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Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication Strategies for Students

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  • 0:00 Perceptions
  • 0:29 Verbal Communication
  • 1:50 Nonverbal Communication
  • 2:41 Culture
  • 3:46 In the Classroom
  • 4:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

There is often a mismatch between the intentions of a speaker and the perceptions of a listener. In this lesson, we will look at ways that verbal and nonverbal communication convey thoughts, and how they may function in a classroom setting.

Perceptions

There are a variety of ways that teachers and students communicate with one another. Verbal communication is the use of words to convey meaning. However, nonverbal communication, which includes all aspects of body language, is more than half of all perceived communication according to researcher Albert Mehrabian. Let's look at the ways that students and teachers communicate with one another in the classroom.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is more than the words that are said. Verbal signals are received in different ways depending on tone, stress, and voice inflection. Vocal tone is used to convey the emotions of the speaker but can often be misinterpreted. People with loud voices and direct language are often perceived as having a negative tone that was not intended. For example, Sarah may misread that Christopher is angry with her because Christopher has a loud voice.

Vocal stress emphasizes a word or words in a sentence to express meaning. For example, 'I did not tell you to complete the written portion of the assignment,' with the emphasis on the word 'I' is perceived differently from saying, 'I did not tell you to complete the written portion of the assignment,' with the emphasis on the word 'written.' In the first sentence, it sounds like the speaker is defending that the message did not come from him, while the second sentence sounds like the speaker asked the listener to complete a different part of the assignment.

Vocal inflection is a change of pitch or tone to express meaning. For example, if someone asks a question and you say, 'no,' with a downward inflection, it sounds commanding. However, if you say, 'no' with an upward inflection, it sounds as if you're asking a question and may inspire debate.

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