Communication in general is process of sending and receiving messages that
enables humans to share knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Although we usually identify
communication with speech, communication is composed of two dimensions - verbal and
Nonverbal communication has been defined as communication without words. It includes apparent behaviors such as facial expressions, eyes, touching, and tone of voice, as well as less obvious messages such as dress, posture and spatial distance between two or more people.
No matter how one can try, one cannot not communicate. Activity or inactivity, words or silence all have message value: they influence others and these others, in turn, cannot not respond to these communications and are thus themselves communicating.
He who has eye to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.
Commonly, nonverbal communication is learned shortly after birth and practiced and
refined throughout a person?s lifetime. Children first learn nonverbal expressions by
watching and imitating, much as they learn verbal skills.
Young children know far more than they can verbalize and are generally more adept at
reading nonverbal cues than adults are because of their limited verbal skills and their
recent reliance on the nonverbal to communicate. As children develop verbal skills,
nonverbal channels of communication do not cease to exist although become entwined in
the total communication process.
Humans use nonverbal communication because:
1. Words have limitations: There are numerous areas where nonverbal
communication is more effective than verbal (when explain the shape, directions,
personalities are expressed nonverbally)
5. A separate communication channel is necessary to help send complex messages: A speaker can add enormously to the complexity of the verbal message through simple nonverbal signals.
Researches in communication suggest that many
more feelings and intentions are sent and received
nonverbally than verbally. Mehrabian and
Wienerfollowing suggested that only 7% of message
is sent through words, with remaining 93% sent
nonverbal expressions (depending on author, verbal
part goes up to 35%).
Nonverbal communication is also a critical aspect of interpersonal communication in the classroom. The most credible messages teachers generate, as communication sources are nonverbal.
Galloway views educators as ?multi-sensory organisms who only occasionally talk.?
Balzer? reported that approximately 75% of classroom management behavior was
Smith noted that teachers? nonverbal behaviors are for students signs of the
psychological state of the teacher.
Rosenthal and Jacobson?s ?Teacher Expectations for the Disadvantaged? suggested that,
through nonverbal behavior, teachers? expectations for the progress of their students
become self-fulfilling prophecies.
From my own experience, as a student and as a teacher, I know that there is
variety of nonverbal signals emitted from teacher in classroom which to deepest levels
influence classroom atmosphere, students moods, perception, learning and eventually
attitudes towards knowledge and school generally.
supposed to talk.
Verbal signals (in direct communication) are never so powerful.
Yet, nonverbal signals are much more difficult to capture, describe and rationally
Besides problem with describing those behaviors, there is cultural problem with interpreting them, can be amazingly quick and subtle, most often are unconscious, but most importantly - they are valid only if genuine.
Here we have blessing and curse of nonverbal signalization. We cannot pretend it but we can really change our attitudes and feelings in the way we would like them to be. This is real developing challenge.
Nonverbal communication in the classroom occurs with distance, physical environment,
facial expression, vocal cues, body movements and gestures, touch, time, physical
attractiveness, and dress. Each will be separately discussed.
Movements and gestures by the hands, arms, legs, and other parts of the body and face
are the most pervasive types of nonverbal messages and the most difficult to control. It is
estimated that there are over 200.000 physical signs capable of stimulating meaning in
another person (some social scientists state even 700.000). For example, there are 23
distinct eyebrow movements, each capable of stimulating a different meaning.
Humans express attitudes toward themselves and vividly through body motions and
posture. Bodies movements elucidate true messages about feeling that cannot be masked.
Because such avenues of communication are visual, they travel much farther than spoken
words and are unaffected by the presence of noise that interrupt, or cancels out speech.?
People communicate by the way they walk, stand, and sit. We tend to be more relaxed
with friends or when addressing those of lower status.
Body orientation also indicates status or liking of the other individual. More direct
orientation is related to a more positive attitude.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?