Most students come into a secondary school classroom with a variety of skills that are necessary for them to get along in a social setting. These skills include the ability to talk, listen, read, write, and think. It is important to note that there is a big difference between these and communication skills necessary in a classroom environment while these skills are a great starting point. Students will still need to be able to talk, listen, read, write, and think. It is the job of teachers, however, to help students see how these skills need to be adapted to work in an academic classroom. Following is a look at the way that each of these academic skills and how they differ from the way they are used in a social setting. Academic talking requires the speaker to be cognizant of the language that they use. Academic talking requires a more formal approach to the language whereas social talking might include slang and take verbal shortcuts (lol anyone). Students need to allow others to finish their thoughts, understand that they have to respect each other's opinions and provide thorough support for any claims they make while stating their own opinions in class.

 

Communication in an academic environment

Students need to learn how to listen in an academic environment. This requires a much higher degree of listening skills than in a social environment. For example, students listening to a teacher talk about what will be on an upcoming quiz need to learn how to use cue words and understand what they need to write down and retain. Reading for pleasure and reading to learn are very different skills. Reading for learning requires students to discern key information and incorporate it into their long term memory. Students have to learn how to recognize when something is important or when it is just superfluous. Many students make the mistake of approaching a text as though it was something for their personal amusement as opposed to for information and learning. Students take numerous shortcuts and use many texting abbreviations when they write in a social setting, especially since the advent of the text message. In case a teacher is not careful, this can easily bleed through into the classroom setting. Students need to learn that this type of writing is not acceptable in most academic situations. They need to learn proper grammar and spelling. They need to learn furthermore how to create paragraphs using topic sentences and providing supporting details and information in terms of content. Students typically are not required to employ higher level thinking skills on Bloom's Taxonomy in a social setting. Typical questions that they face and must decide on deal with clothing they wish to wear, movies they want to watch and events they want to attend. Further, they have to deal with social situations such as meeting new friends and resolving interpersonal issues. It is easy for most of us to see that we must behave differently based on where we are and who we are with as adults in a professional environment.