Communication apprehension in Qwaqwa secondary schools
Malimabe, Moshe Moses
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The research indicates that an important component in teaching and learning which is always involved is communication apprehension. This aspect of the behaviour of secondary school students is identified and discussed as a student with a high level of communication apprehension tends to be negatively affected in his academic achievement. Literature dealing with the role played by the communication process specifically in the classroom situation, was reviewed in order to establish which factors play a prominent part in classroom communication. Student responses were then used to determine how learners are affected by communication apprehension in three different languages. The Personal Report Communication Apprehension (PRCA) was used as an instrument to measure the students' communication apprehension. The responses were analysed with the assistance of the Statistical Consultant Service of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. The results of the study seem to indicate that certain factors play a very prominent role in creating communication apprehension. These factors can be classified as the lack of communication skills, a lack of skills to be acquired by teachers and students for effective communication, and inadequate classroom communication models. Both learning and teaching can be more successful if attention is given to the inculcation and development of adequate classroom communication skills in both teachers and students. The study has verified that students experience different levels of communication apprehension in English, Afrikaans and Sesotho. The language that experiences higher levels of communication apprehension than the others is Afrikaans followed by English, and then Sesotho. The five contexts, viz. public speaking, group discussions, meetings, interpersonal conversations, and the classroom situation were considered when measuring communication apprehension. What also emanated from the research is that the average classroom communication apprehension is lower than the average communication apprehension in the first four contexts, i.e. group discussions, meetings, interpersonal conversations and public speaking. The findings further indicate that the communication apprehension level of female students is higher in all three languages as compared with the level of communication apprehension for the male students. It has also been ascertained by measuring communication apprehension in different standards, that standards Six pupils experience the highest level of communication apprehension. The average communication apprehension in Qwaqwa secondary schools indicate a percentage of 52,55% of this behaviour, suggesting that a reasonable level of communication apprehension exists in these schools. Key words: effective communication, effective teaching, communication apprehension, instructional communication, model of communication, communication skills, communication process, English Second Language, Afrikaans Third Language, communication apprehension in context, Personal Report Communication apprehension (PRCA).
- Education