Communication Never Ends

January 28, 2015

Students in Mrs. Garrelts’ speech class are studying the concepts of encoding and decoding in communication.  Individuals today may think everyone is communicating too much through technology when in fact the amount of communication has not changed but the type.  As students have found out, “We are constantly communicating, even when we don’t realize it.” 

The basic models of communication explain how speech works but, because they are static, cannot adequately showcase the constant thinking processes, body movements, and personal interactions that overlap at an overwhelming rate.  The models cannot adequately display everything the brain must accomplish to simply hear “hello,” understand, and give a quick reply. 

Students have studied the basic model of communication, but in order to fully understand how communication works they have been examining and practicing multiple, difficult daily “warm-up” activities to push their ability to encode, decode, and communicate quickly.  Here are two examples that students have completed and can be tried at home to test your own communication skills. 

Activity 1:  Blind Leaders- One student is blindfolded while another leads them through an obstacle course as quickly as possible.  In this situation one student is decoding the information for understanding and completing the action.  The other student is encoding and sending messages as clearly as possible.  In an ideal communication pairing the blindfolded individual will be able to quickly follow directions and complete tasks with no mistakes (or cheating…)

Activity 2:  Animal Names- Students sit in a circle.  A slow beat is started by hitting the floor and then clapping.  When everyone is on the beat the first individual in the circle will say a name and then an animal, or vice versa.  The next person must very quickly, so as to keep with the beat, select a new name that starts with the first letter of the previous animal named and then a new animal, which has not been named before.  Example:  Ana Koala, Katherine Eagle, Edmond Bear, Borris Dolphin, Danny Chicken, and so forth.  Any person who does not answer on beat or does not follow the correct alphabet order is out.  Once everyone is strong in this activity it can be made more difficult by speeding up, changing the order of words, or adding a third or more words to include.