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Wednesday, August 15 • 12:15pm - 1:45pm
Student Nonverbal Communication- What are they saying? | ROOM 100

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As educators, we are always trying to assess whether a student understands a topic or standard. We can ask the right questions, offer the correct engagement strategy, and at the end of the day, the results can be deceiving. The identification of nonverbal characters of students is essential when checking for understanding. 93% of daily communication is nonverbal. Nonverbal communication is defined as all aspects of message exchange without the use of words. When communication occurs in a classroom setting, face-to-face, it will include communication more than just words. All of the physical activities and parameters that involved in communication come into play. The usage of words (tone, rate, intonation), facial expression, micro-expressions, gaze, gestures are all done in a nonverbal manner.
Words have limitations. Many ESL students do not understand words. These same students speak the same universal language of the instructor, through nonverbal means. Without much training, a teacher could ask a student question for understanding, and all they would have to do is look at the nonverbal response for the honest answer. Nonverbal communication is manifested both consciously and unconsciously. If an educator can identify their student’s nonverbal cues, and their unconscious reactions this will illustrate really how a student feels or understands the topic at hand.
Cultural influences have a severe impact on nonverbal communication. With the diversity of the student body within the Granite School District, this will be addressed. (Eye Contact, Body Language, etc.)
Why is nonverbal communication essential in the classroom? Communication between a teacher and student should be interactional and not a one-way street. A teacher that just lectures, without checking for understanding is taking out the “interaction” in interactional communication. Through the art of identifying nonverbal communication in students, the one-way street turns into an interactive two-way street. In class on the fly interventions will flourish. Professor Davis from Cal Berkeley stated, “The nonverbal clues that our students provide return are critically important, real-time feedback that influences our subsequent communication and allows us to alter our course of action if needed, from the observation and interpretation of students’ body language and facial expressions, the preceptive teacher can decide whether there is a need to check for comprehension, provide more or a different kind of instruction, or assign more practice. Thus, faculty can use classroom observations of nonverbal cues to refocus their teaching to help students make their learning more efficient and more effective.”
The good news is nonverbal communication in the classroom usually occurs in clusters, so the teacher needs to identify the masses and not necessarily the single student. I have been teaching nonverbal communication at SLCC and Columbia College since 2007.
In this conference session the attendee will understand these nonverbal characteristics and taxonomies:
• Chronemics – Timing
• Haptics- Contact and touch between individuals
• Kinesics- Body movements and body language
• Oculesics- Eye contact
• Olfactics- The influence of odor.
• Physical Appearance- Clothing, Body, Hairstyle, etc.
• Proxemics- Personal space and arrangement of the classroom
• Silence- The absence of verbal and nonverbal communication
• Symbolism- The Meanings associated with symbols
• Vocalics- Act of speaking, to include tone of voice, timbre, volume, and rate of speech


Wednesday August 15, 2018 12:15pm - 1:45pm MDT
Kearns 5573 Cougar Ln, Kearns, UT 84118
  • Session Duration 90
  • Audience All