Communication Groups

The objective of communication groups is to target students who have social communication difficulties.  Working in small groups they are encouraged to develop interpersonal and social abilities in a structured environment.   The students will develop conversation skills, awareness of others, and will become aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

Communication groups aim to pre-teach skills such as:

  • Listening to other people
  • Taking turns
  • Asking questions and listening to the answers
  • Eye contact
  • Body language

Wendy Rinaldi has published a Social Use of Language Programme for secondary school and adult learners (2001). 

Social Use of Language Programme

Which students?

Discuss with all staff involved. Think of:

  • Year groups
  • Personalities
  • Communication needs

Practicalities

  • 45 minutes once a week
  • Timetabling
  • Continuity of staff
  • Continuity of students attending
  • Time for evaluation, planning, and preparing resources
  • Parental consent

Example of a First Session

  • Warm up activity
  • Soap discussion
  • Holiday dilemma problem-solve
  • Self/other awareness interview

Targets

  • To give a learning overview (the big picture)
  • To engage the students’ interest
  • To make preliminary decisions about group behaviour

Session Structure

  • Warm up
  • Communication Skills Activity/s
    • Eye contact
    • Listening
    • Turn-taking
    • Prosody
  • Self-other awareness Activity/s
    • Appearance
    • Interests/friendship
    • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Warm down

Evaluation

  • Each student’s responses during the session, noting progress
  • The usefulness of the activities
  • Informs the planning of the next session

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Last updated: 22 October 2015

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