promoting communication

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Confidentiality Pages: 7 (1055 words) Published: March 28, 2014
Unit 1 Session 2

Communication & Confidentiality

Promoting Communication (SHC 31)
The New Oxford English Dictionary defines communication as “the imparting, conveying or exchange of ideas, knowledge, information etc – whether by speech, writing or signs.” (The New Oxford English Dictionary, 1998). Communication involves not only the sending and receiving of messages but is also a means of establishing contact, influencing others and a way to build relationships. Effective communication requires cooperation, honest listening, clear instructions, respect, clarifying questions, proper feedback, and openness to divergent opinions.


Expressing wants/needs
Requesting / giving information
Protesting or denying
Expressing feelings
Making choices

 Speech
 Touch
 Body language
 Gestures
 Tone of voice
 Behaviour
 Eye contact
 Signs and symbols
 Written
 Braille
 Makaton
 PECS (Picture exchange communication system)


Unit 1 Session 2

Communication & Confidentiality


Meeting communication/language needs and preferences
Having a shared language, a shared communication system and shared interests makes communication possible. In addition to these, the people involved would also need to have enough time and a proper place to ensure that effective communication takes place. When a person lacks the right means, reasons and/or opportunities mentioned above, communication fails (Money & Thurman, 1994). While the above factors are usually present in a good percentage of the population, there are situations where complementary support is required to make the whole process of communication effective. There is no one right method to meet the needs of all. A comprehensive understanding of the individual’s preferences and needs, is to be sought in order for the educator to provide the appropriate kind of support to ensure that the person reaches his/her full potential. Spoken language is the main communication medium in classrooms and is hence a fundamental tool for learning to occur. Children who exhibit language difficulties are affected not only in the language area but also in other developmental areas, such as the cognitive, social and emotional.


Unit 1 Session 2

Communication & Confidentiality

While emotions portrayed on someone’s face have been found to be understood regardless of culture differences, other nonverbal communication norms vary from one culture to the next. For example, nodding one’s head in Bulgaria means “no” and shaking one’s head sideways means “yes”. Apart from cultural factors, language itself can also act as a barrier to fruitful communication when a child’s primary language is not spoken at school. Communication problems may be related to:

 Speech (cleft lip and palate, cerebral palsy, elective mutism);  Language (expressive / receptive, developmental delays);  Hearing (hearing impairment, ear infections);
 Culture differences;
 Personality

Overcoming language and communication barriers
When children experience difficulties in communicating feelings, thoughts, ideas or needs, they are likely to experience frustration, anger and confusion. In order for educators to help, one first needs to gain a good understanding of the primary cause of such difficulties. It is useless for a child to be simply punished (e.g. time-out) for challenging behaviour, without considering any causes that are leading to the child’s disruptive behaviour. As stated above, one needs to keep in mind that language is not to be seen as separate from the rest of other developmental areas, but all these are interrelated. Once a clear understanding of the cause is determined, educators, parents and other professionals must work together to be able to develop a plan on how to...
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