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The Impact Of Nonverbal Communication Cues Used By Lecturers During Lectures

2099 words - 9 pages






MARCH, 2013

Nonverbal communication is behavior, other than spoken or written communication, that creates or represents meaning. In other words, it includes facial expressions, body movements, and gestures. Nonverbal communication is talking without speaking a word. It is very effective, maybe even more so than ...view middle of the document...

Body language can be voluntary (on purpose) or involuntary (a person can’t help it). An interesting fact is that a blind student will smile when happy even though they have never seen a smile.

Gesture: Gestures are communications like facial expressions, hand signals, eye gazing, and body postures. Examples include smiles, handshakes, waving, and raising certain fingers to say something. For instance, if you saw a friend at a noisy carnival, you might smile and wave at your friend. You might express nervousness by fidgeting if a mean lecturer point at you to answer a question in class. You could do all of these things without saying a word.
However, some communication scholars have identified some other types of nonverbal communication. They include;
* Paralanguage: this has to do with the way we use our voice i.e. how you say what you say. In terms of the tone, the volume, the pitch (highness and lowness), the rate (speed of speaking), and the quality of your voice.
* Proxemics: the use of space and distance to communicate.
* Chronemics: the use of time to communicate.
* Haptic: the use of touch to communicate.
* Oculesics: the use of eye contact to communicate.
* Objectics: the use of objects to communicate.
During the process of learning in a classroom scenario, lecturers make use of these nonverbal cues to enable them drive home their points and get appropriate learning feedback from their students. However, based on individual difference theory, students react differently to these messages. The theory states that;
“Individuals differ in their personal psychological make-up. Attitudes, values and beliefs are often learnt through experiences. This would result in differences in perception and cognition”. Solomon anaeto. (2008. Pg.132)
To some students, these nonverbal communication like the use of gesture may aid speedy learning while to some others, the use of paralanguage by lectures make them so scared of the lecturer that they cannot bring their minds to understand what is being thought. For instance, a lecturer who never smiles with his or her student and easily shouts at a student who misbehaves in class may be expressing meanness to the student and this can cause behavioural change. Such behavioural change is seen when a bold and confident student suddenly becomes timid and fearful when he or she is attending this class, hence the student rather is so careful not to get into trouble with the lecturer in class. This in turn will affect the students’ relationship with the lecturer and affect learning as well.
This principle can also be explained using Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner’s behaviour theory. The principle states that
“Changes in behaviour are the result of an individual’s response to events (stimuli) that occur in the environments.” Solomon Anaeto et al (2008. Pg.83)
However, despite the verbal and nonverbal communication skills applied by lecturers in teaching students, it is still...

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