Types of Communication

› Communication

Studies show that students who can effectively use different types of communication skills are able to express their knowledge in a way that turns passive learning into critical thinking.

Classroom communication is the interactive language and responses between students and teachers. The importance of these skills cannot be down-played, and must be emphasized even at the primary levels.

Language and literacy outcomes for effective communication skills can also help teachers narrow down specific learning issues that must be addressed. As well, when educators target specific ways for stuents to interact and share their learning, achievement will increase.

If it is found that the root of a problem lies in using effective communication skills, then teachers should look at a Classroom Performance Assessment matrix (CPA) to determine the area of difficulty.

This is similar in nature to using an assessment rubric.

Developing Communication Skills in the Classroom

Instead of saying, "My students are struggling with reading comprehension," a teacher can say, "My class is having difficulty with reading comprehension skills in the area of vocabulary. I need to get baseline data then provide interventions that address improving working vocabulary on both Tier 2 and 3."

This example is targeting the need for skills which are necessary for school and social success. For many students, targeting the specific area of intervention is necessary so gains can be measured and growth can occur.

Communication Skill Builders

When we define communication, we are referring to how our students can express their thoughts verbally and non-verbally. Our students must do this well early on as it influences their social interactions from the moment they step foot in our rooms and especially the playground.

What types of communication skill activities should we include in our lessons?

  • Opportunities to solve multi-solution problems (use a series of pictures that tell a story but leave out the last one; the students need to come up with an effective ending that is based on the knowledge from the pictures)
  • Daily interactions with peers to verbalize learning (offer times for kids to share personal experiences)
  • Avenues to debate, make judgements and analyze different points of view (show images of faces with different expressions and have the students work in small groups to discuss which emotion is being shown and what situation might have occurred)

Classroom Communication with Literacy Outcomes

Literacy is not just about reading:

  • It is about all oral, nonverbal and written communication skills.
  • Being a literate person means that one can listen, speak, read and write fluently, not only to explain themselves but also to understand others.
  • Comprehension (understanding) means that we can take information in any form, think critically about it, create new meaning, and develop judgements about it.
  • It involves being able to make accurate inferences about nonverbal signals, tone of voice and hidden meanings in words (idioms, metaphors, similes).


  • Listening Skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Following Instructions


  • Language Structure
  • Speaking Vocabulary
  • Speaking Applications


  • Emergent Skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Strategies


  • Emergent Skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Content, Structure & Mechanics

Social Communication

  • Classroom Language
  • Conversational Knowledge
  • Non-verbal Communication

Executive Function

  • Task Development
  • Self Regulation
  • Using Memory

Each of these literacy domains have specific implications for effective communication skills in the classroom.

Each link will take you to the skills a student needs to have as well as what teachers should be integrating into lesson plans, which is necessary for targeting areas of deficiency under RTI.

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