading skills early in elementary school are predictive of academic success in middle and high school, and strong communication skills upon entering college are linked to higher grades and graduation rates.
Employers seek job candidates with strong communication skills.
Communications skills should not be treated implicitly by assigning students a communication activity without providing direct communication skill instruction.
Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to assess their impact and judge their effectiveness
Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multi-lingual)
Communication can be defined as a social process in which information is exchanged in order to convey meaning and achieve desired outcomes. Communication takes many forms, from writing a paper or reading a book, to delivering a presentation, to engaging in conversation or debate.
Analyzing the situation means thinking about the subject, purpose, sender, receiver, medium, and context of a message.
Choosing a medium involves deciding the most appropriate way to deliver a message, ranging from a face-to-face chat to a 400-page report.
Evaluating messages means deciding whether they are correct, complete, reliable, authoritative, and up-to-date.
Following conventions means communicating using the expected norms for the medium chosen.
Listening actively requires carefully paying attention, taking notes, asking questions, and otherwise engaging in the ideas being communicated.
Reading is decoding written words and images in order to understand what their originator is trying to communicate.
Speaking involves using spoken words, tone of voice, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and visual aids in order to convey ideas.
Turn taking means effectively switching from receiving ideas to providing ideas, back and forth between those in the communication situation.
Using technology requires understanding the abilities and limitations of any technological communication, from phone calls to e-mails to instant messages.
Writing involves encoding messages into words, sentences, and paragraphs for the purpose of communicating to a person who is removed by distance, time, or both.
Ways to Integrate Communication into Your Classroom