21st Century Kids

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21st Century Kids
Grand Canyon University: EDU 576
MAY 22, 2012

I live in Shanghai, China and sometimes experience a barrier with communication since I do not speak any Chinese. I went to a place where I knew quite a few expat kids hang out, so I could understand what was being said back and forth. I chose to go to an indoor playground that I take my son to sometimes, called Adventurezone. Here I had a chance to observe the communication styles, social behaviors, topics of discussion, verbiage, and attitudes of the kids who were playing. Most of the kids there were elementary school age. Going into this observation, I did not think anything would be much different from when I was a kid. The first thing that I noticed was that the kids had different styles of communication. Some liked to initiate dialog, and told all about their lives and family in the first few minutes of meeting someone. While other kids seemed like they did not really want to talk and just wanted to play by themselves. My son is the more sociable example, so I am used to having our lives told to strangers in an instant. The kids also used non-verbal communication. They used their hands to say, “follow me” or “come here.” Sometimes they just pointed where they wanted everyone to go. At Adventurezone, I also noticed some differences in their social behavior. There were some kids who formed groups and ran about the playground together. There were also other kids who just played alone. The kids’ interactions with their parents varied, as well. When parents said it was time to go they received mixed reactions. Some kids came right away, some ran deeper into the maze or structure, and some just ignored their parents all together. When I overheard the kids talking it was usually about playing in their groups that they formed. At first they did all the common introduction communication like names, ages, schools attended and where they were from. Once they had formed their...
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