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Interpersonal communication is the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one individual to another (Lalropuii, 2014). Effective interpersonal communication in a school setting is considered an essential element of learning because it aids the understanding of concepts put across by the teacher. However, the easiness or complexity of the interpersonal communication process is dependent on the age, subject, and the level of learning in the school. Children in lower grade require simple the use of language to comprehend the instructions while those in upper grades require advanced terminologies. Naturally, a school, just like any organization, is a social space (Popescu, 2013) and thus requires a system of seamless communication. The purpose of this essay is to provide a discussion on interpersonal communication in a high school setting, identify the major types of interpersonal communication observed, identify how interpersonal relationships are formed, examine their implications on communication, record any examples to support the observations, and analyzed the communication practices observed.
Types of Interpersonal Communication
According to Siburian (2013), the essence of high school education is a learning process in which teachers are the human resources that determine the fate of learning outcomes. Incorporating all types of interpersonal communication is vital to the successful learning experience. Below is the discussion on the types of interpersonal communication observed in a high school setting.
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The main mode of teaching is through verbal communication. Hence, it is almost impossible to avoid it, since it accounts for the greatest percentage of daily interaction between teachers and learners. Verbal communication is a systematic approach (Popescu, 2013) of communication that guides other forms of communication in a school. Through verbal communication, students can as well share their opinions (Berger, 2014) about the learning experience and the topic.
Written materials form the bulk of the learning process in high school. While teaching often occurs through verbal communication, teachers rely on written materials to disseminate the information (Braithwaite & Schrodt, 2014). Students make use of written materials like textbooks, magazines, and online research to revise and further their understanding of what they learned in class. Students as well write their notes as the teacher dictates to them through verbal communication. Most examinations in high school test comprehension of written communication.
Non-verbal communication compliments verbal communication in terms of illustrations and directions. They include the use of body gestures like nodding the head, pointing out items using the hand, maintaining eye contact, and smiling among other cues (Solomon & Theiss, 2013). The teacher can tell through these cues of the students are paying attention or not.
Formation of Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal relationships influence the success of any learning experience, especially in a high school setting since learning is based on the mutuality of social action (Jane & Victoria, 2013). In social psychology, interpersonal relationships are described as strong relationships with diverse interdependence that lasts over a considerable period of time. Students spend at least three years in high school, and within this time, they form relationships that have to last for all that period. Hence, interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of friendship, sharing a classroom, group work, and clubs. Students become friends due to frequent interactions and because they also need to satisfy their social needs. Sharing a classroom, group, or a club makes the formation of interpersonal relationships much easier because everything finds such students at the same place. Students become attached to some teachers, who they find friendly and welcoming when they have issues.
Implications of Interpersonal Relationships on Communication
Interpersonal relationships influence the attitudes and behaviors of students and teachers. More so, they have an impact on the teacher-student relationship (Jane & Victoria, 2013). There have been instances where students resist homework because they perceive it as a punishment imposed to them by teachers. Some of them are disorganized and tend to arrive late to school without any valid reason (Drussell, 2012). That is a show of communication breakdown and a lack of proper interpersonal relationships between students and teachers. That unnecessary misunderstanding between teachers and students affects smooth learning in schools. Therefore, making it clear to students of what is expected of them can help improve interpersonal relationships. That in itself is an example observed in a high school.
Communication Practices Observed
Communication practices are mechanisms that ensure proper message delivery. They are the heart of every successful interaction (Mason & Leek, 2012). Some of the observed communication practices in a high school setting were group work presentation. Such a practice ensures that students get a chance to utilize both written and verbal communication. Through group work, students showcase their leadership capabilities (Optum, 2015). Incorporating technological aspects like the use of computers for online research and projection during group presentation (Zayas, 2015) makes students feel empowered. Such a type of communication improves organization among students and teachers and eliminate disagreements and misunderstandings.
Communication is an important aspect of the learning process. A high school is a good place to analyze the utilization of interpersonal communication. The mentioned types of interpersonal communication are verbal, written and non-verbal communication. Formation of interpersonal relationships is on the basis of friendship, and class, group work, and club interactions. With such interactions, the implications are evident in the effect they cause on attitudes and behaviors of students and teachers. The observed communication practices were the utilization of group work presentation and integration of technology in class research.
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