3 Ways To Adapt Your Classroom Communication

Talk The Talk

There is little doubt that the door to employment or training is opened by a student’s examination results. But what happens once your students try to walk through that door? Do they have the skills to keep it open?

Students need to be able to communicate with confidence. This confidence has to be nurtured whilst they are still at school.

The teacher’s role in this is crucial. How a teacher communicates with a student has a direct impact on how well the student is able to communicate. 

Ensure your students are confident communicators. 

Here’s 3 ways you can prop the door open for your students.

Know Thyself

Teachers are both transmitters and receivers. Think about your own communication in the classroom. How do you make sure that you are communicating effectively with your students?

The human body is always transmitting signals that suggest to others our moods, thoughts and impressions of people. Physically we naturally lean towards someone we like, if we are bored of a person or the topic that they are discussing, we tend to lean away from them.

We must be aware of our own modes of communication when standing at the front of a room full of students and ensure that the signals we are giving off are conducive of a supportive environment.

Teachers can have an individual connection with every student in class through eye contact. Making eye contact when students are contributing to discussions shows that you respect them and that you are listening to them.

Be Relatable

Students will be more confident to cooperate and communicate in a class when the teacher/student boundary is not an immovable line.

Sharing brief and appropriate personal anecdotes will strengthen the bond between student and teacher. Students will begin to see you as a real life person rather than purely as an authoritative figure.

The sharing of stories is an excellent way to generate discussion and help students to use their language skills – students will ask questions for clarification and also give evaluative feedback just as in a normal ‘real life’ interaction.

Talk to your students as much as time allows – both in the classroom and around the school. You then become a ‘person’ to them, rather than just a symbol of authority, and they will feel far more comfortable and confident in speaking to you.

Using Humour

Humour is a social device that we all share, regardless of age. Humour enhances communication by reducing tension, relieving embarrassment, facilitating engagement and alleviating boredom. It reduces the distance between teacher and student and creates a collaborative feeling within the classroom. 

Humour makes a teacher more approachable and will build a rapport with students. It also makes lessons more enjoyable. Students in a more enjoyable class are more likely to contribute and comply, which will result in greater progress. However, humour must be handled carefully – and used only occasionally – to maintain a positive impact on learning.  

There are some great examples of how to use humour here.

If you need support to implement oracy structures to assist students with storytelling and expressing opinions and want to earn some CPD hours in the process click here to find out about our Teacher CPD Workshop.

Categories: Teachers

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