FUNDAMENTALS of COMMUNICATION
PHILOSOPHY

The ability to communicate is a necessary, lifelong skill enabling the student to be a responsible, contributing citizen in the community, state and nation. Students need to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to speak and listen in a variety of settings. Fundamentals of Communication is a program designed to help students better understand the complexities of the communication process and succeed in a world of interaction.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The required Fundamentals of Communication course is a full-semester course which offers instruction in each of the critical components listed below. Teachers are encouraged to supplement the following outline as time permits.

CRITICAL COMPONENTS

 (Alphabetical Order)
Communication Process
Human Relations Skills
Listening
Speech Preparation and Delivery

The following are suggested OPTIONAL UNITS to supplement the Fundamentals of Communication

(Alphabetical Order)

Careers and Business Communication
Mass Media
Parliamentary Procedure
Speech and Hearing Physiology

FUNDAMENTALS OF COMMUNICATION
CRITICAL COMPONENTS AND GOALS

The purpose of Fundamentals of Communication is to teach students all of the various and complex actions involved in sending and receiving oral messages. A "speech" course in which the only requirements and activities involve Speech Preparation and Delivery is out of compliance with this course of study.

Fundamentals of Communication

I. Communication Process
Students will

A. understand the function of the basic elements in the communication process.
B. comprehend the role of meaning in communication.
C. understand how individual perceptions affect communication.

II. Human Relations Students will

A. gain an appreciation of how self-concept affects human relationships.
B. learn ways to communicate through self-disclosure.
C. learn ways to increase sensitivity to the communication needs of others and resolve conflict.
D.understand the significance of non-verbal factors in communication.
E. discover the importance of group discussion and develop those communication kills that facilitate working in groups.

III. Listening
Students will

A. develop an understanding of the complexity of the listening process.
B. develop skills necessary for effective listening.
C. identify and comprehend messages.
D. develop and appreciate techniques of empathic listening.
E. develop and appreciate techniques of critical listening.

IV. Speech Preparation and Delivery Students will

A. select topics and speeches appropriate to their audiences and purposes.
B.use a variety of research sources, organizational patterns and rhetorical devices in speech preparation.
C. learn and use skills necessary to deliver messages effectively.
D. analyze critically public speeches.

I. Communication Process

Focus: Students need to understand the complex nature of the communication process and the concept that meanings are personal.

A. Goal: Students will understand the function of the basic elements in the communication process.

Students will

1. identity the basic elements in the communication process: sender, receiver, message, channel, feedback, encoding, decoding, and interference.
2. identity techniques for eliminating interference thus increasing the accuracy of communication.
3. explain the function of each element of the communication process.
4. recognize the effectiveness of precise encoding.
5. generate (individually or in small groups) a definition of communication.
6. create an original diagram of a communication model.

B. Goal: Students will comprehend the role of meaning in communication.

Objectives
Students will

1. distinguish between denotations and connotations.
2. explain why the meaning intended by the sender may not be exactly the same as the meaning interpreted by the receiver.
3. observe/find/read a communication episode in which misunderstanding occurs and analyze the reasons for the misunderstanding.

C. Goal: Students will understand how individual perceptions affect communication.

Objectives
Students will

1. define perception.
2. identity the factors that influence perception, including ideological, cultural, psychological, environmental and sociological.
3. explain how perception affects communication.
4. compare and contrast individual perceptions.

II. Human Relations

Focus: Students need to develop effective communication skills to enhance the quality of their human relationships.

A. Goal: Students will gain an appreciation of how self-concept affects human relationships.

Students will

1. define the term self-concept.
2. identity the perceptual factors that form self-concept.
3. contrast multiple "social roles" each individual plays in various communication situations (i.e., father/mother/offspring, employee/employer, student/teacher).
4. describe the defense mechanisms people use to protect self-image.
5. compare and contrast the student's self-image with the perceptual images attached to them by others.
6. discuss methods of modifying one's self-concept.

B. Goal: Students will learn ways to communicate through self-disclosure.

Students will

1. define self-disclosure.
2. examine their own willingness to self-disclose and accept feedback.
3. self-disclose on a voluntary basis.

C. Goal: Students will learn ways to Increase sensitivity to the communication needs of others and resolve conflict.

Students will

1. examine their own behaviors as communicators and determine what effect those behaviors might have on others.
2. recognize specific communication challenges of special needs groups (particularly hearing impaired).
3. identify methods for resolving conflicting ideas or opinions.
4. simulate a conflict resolution situation.

D. Goal: Students will understand the significance of non-verbal factors in communication.

Objectives
Students will

1. list and define the elements of the nonverbal code including proxemics (space and distance), kinesics (body language and gestures), facial expressions, eye contact, appearance, paralanguage (use of voice, tone, pitch, rate, etc.), haptics (touch), chronemics (time).
2. discuss the influence of nonverbal factors in the communication process.
3. explain the culture specific customs and conventions that govern the use of nonverbal communication.
4. conduct an experiment to test the influence of the nonverbal code.

E. Goal: Students will discover the importance of group discussion and will develop those communication skills that facilitate working in groups.

Objectives
Students will

1. list the traits of a group (i.e., size, purpose, composition) and the types of groups (i.e., panel, forum, symposium, social, response, enlightenment).
2. identify a process for arriving at a group decision and techniques of decision making (i.e., majority rule, consensus, compromise).
3. identify effective and ineffective roles individuals play in groups.
4. identity traits and skills necessary for effective group leadership.
5. use group discussion skills to solve a common problem, arrive at a decision, or answer questions of mutual interest.

III. Listening

Focus: Students need to acquire listening skills to enhance all aspects of communication.

A. Goal: Students will develop an understanding of the complexity of the listening process.

Students will

1. differentiate between hearing and listening and the time spent engaged in each.
2. differentiate between active and passive listening behavior.
3. identity the four stages of the listening process (i.e., sensing, interpreting, evaluating, responding).
4. explain feedback and its function.

B. Goal: Students will begin to develop skills necessary for effective listening. Objectives

Students will

1. define the types of listening: critical, informative, empathic, appreciative, and discriminative.
2. differentiate among situations where critical listening, informative listening, empathic listening, appreciative listening and discriminative listening are important.
3. recognize barriers to their own effective listening.
4. practice techniques to overcome barriers to effective listening.
5. observe and classify feedback behaviors.

C. Goal: Students will more accurately Identify and comprehend messages.

Objectives
Students will

1. distinguish between main ideas and supporting details.
2. identity memory techniques to recall basic ideas and details.
3. demonstrate a variety of note4aking strategies (i.e., outlining, key word, mapping, Cornell method).
4. practice comprehensive listening using memory techniques and note-taking strategies.

D. Goal: Students will develop and appreciate techniques of empathic listening.

Objectives
Students will

1. explain the value of empathic listening.
2. identify the skills of effective empathic listening by using evocative responses (i.e., paraphrasing, clarifying, nonverbal cues, appropriate silence).
3. simulate responding in an empathetic listening situation.

E. Goal: Students will develop and appreciate techniques of critical listening.

Objectives
Students will

1. explain the value of critical listening.
2. differentiate among logical appeals, emotional appeals, and appeals based on source credibility.
3. recognize common fallacies in reasoning.
4. evaluate a persuasive message.

IV. Speech Preparation and Delivery

Focus: Students will gain confidence and competence through the public expression of their ideas.

A. Goal: Students will select topics and speeches appropriate to the audiences and purposes.

Students will

1. identify types of speeches and appropriate occasions.
2. explain how audience analysis is conducted and how it affects topic choice.
3. choose topics appropriate to audience situations and environment: physical setting and time limits.

B. Goal: Students will use a variety of research sources, organizational patterns and rhetorical devices in speech preparation.

Objectives
Students will

1. list sources of information traditionally used in speech construction (i.e., library, surveys, interviews, media, personal experience.)
2. recognize the major organizational patterns in speech writing (i.e., chronological, topical, problem-solution, spacial).
3. give examples of rhetorical devices (i.e., analogy, parallel structure, figurative language, rhetorical question) and types of support (i.e., facts, statistics, examples, comparisons, quotations, anecdotes).
4. identify a variety of techniques for introducing and concluding a speech.
5. use a variety of research sources, organizational patterns, and rhetorical devices in formulating a speech.
6. use a variety of visual aids (i.e., charts, maps, graphs, objects, transparencies, slides, and videos) to support and clarify speech content.

C. Goal: Students will learn and use skills necessary to deliver messages effectively.

Students will

1. list and define the elements of delivery (see nonverbal code, HUMAN RELATIONS, Goal D).
2. practice nonverbal communication in speech delivery, especially voice, diction, posture, gestures, eye contact, facial expression, and appearance.
3. present a variety of speeches in the classroom setting.
4. demonstrate their ability to effectively use a variety of visual aids (i.e., charts, maps, graphs, objects, transparencies, slides, and videos) within the content of the speech.

D. Goal: Students will critically analyze public speeches.

Objectives

1. use a checklist of effective speaking skills to evaluate peer speeches.
2. after recording their speeches formulate a self-evaluation to appraise content, organization, and delivery.

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