Decoding The Importance Of Learning Communication Skills In Schools


Regardless of academic excellence or achievements in extracurricular activities, lacking good communication skills poses challenges in the real world. Effective communication is essential for expressing oneself appropriately, succeeding in interviews, and fitting into social circles. It enables individuals to express their opinions effectively. The best place to learn and develop your communication skills is in school and here's why it is important to do so. 

Helps Boost Confidence And Self-Expression

When students have strong communication skills, they feel more self-assured when expressing their thoughts and ideas. They tend to participate more actively in class discussions, sharing their viewpoints confidently. This confidence carries over outside the classroom, improving their ability to express themselves effectively, verbally and in writing. With good communication skills, they can articulate their opinions clearly across different platforms. It also enhances their performance in interviews and assists them in selecting a suitable career path.

Commenting on the importance of communication skills and how they help with self-confidence, Rachel Smith, Phase Leader, Bloom World Academy, says, "In my experience as an educator, strong communication is an invaluable skill for students. On a personal level, students with strong communication skills often show greater self-confidence and resilience. The consistent use of communication skills fosters empathy, inclusivity and open-mindedness as students learn to listen and respect others’ perspectives, which is invaluable in their personal lives and future workplaces. In terms of academic performance, strong communication abilities enhance student engagement, foster effective group work, and facilitate a deeper understanding of enquiries." 

Talking about how strong communication skills help in classrooms, Rachel Smith, Phase Leader, Bloom World Academy, adds, "Students who can clearly articulate their thoughts are more likely to actively participate in class, enabling them to better comprehend and retain the information being taught. In group projects, effective communication between team members can lead to improved collaboration and more successful outcomes. I believe investing in the development of strong communication skills not only prepares students for the future but also equips them with the tools to thrive in a globalised society.

Helps With Social And Emotional Development

Communication skills play a crucial role in social and emotional development. Students who communicate well can build strong relationships with peers and teachers, leading to higher self-esteem. This development extends beyond classrooms, aiding in understanding college mates and co-workers and handling situations empathetically. Additionally, good communication skills allows people to tackle difficult life situations using emotional intelligence.

It Gets Easy To Network 

Learning effective communication in school teaches an individual how to establish connections and networks that are beneficial in the long term. Those with strong communication skills not only create valuable work networks for their careers but also understand how to maintain and utilise these networks when needed. Good communication skills also enable you to gain the trust of others you meet and develop connections and networks with them over time.

Highlighting the importance of this, Andrew Stenhouse, Assistant Head of Primary, Key Stage Two Leader, The English College Dubai, adds, "In my extensive experience as an educator, I've consistently witnessed the profound impact of strong communication skills on students' academic achievements and personal growth. Communication serves as the backbone of every aspect of educational life, fostering a vibrant community within the school. Effective communication not only facilitates the transmission of knowledge but also cultivates an environment where students feel empowered to ask insightful questions and forge meaningful connections with their peers and educators. As the renowned British educator Sir Ken Robinson once said, "Communication is at the heart of human interaction. The ability to convey a message, to inform, to persuade, and to connect with others is a fundamental skill that underpins academic success and personal development." This quote underscores the vital role that effective communication plays in shaping students' educational journeys and overall well-being."

Improves Performance In School

When children learn how to communicate effectively, they gain the ability to ask questions and interact with their teachers one-on-one, clarifying doubts and ensuring clear understanding of concepts. Good communication skills also help students to evaluate, understand, and discuss subjects openly with their peers. This combination improves school performance because the child no longer feels doubtful or confused.

Helps Students Build Good Leadership Quality 

A great leader is not only a good orator but also possesses strong communication skills. In real life, beyond school, leadership skills are tested in various tasks. While delegating tasks during challenging situations is vital, a genuine leader relies on good communication. They solve problems through effective communication and remain approachable in tough times. Therefore, mastering communication boosts confidence in handling leadership roles in the future.

How To Help Students With Communication In School

Every teacher has their own methods for teaching communication skills to students. However, interactive elements such as group discussions, icebreaker activities, and dramatic exercises can enhance the development of strong communication skills among students. Commenting on this and highlighting his methods, Andrew Stenhouse, Assistant Head of Primary, The English College Dubai says, "In my classroom, I employ engaging strategies to foster effective communication skills among students with daily assessment to track their progress in this essential area. Upon students' initial introduction, I initiate icebreaker activities such as bingo, encouraging them to discover each other's interests and talents. Through these games, students bond and acquire new information about their peers, laying the foundation for meaningful connections. Subsequently, I integrate daily practices such as 'think-pair-share', encouraging students to articulate and expand their ideas collaboratively, thereby honing their communication skills through active participation."

Talking about enhancing communication proficiency, Andrew Stenhouse, Assistant Head of Primary, The English College Dubaiadds, "To further enhance communication proficiency, I incorporate dramatic activities and group projects into the curriculum. Additionally, collaborative endeavours such as designing Formula 1 cars, conducting scientific experiments, and architectural challenges like constructing the tallest Burj Khalifa model using marshmallows and spaghetti foster effective communication within groups. As a vigilant educator, I continuously monitor student interactions, providing guidance and modelling effective communication practices." 

Sharing the importance of communication, Donna Young, Secondary Psychology teacher and Career Advisor, at Horizon International School, says: "Communication skills are the cornerstone of education. By providing clear guidance and diverse practice opportunities, fostering meta cognition through reflection, and offering meaningful feedback in a supportive environment, we empower students to become effective communicators. It also helps students speak and listen better to others. Besides this, encouraging wider reading, educational visits, work experience, and student-led activities further enrich their journey, fostering self-regulation, social interaction, and a broader worldview."

Sharing her key strategies, Rachel Smith, Phase Leader, Bloom World Academy, adds, "Strategies used in the junior school include using the rhyme ‘eye-to-eye, knee-to-knee, I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me’. Students focus on key elements of non-verbal communication, such as eye-contact and listening while a partner is asked to effectively communicate and elaborate on their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. This is also used to explore barrier games such as spot the difference. Students question one another based on a visual image to ascertain differences in their pictures, using verbal communication. Besides this, in my grade 2 class, students often take on the role of teacher during our enquiry cycle. Individual students may go further with their learning and then use this as a basis to tune in or give further input in our next lesson. This encourages students to effectively communicate their learning and explain their understandings to scaffold their peers."

In summary, strong communication skills benefit children not only during their school years but also in making decisions after school. These skills enable them to make informed choices and prepare them for handling the complexities of the real world. Therefore, it's vital to teach and encourage kids to develop their communication skills in school.

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