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Nature and Elements of Communication: Definition and the Process of Communication

The learner understands the nature and elements of oral communication in context.
The learner designs and performs effective controlled and uncontrolled oral communication activities based on
The learner defines communication. (EN11/12OC-Ia-1)
The learner explains the nature and process of communication. (EN11/12OC-Ia-2)
The learner defines effective communication and explains the elements of the communication process, the best
communication approach, and internal and external barriers.
The learner describes the value of effective communication and its various elements.
2 hours

During the lesson, the learners will:
1. Introduction: Define communication using their own insights (10 minutes)
2. Motivation: Share their insights with a partner the importance of communication (15 minutes)
3. Instruction/Delivery: Discuss with the teacher the four main points for effective communication (50 minutes)
4. Practice: Perform a communication activity, and reflect if they were able to communicate with a partner effectively (20 minutes)
5. Enrichment: Research different models of the communication process to define communication (Optional)
6. Evaluation: Accomplish different evaluative tasks (The teacher decides which activity to use.) (25 minutes)


Enlarged illustration of the Gronbecks Speech Communication Transaction Model

Bulan, Celia T., and de Leon, Ianthe C. Communication 3: Practical Speech Fundamentals, Experimental Edition.
Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts, UP Diliman. May 2002.
Gronbeck, Ehninger et al. Principles and Types of Speech Communication. 12th ed. New York: Harper Collins
Publishers, 1994.
The Center for Leadership and Service, The University of Tennessee Knoxville.
http://www.cls.utk.edu/pdf/ls/Week1_Lesson7.pdf. Accessed January 7, 2016.

Post the learning competencies to the students. Have the students write the learning
competencies in their notebooks.
I can define effective communication and explain the elements of the communication
process, the best communication approach, and internal and external barriers.


Teacher Tip:
You may begin each day with a review
of the previous days lesson. A focused
review is deemed most effective if done
for 15-20 minutes.


I can describe the value of effective communication and its various

Teaching Tip:
Develop the student responses and
connect them to the lesson objective.

Ask the students what they know about communication, and why they think communication
is important. Furthermore, ask them what makes communication effective. Once the
students share their responses, give a further definition of communication.
Communication is the process of sharing our ideas, thoughts, and feelings
with other people and having those ideas, thoughts, and feelings
understood by the people we are talking with. When we communicate we
speak, listen, and observe.


Tell, Children learn from watching how adults talk and imitating how they talk. As adults,
we can learn to improve the way we communicate by observing others who communicate
effectively, learning new skills, and practicing those skills.


Ask What would our life and world be like without communication?
Give the students time to share their insights with a partner.
After two minutes, call three to five students to share their responses to the class.
Then ask Why is it important to make communication effective?
Give the students time to share their insights with a partner.
After two minutes, call three to five students to share their responses to the class.
Some responses might include:
a. We cannot get along without communication.
b. It will never be easy to live, and we will have experiences where our communication
failed into a barrier.
c. If we can understand the communication process better and improve it, we will
become more successful with our goals.
7. Share, As you continue to reach your goals, specifically your educational goals,
communication will become increasingly more important. The ability to communicate is a
primary skill. The more you become an effective communicator; the more likely you are to
achieve what you want. When you improve your communication skills, you will have a clearer
understanding of what people are saying to you, others will be less likely to misunderstand
you, problems will be solved quickly, and you will be able to resolve conflict.

Teacher Tip:
Students will sometimes forget
mention nonverbal communication.



1. Discuss the four main points for Effective Communication.
Main Point 1: Understanding
A good working definition for effective communication is to
share meaning and understanding between the person sending
the message and the person receiving the message.
So in order to be an effective communicator, we must first and
foremost be understood in our various communications.
Main Point 2: Communication Process
Using The Speech Communication Transaction Model (Gronbeck et al.)
Premised on speechmaking, this model is comprised of essentially the following components: a sender,
the primary communicator, gives a speech, a continuous, purposive oral message, to the receiver, who
provides feedback to the sender. The exchange occurs in various channels in a particular situation and
cultural context.
Discuss the definition of the sender, the message, the receiver, the feedback, channels, situation, and
cultural context.
A. Sender The communicator or sender is the person who is sending the message. There
are two factors that will determine how effective the communicator will be. The first factor is
the communicators attitude. It must be positive. The second factor is the communicators
selection of meaningful symbols, or selecting the right symbols depending on your
audience and the right environment. Talk about a few wrong examples.
Question: Name some of the ways we communicate.
Anticipated Responses: Talking, speaking Writing Pictures, symbols, diagrams,
charts, etc.
B. Message A communication in writing, in speech, or by signals
C. Receiver The receiver is simply the person receiving the message, making sense of it, or
understanding and translating it into meaning. Now think about this for a moment: the receiver
is also a communicator. How can that be? (When receiver responds, he is then the
communicator.) Communication is only successful when the reaction of the receiver is that

Teacher Tip:
Communicating the lesson may also be
given alternative ways of discussion.
Teacher Tip:
Tell students to draw the communication
loop on their notebooks.


which the communicator intended. Effective communication takes place with shared meaning
and understanding.
D. Feedback Feedback is that reaction I just mentioned. It can be a ver- bal or nonverbal
reaction or response. It can be external feedback (some- thing we see) or internal feedback
(something we cant see), like self-examination. Its the feedback that allows the
communicator to adjust his message and be more effective. Without feedback, there would be
no way of knowing if meaning had been shared or if understanding had taken place.
Discuss that communication is a two-way process. The information goes out to a person on the other
end. There is a sender and a receiver. Simply put, effective communication is getting your message
across to the receiver. It is the senders responsibility to make sure that the receiver gets the message
and that the message received is the one sent.
Communicating is not an isolated series of one skill, it involves several skills. For example, speaking
involves not only getting your message across but also being able to listen and understand what others
are saying (active listening) and observing the verbal and nonverbal clues in order to monitor the
effectiveness of your message.
Main Point 3: Barriers
Have you ever been talking to someone and they misunderstand what you were saying? Why do you
think that happens? (Give learners the opportunity to share their experiences.) At any point in the
communication process a barrier can occur. Barriers keep us from understanding others ideas and
thoughts. Barriers can appear at any point of the communication loop.
There are two types of barriersinternal and external. Examples
of internal barriers are fatigue, poor listening skills, attitude toward
the sender or the information, lack of interest in the message,
fear, mistrust, past experiences, negative attitude, problems at
home, lack of common experiences, and emotions. Examples of
external barriers include noise, distractions, e-mail not working,
bad phone connections, time of day; sender used too many
technical words for the audience, and environment. Barriers keep
the message from getting through.


When communicating, watch out for barriers. Monitor the actions of the receiver. Watch her body
language; check to make sure the message the receiver received is the one sentask questions and
Main Point 4: Types of Communication
A. Self-Action or One-Way Communication is focused on getting the message to the receiver. Selfaction treats communication as a manipulation of others. It is very message centered. There is no way
to know if the meaning is shared between the sender and the receiver. (To demonstrate one-way
communication, do the following activity with the class.)
Procedure: (Using the attached diagram, ask for a student volunteer from the class to assist in this
demonstration about communication. Explain to the other students that the volunteer is going to
describe something to them and their task is to simply follow instructions in sketching out exactly what is
Take the volunteer outside of the classroom to
explain the following directions. Provide the
volunteer with the diagram shown. Tell the
volunteer to describe the diagram to the rest of
the class. However, the volunteer must keep
his or her back toward the rest of the class.
There can be no eye contact. The volunteer
can only use verbal communication to describe
the diagram, i.e., no gestures, hand signals,
Teacher will indicate that the activity was constructed to prove a point, and only a few students ever
come close to drawing the actual diagram.
Discussion Questions:
1. How many of us got confused and just quit listening? Why?
2. Why was the one-way communication so difficult to follow?
3. Even two-way communication cannot ensure complete understanding. How can we make our
communication efforts more effective?
B. Interaction or Two-Way Communication. This approach recognizes the role of the receiver as a
communicator through feedback. It is message centered and is a very simplistic view of the
communication process. Feedback allows senders to see if their message got across.


C. Transaction. This approach focuses on meaning and sharing by accounting for all other factors in
the communication process. It is concerned with the barriers that might affect the communication.
Transaction is best described as effective communication. This is when the communication process is
applied and carried out completely. The sender gives a message that is passed on to the receiver. In
return, the receiver can give clear feedback that allows the sender to know whether or not the message
was perceived as intended. If the message wasnt received as intended, then the sender will continue
the communication process again in order to ensure effective communication.
Now that you know all three types of communication, we can reflect and evaluate our own
communication approaches in different roles and situations. Knowing the three approaches to
communication will help us to be aware of our types, when they occur, and how to improve our
communication and create clear transactions.
1. Explain the activity. Were going to get into pairs in a few minutes and do an activity where
Partner #1 will describe an image to Partner #2. Partner #2 will then need to reproduce this
2. State the rules of the activity. There are three rules: Partner #1 and #2 cannot face each other;
Partner #1 can give the rules only once; and Partner #2 cannot ask for any clarification.
3. Divide the group into pairs with plastic farm animals (5 different animals, 2 of each type). Ask
participants to get a book or something to write on and find their partners by matching farm
4. Once everyone is in pairs, instruct the group to form a line, back to back: Partner #1 facing one
wall and Partner #2 facing the other wall. [Note: Participants may sit or stand in this line. If chairs
are used, facilitator will need to provide additional instructions for participants to bring chairs to
the area.
5. Hand the people facing one wall (Partner #1) a handout with the image. Emphasize that the other
person (Partner #2) cannot view this sheet.
6. Hand Partner #2 a blank sheet of paper and a marker.
7. Ask Partner #1 to describe the picture to Partner #2 so that she/he can reproduce the drawing on
his/her sheet of paper.
8. Repeat the three rules:
a. Partner #1 and #2 cannot face each other.
b. Partner #1 can give the rules only once.
c. Partner #2 cannot ask for any clarification.
8. Allow 10 minutes for this activity. Circulate to be sure people are following the instructions.
9. After 10 minutes, ask the group to come back together and discuss what they observed.
10. Next get them to discuss the exercise and review the following questions:

Teacher Tip:
Before advancing to the Practice, ask
some students to give a summary or a
conclusion about the communication



How well did the first person describe the shape to their partner?
How well did the second person understand the instructions and how close were they to
duplicating the actual shape of the picture? What went well and what could be improved
in the communication process?
c. Did they discover any problems with the sending or receiving parts of communication and
how did they overcome this? What types of barriers did you encounter?
1. Tell the students that communication is a dynamic, systemic or contextual, irreversible and
proactive process in which communicators construct personal meanings through their symbolic
interactions (Wood, 1964).

Teacher Tip:
You may also ask the students to
design their own game, or accomplish
an action-based research, where
communication is the most important
2. Inform to research on one specific model of communication, they may select one from those listed feature of the activity. They may
below, and present an oral report about the model, focusing on how the terms Sender Receiver conduct a survey, or an interview with
Message and Feedback are similar and different from that of Gronbecks Speech people and then study the way the
Communication Transaction Model.
sender, the receiver and the message
was transmitted.
3. Instruct the students to also focus on other vocabulary terms that might not be present in the
Speech Communication Transaction Model.
Likewise, students may also perform a
task of analyzing different tweets of
4. Other models of communication:
famous personalities, focusing on the
a. The Aristotelian Model
message, and check which kinds of
b. The Lasswell Model
barriers may impede people from
c. The Shannon-Weaver Model
understanding what the sender really
d. Schramms Model
wants to say.
e. Berlos Model
Whites Model
g. Dance Model
h. Woods Symbolic Interaction Model
Teacher Tip:
Select which of the following activities to use for Evaluation:
If the students have access to
technology, you may integrate the use
1. Study and analyze the communication system in your own family. Draw up a schema or a
of computer and the Internet for this
diagram of its main components/features. Explain how it works using any or a combination of
the communication models taken in class. Share your insights with a classmate and listen to
her response as well.




Choose any of the 3 relational forms of human communication: interpersonal, group, public.
Explain and describe how these communicators interact or communicate with one another.
You may recall a recent event that you are familiar with. Or the situation could be an event in
the past that is still vivid in your memory. Focus your discussion on how they speak and how
they show bodily behavior.
Write a Facebook status on any of the following statements/maxims:
a. You cannot not communicate.
b. Actions speak louder than words.
c. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
d. Parents should listen more.
e. A man cannot step into the same river twice.