Why Do We Communicate?

We communicate for a variety of reasons! We use communication to share information, comment, ask questions, express wants and needs, develop social relationships, social etiquette, etc. Communication is much more than wants and needs. Our main reasons for communication change over time just slightly. Based on the research of Janice Light, during the life span, we are communicating for social reasons over 50% of the time. Wants and needs make a very small part. Exchanging information grows through the years.

Based on these ideas, we need to create opportunities to communicate for a variety of reasons. As communication partners, we need to model a variety of reasons (functions of) for communication as well. As part of “tool box” we are working on, you might find this handout helpful to use as a target/ model reminder for all the communication partners.

Brief instructions are included in the handout, a blank document to use, as well as a couple examples. You can simply fill in words to act as reminders or use the button capture feature in Chat Editor to create a visual of the sequences to be modeled. You might provide this visual support in different areas of the room to remind everyone what opportunities need to be created for communication. For example, at student locker areas, you might post one that includes greeting (hello good bye), requesting (help), comment (good day, bad day), manners (please, thank you). You can create another one for another area of the classroom, such as a game corner. The focus might be on turn taking, commenting, questioning, and requesting.

You can download the handout here

By: Saltillo