Effective communication when teaching

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Effective communication is arguably one of the most important skills when it comes to teaching water safety skills. Swimming instructors must communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders including; employers, parents and care givers, students and also other teachers. Effective communication for instructors should be based around the three C’s of:

  • Clarity
  • Conciseness
  • Consistency

Clarity

People use all their senses to communicate, in particular, sight and sound. The effective use of clarity when it comes to communication can help to increase teaching presence. Ambiguous and confusing language should be avoided and teachers should positively reinforce students with gestures such as a friendly smile.

When instructing teachers must consider the level of their students and communicate in a way that all students will understand, whilst not talking up or down to the class.

Conciseness

In order to engage students, teachers should ensure all explanations are concise and to the point. This will help to ensure students remember and engage with the content. Expressions, explanations and instructions should be brief and positive to therefore minimize confusion and avoid negative statements.

Consistency

Consistency is an excellent teaching practice to adopt and crucial for building trust. When teaching any group of individuals, consistency is key. Teachers and instructors should always be consistent with their behaviour and language to ensure positive, clear and effective communication. Consistency in lessons will help students to feel relaxed, comfortable and will increase engagement with the content.

Students value consistency and respond well to structure, as it helps to build trust and ensures a level of understanding between students and teachers.

Utilising the three C’s of effective communication will ensure that teachers communicate with students in a style appropriate to their age and sensory capability. This tactic will also help to establish a friendly and collaborative teaching environment, along with a positive atmosphere.

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