People are social-oriented creatures, so they have to communicate in some way, at least to understand one another and collaborate. This post will look at tips on how to overcome or break barriers to understanding among students in colleges, but before going into details, what are some of the most common barriers to effective communication?
What is communication?
Misunderstanding often leads to wrong feedback hence a cause for breakdown in communication. There has to be a message, a channel, receiver, and feedback. Consequently, the sender must encode and package information the right way before delivering it to another party, but the question is will the recipient decode the contents of that message?
Well, humans wouldn’t be able to live together without understanding each other, and it is why, while there as many different languages in the world, it takes a proper understanding of communication to make information dissemination not only possible but also successful. It is a process that involves sending and receiving information through a channel. Moreover, it can be verbal, non-verbal or written, in which case, it depends on the context in which people are associating at a particular time.
Communication and college learning
Today, students who wish to further their education can choose to study in a higher learning institution of their choice in any part of the world, and of course after fulfilling certain requirements. If your wish is to register for a course in an English-speaking country, communication barrier can make it a little challenging when it comes to passing English tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and others. It is one of the requirements that one needs to fulfill before qualifying for a student visa.
Students who have successfully completed their degree programs in foreign countries will tell you that graduation may sound like forever for those whose communication skills are below par. You must speak and write good English, albeit, custom websites like Edu Birdy make it possible for anyone to craft a top quality paper. That is not all. Friendship thrives best among students whose communication prowess is exceptional.
Factors that hinder effective communication
Well, before looking at factors of effective communication in and out of the classroom among college students, and their teachers, understanding the cause of the problem is paramount. Thus, the following are some of the reasons why students may fail to encode messages or decode feedback in a communication situation:
- Language barriers. Think of a situation where one student speaks Spanish, English, and then a third one is a French-speaking learner. It can be difficult to understand one another.
- Cultural barriers. It is imperative to note that societies from which we come are different, and so are different ways of communicating which is culture-bound. Monochronic and polychronic societies summarize this into a number of things.
- Noise is another barrier to communication, and it can occur in the source of information, channel or from the surrounding.
- Prejudices (cultural, social, and religious) are another reason why communication processes may fail to yield understanding.
- Message complexity such as the use of jargon.
Tips for overcoming communication barriers in college
Now, it is time to unlock the communication barriers that hinder students from partaking in college activities gainfully. The following are therefore effective ways of breaking them down:
· Language Exchange programs
While most colleges today invest in the teaching of a second or foreign language, the question is, are students able to cultivate as much knowledge as necessary to overcome communication barriers in the classroom? Well, language exchange programs have been pivotal towards effective communication in college. If your college doesn’t have such a program yet, then students, together with policymakers and educators can make it happen.
· Investing in effective communication channels
Are the channels in place effective, and if not, what is the institution doing about it? In colleges, banners, posters, and even placards are popular modes of information dissemination. However, they are not always 100% percent effective given the language diversities that exist among students. Therefore, an investment in other channels like student Television and radio would help remedy the situation.
· A change in attitudes
Because barriers to understanding can be largely psychological or attitudinal, it is imperative that students put aside prejudices that they might be harboring towards those with whom they do not speak the same language or do not ascribe to similar religious beliefs. A change in attitude means embracing one another for a better understanding and collaboration. It also helps overcome noise barriers to communication.
· Make use of Apps
If you do not understand another language, and it is negatively affecting your college life, then use of Language Apps such as Duolingo to learn a second language or even translators such as Google Translate would make things a lot easier.