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    Learning Plan: The Nature and Process of Communication

    Objectives

    By the end of the lesson, you will have been able to:

    • explain the nature and process of communication;
    • differentiate various models of communication;
    • discuss the functions of communication;
    • distinguish the unique features of one communication process from the other;
    • practice effective verbal and nonverbal communication during social interactions;
    • explain why there is a breakdown of communication;
    • apply strategies in overcoming communication breakdowns;
    • practice effective communication skills;
    • evaluate the effectiveness of oral communication;
    • practice learning and thinking skills, life skills, and ICT literacy; and
    • reflect on your learning on the fundamentals of communication.

    Warm Up

    1. Form groups of four to five members.
    2. Create a two-minute group presentation that reflects your understanding of what “communication” is about.
    3. Be creative.
    4. You have five minutes to prepare.

    Debriefing Questions

    1. Which groups effectively communicated their message? Give reasons why the presentation was effective.
    2. Is effective communication important? Why? Why not?

    Self-Audit

    After completing Let’s Warm Up, tick the column that determines how often you practice what the statements say. Do this as objectively as possible. Bear in mind that there are no wrong answers. You can use your performance in Let’s Warm Up as a basis in completing this task.

    Work and Learn

    Exercise 1

    Stand up. Think of one fact that you know about communication and share it with everyone. Once you have shared something, you can sit down and listen to what the rest of the class has to share.

    Communication is a process of sharing and conveying messages or information from one person to another within and across channels, contexts, media, and cultures (McCornack, 2014). There is a wide variety of contexts and situations in which communication can be manifested; it can be a face-to-face interaction, a phone conversation, a group discussion, a meeting or interview, a letter correspondence, a class recitation, and many others.

    The Nature of Communication

    1. Communication is a process.
    2. Communication occurs between two or more people (the speaker and the receiver).
    3. Communication can be expressed through written or spoken words, actions (nonverbal), or both spoken words and nonverbal actions at the same time.

    Elements of Communication

    Communication is divided into elements which help us better understand its mechanics or process. These elements are the following:

    1. Speaker – the source of information or message
    2. Message – the information, ideas, or thoughts conveyed by the speaker in words or in actions
    3. Encoding – the process of converting the message into words, actions, or other forms that the speaker understands
    4. Channel – the medium or the means, such as personal or non-personal, verbal or nonverbal, in which the encoded message is conveyed
    5. Decoding – the process of interpreting the encoded message of the speaker by the receiver.
    6. Receiver – the recipient of the message, or someone who decodes the message
    7. Feedback – the reactions, responses, or information provided by the receiver
    8. Context – the environment where communication takes place
    9. Barrier – the factors that affect the flow of communication

    Exercise 2 (Group)

    Work with your group mates in the Let’s Warm Up activity. As a group, do the following:

    Study the diagram below. It represents the Schramm Model. Schramm (1954) modified the Shannon-Weaver Model. What has Schramm added to the Shannon-Weaver Model? Is the new model more comprehensive? Why do you think so? How is it different from or similar to the Transaction Model?

    Schramm Model

    Exercise 3

    Identify the function of communication in each of the following situations. 

    1. The teacher reads and discusses classroom policies to her students.
    2. Ross greets Rachel; then, they start talking about their plans for the holidays.
    3. Phoebe shares her insights on how to live peacefully despite a complicated life.
    4. Monica shares her personal frustrations with Chandler.
    5. The geometry teacher lectures about mathematical concepts.
    6. Sheila delivers her valedictory speech.
    7. The President delivers his last State of the Nation Address.
    8. A television personality thanks to the supportive moviegoers during an interview.
    9. The city mayor presents her strategies to execute the plans in a public forum.
    10. A tourist guide orients a group of tourists about a heritage site.

    Barriers to Communication

    There are instances when miscommunication and misunderstanding occur because of certain barriers. To become an effective communicator, you should recognize these barriers that hinder the communication process. This will enable you to control the situation, reset conditions, and start anew. The table below presents some barriers to effective communication with corresponding solutions.

    BARRIEREXAMPLESOLUTION
    Emotional barriersYou are having a bad day or you feel frustrated.Recognize these kinds of emotions, and politely ask the other person to give you a moment so you can relax or calm yourself.
    Emotional barriersYou sit in a meeting or class where you think the speaker is boring.Recognize this kind of attitude, reset, and reflect on how you can be interested in what the speaker is pointing out.
    Use of jargonYou are a scientist discussing a certain weather phenomenon with your neighbor who does not know much about the topic.Jargon refers to the set of specialized vocabulary in a certain field. To avoid communication breakdown due to lack of clarity, adjust your language; use layman’s terms or simple words.
    Lack of confidenceYou are asked to share something about your day or weekend, but you are hesitant because you are shy.Develop self-confidence by joining organizations where you can share and develop your interests. Look for opportunities in your school or community that will help you find your strengths and improve your abilities.
    Noisy environmentYou are having a conversation with some friends when a song was played loudlyRecognize that noise is a common barrier. Make some adjustments by asking someone to minimize the volume or by looking for a quiet area where you can resume the conversation.

    Note that these are only some of the barriers; many others may arise out of context, language, physical restrictions, and the like.

    Exercise 4 (Class)

    As a class, complete the semantic web below with a word or group of words relevant to communication. You can assign a representative to gather and/or consolidate the responses of the class.

    Exercise 5

    Write T before each number if the statement is true and F if the statement is false.

    1. Consider ethics in your speech at all times.
    2. Effective use of nonverbal communication can strengthen your message.
    3. How you communicate reflects who you are as a person.
    4. One way to help you build credibility is through effective nonverbal communication.
    5. There are certain words that are only appropriate at certain times and places.
    6. To achieve clarity, we must speak the same language as our listeners.
    7. The use of too many fillers can distract your listeners.
    8. Verbal communication is better than nonverbal communication.
    9. When you talk to others, you should not assume too quickly that they understand the message that you convey.
    10. When you communicate, choose what you want to say and how you want to say it.

    Practice

    I. Group Activity

    Your teacher will divide the class into three groups. This activity follows the format of a charades game, and the objective is to guess unknown words in the shortest time possible.

    Your teacher will assign a category for each group. Assign a timekeeper in your group and prepare ten pieces of one-fourth-sized paper and a small empty box or pencil case. Think of words or phrases related to your category and write each word in a piece of paper. Fold each piece to hide the word.

    Remember not to choose words that are very difficult to guess. Follow the guidelines below.

    • At least two members of the group must be familiar with the word’s meaning.
    • A word should only be composed of a maximum of eight letters.
    • Proper names are not allowed, but they can be used along with other words.
    • Foreign words and technical terms are not allowed.

    Each round of the activity proceeds as follows:

    • Each group will assign two representatives who will act out or describe the unknown word. The remaining group members have to guess the word within one minute.
    • To start, the representatives from Team A will draw a piece of paper from Team B’s box.
    • They have five seconds to view the word, after which Team B’s timekeeper will start the timer.
    • The representatives will then have their teammates guess the word through gestures. Drawing or writing on the board is not allowed.
    • If Team A guesses the word, Team B’s timekeeper has to record the number of seconds it took for Team A to get the correct answer.
    • If Team A cannot guess the word, Team B’s timekeeper has to record a time of one minute.
    • To proceed, a representative from Team B will draw a piece of paper from Team C’s box. This roundabout game will go on until all the words are used.

    The score for each group is the total time that the group accumulated for all the rounds. The group with the shortest time wins.

    II. Group Activity

    With the same group, perform a five-minute presentation of your favorite scene from an English movie, TV series, or musical or non-musical stage play. The chosen scene should show how one or more barriers to communication lead to miscommunication. You have 20 minutes to plan and organize.

    III. Group Activity

    With your group mates, discuss the following:

    • Was there a lack of communication or miscommunication within your group when you organized and performed your tasks? What are these?
    • Why do you think this happened?
    • What are the barriers to communication that occurred?
    • What strategies did you use to avoid barriers and miscommunication?

    Make sure that each member gives his/her answer. Overall, you have ten minutes to exchange ideas. Afterwards, assign one person, preferably the shyest member in your group, to share with the class the highlights or the most important points of the discussion.

    IV. Individual Activity

    Your teacher will randomly ask you a question. Once your turn comes, you have to stand in front and answer your teacher’s question, which may range from life goals to personal favorites.

    • After you answer, your teacher will give a follow-up question which you have to answer as well.
    • Then, he/she will assign two members of the class to respond to your answers.

    V. Individual Activity

    Imagine that you are addressing a group of parents and teachers in an assembly on understanding your generation known as the “Millennial Generation.”

    • Prepare a two-minute speech that communicates your ideas about the topic.
    • Your speech should highlight who the millennials are and how they are different from other generations.
    • Before the speech deliveries, find a partner.
    • Evaluate each other’s speech deliveries using the rubrics on the next page.
    • Write the strong and weak points of the presentation in the succeeding table.

    Reinforcement Activity

    Observe two of your classes other than English. Find out the nature, process, elements, and models of communication exemplified in each class. Using a maximum of 500 words, write a report about your observations. Use the following format: font 12, Times New Roman, 1.5 spacing.

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