Making Communication Proficiency Matters: Revisiting School Administrators’ Communication Skills in English

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Chapter 1
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE

Introduction
Language is man’s most effective medium of communication, be it oral or written. It allows people to communicate their ideas to say or write things to each other and express their communicative needs.

Oral and written communication, as language skills, are audio and visual representation which consists of speaking, writing and even listening processes (Flores and Lopez, 1984:3). In speaking, the process begins with expressions and through association with words. However, speaking is sometimes undervalued because it is often thought of a colloquial accounting for its lower priority in some teaching contexts (Donough and Shaw, 1993:151). Writing, on the other hand, focuses on the practice, art, form, or style of literary composition. It is a written instrument: words. Or characters that stand for words or ideas but sometimes it is also being underscored. Moreover, Listening begins with expression as heard in context, followed by recall of content through association between and ideas.

As gleaned above, an individual who lives in society Gupit (1986:5) stressed, cannot get along with his fellowmen and school head cannot be understood by his superiors, teachers and learners or vice versa without some forms of communication.

Furthermore, oral and written communication can serve as the very vehicle in establishing a better and functional society to live in. So communication reflects someone’s countless aspirations, frustrations, proudest accomplishments, and ignoble failures. Man’s success, Pangilinan and Dilig (1991) continue, depends upon his efforts to develop his communication skills – skills that sharpen his ability to express consistently, clearly and convincingly.

Oral and written communication using the target language, English, is one of the best ways of imparting learning in academe, in expressing one’s thought, and feelings (Laguna, 1978). Thus, for an effective leadership also, school heads must always remember that management is a collaborative process. This means that a school administrator, who has the competence in managing oneself to include his communication skills and his career, has the ability to inspire followers with a vision to which they relate, develop people through feedback and guidance, communicate effectively, manage conflict and build relationship that create bonding and teamwork (Goleman, 1998).

Despite the continuous means of upgrading the school heads through sending them to various in-service trainings, seminar workshops and other educational innovations implemented by the Department of Education to come up with a quality leadership, management and instruction, still communication skills using English language has need to be enhanced. Thus, the Philippine educational system specifically in public schools are presently confronted with the dilemma of some school heads that are not so good in both oral and written English. The above deficiencies are also experienced by the researcher during her career as division coordinator and school administrator for almost five years. As she observed there are about 70% (roughly estimated) of the school administrators especially the neophyte school heads who have less experience and knowledge in handling a school, they had the difficulty in written communication e.g. making school memorandum and endorsement letter, writing School Improvement Plan and other documents needed for school development. Another realization is that there are also some school administrators specifically those who belonged to an ethnic group who are not so competent communicatively because the dialect they used to are ambiguous to the correct pronunciation, enunciation and diphthong of English language. And most of these school heads also are assigned in hinter land areas where they are deprived of the latest technology which can aid them in enhancing their communication skills.

With the above situation, lots of people...
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