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Nonverbal communication has been defined as communication without words. It includes the ways we use our body and voice to communicate a message. We communicate with 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.
Non-verbal instruction is a very effective teaching method. We mostly hear about non-verbal communication being used in the classroom for discipline reasons, such as telling a student to stop talking. However, there are countless ways to use it in the classroom.
First of all, in order to use non-verbal communication in the classroom, teachers must set a clear expectation from the very beginning of the school year. The teacher should show what is expected from them when the cue is shown. Bringing in new gestures in the middle of the year can cause confusion for students and may not work as well.
Non-verbal communication is a great way to be able to get students on the same page when you have a multicultural classroom. Many non-verbal cues are used to express the same message on a universal level. Like for example, putting one finger in front of your mouth means to be quiet.
This type of communication is very useful for students with special needs. A student with special needs, such as a hearing disorder or autism, may be able to stay in a class with their peers and learn the same material as them, instead of having to be excluded from the rest of the class to go to a different class.
I also agree with this article that eye contact is one of the most powerful tools of non-verbal communication. By establishing eye contact with students, a teacher is able to let their students know she is giving her full attention to listen to them. Eye contact also allows teachers to gain students’ trust.
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