Effective Classroom Discourse: Communicating to your Students

Classroom Discussion

A good teacher-student relationship is highly valued in an educational setting. A teacher should speak to his or her students with enthusiasm and understanding. Likewise, students should speak to their teacher with respect and politeness.

Whether it is for a lecture or a graded recitation, teachers and students should effectively communicate with each other, to ensure that the discourse drives towards a mutual learning experience.

The essence of education is to learn. This should be exemplified by a teacher-student relationship.

Classroom Discourse

The language that is used in a classroom setting is called classroom discourse. This pertains to the language that teachers and students use to discuss and interact with each other in a classroom. Primarily, this language is most concerned with the conversations in which most teaching takes place.

The study of classroom discourse focuses on face-to-face teaching. In this communication cycle, the messages originate from the teacher, who is the sender.  The messages are sent to the receivers, who are the students. Once the messages are sent, the feedback from the students to the teacher starts the cycle again.

Two-way Communication

This cycle of a classroom discourse epitomizes two-way communication. To help teachers and students understand each other, it is important for them to co-construct knowledge by hearing each other’s thoughts. Feedback is an integral factor that achieves this outcome.

The teacher should not just be disseminating information, but the students should also actively respond to the messages conveyed. This deepens the learning process by allowing the teacher to understand what the student has understood and makes the teacher learn from a student.

Speaking up

To achieve effective two-way communication, students need to be motivated and not intimidated by teachers. Teachers can do this by introducing speaking activities during class. Some examples are class debates, oral exams, and reflective group sharing activities.

Teachers should keep in mind that they should not blatantly show a violent reaction when a student says something wrong or questionable. More controlled and encouraging reactions makes students feel less intimidated and more confident to speak up in class.

Teachers could also properly guide the student to the correct idea if they see that a student does not fully grasp the lesson. Stating clues and helpful insights could give students the path for them to discover more for themselves.

university hallFostering Rich Discourse

Promoting a rich classroom discourse should be a consistent factor in classes. Teachers should ensure that every class has a portion that embodies collaboration. Everyone in class should work together to ensure that everybody learns from each other.

A teacher should constantly ask if everyone is still keeping up with the progress of the lesson. Additionally, students should ask questions, clarifications, or even respectfully challenge ideas stated by a teacher. Overall, it is everyone’s goal to be well educated.

Effectively communicating in a classroom has many factors to consider. There are ways to promote students to speak up. There are also different ways for a teacher to make a class more collaborative. Certainly, there are different techniques, but increasing knowledge and understanding are always considered the end goal.

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