Importance of Effective Communication Skills
By Samata, P.
To begin with, I would like to relate an amusing story - Once, two mice were being chased by a cat. The two mice were - a mother mouse and a child mouse. After, quite an exhaustive chase, mother mouse in a bid to scare the cat away, started to shout like a Dog, "Bow, Bow". Immediately the cat had to give up the chase thinking some dog is chasing her. Then in a very philosophical tone the mother mouse started explaining the child mouse that sometimes learning a second language comes in handy. Though English has come to us as a foreign language in the pre-independence period, in the post-independent India it has emerged as a powerful medium of communication. Today, it stands as an indispensable language. Communication as a Skill
Throughout history, people always reflected on the origins of communication. "Emperor Frederick -the 13th century ruler of the Holy Roman Empire -wanted to know what language had been spoken at the birth of mankind in the Garden of Eden. Was it Hebrew, Greek or Latin? He ordered an experiment in which the original circumstances would be recreated as closely as possible. A group of infants were to be isolated from hearing human speech from the moment of birth until they spoke their language. The babies were to be raised by nurses who were strictly charged to maintain complete silence when with the babies. The result? Every one of the babies died. The lack of communication can be lethal." -Robert Bolton, People Skills. (Handbook on communication Skills) Consider these instances as well: Let us remember the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. It shows that the people of the world come together to build a tower that would reach heaven. In a single stroke, their efforts came to naught because they were besieged by befuddled communication, resulting in breakdown of coordination. Intended message was frequently miscommunicated, misunderstood, mis-quoted or even missed altogether because of ineffective interpersonal communication skills. (Ibid). But now, we live in a world-culture where there are very thin barriers between nations, regions, societies, and within communities. Cities are moving towards more cosmopolitan settings where multi-ethnic groups live together. It's natural for the demand for an effective communicative world in such ever-emerging and ever-changing settings. Communication is Needed Everywhere
Communication is everywhere; it is in the market place, in the business place, in the casual settings, at the kitchen table, with your children and even with yourself. The thrust of the present day world is no doubt, "Communication skills" and not just skill, but how effective you are in communicating yourself. I don't think there is any household who does not think of the best school where the best communication skills are imparted to his or her child before taking admission. Over the years, as a teacher educator my area of concern has been in this particular field. When I send my student teachers for Teaching Practice & Internship I impress upon them, especially the student teachers who undertake training in teaching of English, to make a difference in school. Need for Change - Refresher Courses
Unfortunately, the education or teaching pattern currently, in almost all the educational institutions, is neither teacher-centric nor pupil-centric but is only examination-oriented. There is need for faculty development program, or in other words, a kind of refresher course, orientation program or in-service training program on effective communication skills throughout one's career; a program not just for building a career but to prepare, acquire and teach ourselves first and then take it to our pupils. Intelligence, aptitude, and vigor won't add much if we haven't mastered the most potent tool for success which is communicating effectively. As teachers of English we need to ponder deep on this vital role we play in the use of English for...
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