Potential barriers to communication

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of danishcosta danishcosta 2 years, 4 months ago.

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    Avatar of Bolivia

    I’m currently working towards achieving C&G 7304 and I need help with some of my coursework.

    I’m investigating verbal and non-verbal communication with adult learners and
    potential barriers to effective communication. Does anyong have a view?


    potential barriers to communication could include:

    obvious stuff like language (is english their first language), comprehension (learning disability or cultural issues affectin understanding of what is said or written)

    Other barriers would be :

    Deaf/hearing impairemnet.- do they communicate effectivly with sign language, if so is there an intrerpretor present to suport. do they lip read, if so the teacher needs to always face the student, the class should be orangised in a square so all stuednts are facing each other. do they use a hearing loop? if so are the batteries present in the teaches mic? does the teacher know how to speak into it properly.

    Visually Impairemnt. Being blind or partially sighted means you may miss some verbal communication if you arent looking towards that person. body language can be missed that aids understanding. may have less confidence to participate in discussion because of dificulty ‘seeing’ when its their turn to speak.
    written communication such as hand outs, text books, the board, presentations, should all be given to the learner before the lesson and in an suitable format ie braille, large print, electronic, mp3,. Allow them to use cctvs, magnifiers, a support worker etc. are they working correctly, do they have access to a plug socket.

    Learning disabiltiy. this could affect their understanding of spoken word, written word.
    Autism/aspergers. literal interpreation could affect undertanding of discussion. body launguage understanding affected.

    mental health – do they have low confidence so unable to communicate through lack of assertiveness. do they suffer from psychosis so that voices or rapid thinking affects what they hear.

    Non-learner barriers could be
    does the teacher communicate effectively? if not that could affect the learners communication.
    external noise and disruption. being next door to a band rehearsal coluld affect listening skills and discussion.
    unsuitable room. a room with a noisy air vent, very echoey acoustics, noisy carpet or creaky seats, banging windows, etc etc

    ask if you want me to explain in more details

    thanks for this because now i have a list if i have to look at this.


    Avatar of PeterP

    One I have found is where an adult is returning to learning – formal learning I hasten to add – they bring their most recent (which could be years) formal learning experiences to your session. Regardless of how empathetic you are they will see the last person that taught them. You have to hope that last person knew what they were doing.

    The level of language is important. I find I have to avoid rambling off into jargon (unless it’s work jargon that everyone uses). I try to aim for straightforward language. If I find myself getting high-falutin’ I remember everything I read about using the English language that George Orwell wrote. He – in his writing – told me to keep it plain and simple, clear and understandable.

    Non-verbals. Adults watch you just like children do, only whereas children are modelling you, adults are looking to see if your words match your non-verbals. They are lightning fast to pick up any discrepancies. On that point though I find facial expressions can be very useful, especially in the use of humour, for teaching adults. You can make them relax by showing that you have a sense of humour and it’s not just your words but your facial actions and non-verbals that can help. If only I could channel Charlie Chaplin!

    Avatar of Jac

    Cultural differences can cause many problems in an effective discussion, for example: If two people are trying to have a discussion and both speak different languages, it would be extremely difficult to communicate, in different cultures hand signs represent gestures that the British take politely. Religious issues can accelerate a normal discussion into a debate.
    There are some ways of resolving these, some of which are the following: learn their language, hire an interpreter, carry a translating dictionary, Instead of trying to communicate with hand signs and offend them, research some different signs that mean something polite and respectful, these are all ways that can solve the problems of effective communication in cultural differences.


    How we perceive the world has a huge impact on how we communicate. If we think that life is unfair and the world is full of unfriendly people, our communication will reflect this negative perception. Communicating with people who have a very different perception of the world will result in a broken flow of ideas leading to a breakdown in communication. Assumptions fall into this category as well. People often assume that the people they communicate with share the same perception of a situation; As a result, they make comments that imply this shared perception. If the listeners do not agree, a communication barrier has been erected.

    Avatar of danishcosta

    Although all of us have been communicating with others since early childhood, the process of transmitting information from an individual or group to another is a very complex process with many sources of potential error.

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