الأحد، 22 يونيو 2014

الأربعاء، 18 يونيو 2014

10 Ways to Improve Your Communications Skills

10 Ways to Improve Your Communications Skills

March 20, 2013
7054375-podio-de-roble-aislada-sobre-fondo-blanco-con-microfonoWebster’s defines communication as “an act or instance of transmitting.” Communication is about effective expression, and is very much a skill that can be acquired and improved. For these purposes, we will concentrate on verbal communication, and specifically the improvement thereof.
Communications skills are necessary for success in virtually any endeavor. Those who possess high levels of skill in communicating with others have an advantage in the marketplace of information and ideas. Unlike many other skills, effective communicators can take their expertise anywhere. Like any other skill, it must be practiced diligently to maintain and improve.
While there are numerous methods for improving one’s communications skills, here are 10 suggestions for your consideration:
1. Always design your message to fit your audience. This focuses the use of your words and builds discipline and economy.
2. Always assume a lack of clarity. Whether providing verbal instructions, giving a performance review, or chairing a meeting, always ensure that your communication removes any confusion or ambiguity. Repeat as needed. Repeat as needed. Did I mention repeat as needed?
3. Give verbal presentations. Remember the book reports you used to give in class? The more you did, the better you got, right? Whether it’s a PowerPoint presentation on sales growth or a lecture on foreign affairs, get up in front of an audience and speak. Learn to deal with and overcome the nerves that precede; it’s rarely a fatal condition.
4. Become a better listener. Some of the best communicators are some of the greatest listeners. Conversely, some of the poorest communicators are often some of the worst listeners. Make a conscious effort to become a better listener. Listening is more than an interlude between your own sentences. Hear your audience. I assure you they will notice.
5. Get feedback from others. Ask friends or colleagues to critique your speaking for both content and delivery. Do you show impatience or frustration and thus limit your effectiveness? Are you too condescending or too inhibited? Ask for candid, constructive criticism. And don’t get offended; get better. Put the feedback to good use.
6. Find your voice. Pay attention to the tone of your spoken words. Modulate the pitch and volume of your voice, as appropriate. Choose your words wisely and enunciate them correctly. Develop a style of speaking that fits you.
7. Observe others. Find speakers who impress you with their abilities and study their differing styles. How well do they use humor? Do they show emotion? Are they inspiring? You don’t have to copy them, since you need a style that fits just you. You can certainly borrow, however. And you certainly should.
8. Make good eye contact. Look at your audience, whether an assemblage of hundreds or a single individual across a desk. You can become far more aware of how your message is being received by looking at, rather than looking past, your audience. This is common sense but so very often uncommon practice.
9. Be passionate. This is not to say you should be obnoxious or all-knowing. In fact, it is almost always better to be humble. It is to suggest, however, that your audience should feel your energy and enthusiasm, as appropriate.
10. Keep speaking. Keep developing your skills. Keep building your confidence. You will reap what you sow in this area of your life, as in others.
Good luck and good communicating!

الأحد، 19 يناير 2014

Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Communication Skills
Communication skills (or the lack of communication skills) can have a large impact on your success in both your business and personal life. Communication skills learned at an early age will provide you with the skills that you need to interact successfully with a wide variety of people and situations, while a lack of communication skills will make it more difficult for you to get what you want out of life.
Here are the four major communication skills and how they impact your ability to communicate effectively.

Communication Skill #1 - Thinking

You may not recognize thinking as being a communication skill, but having a clear idea of symbolic internal reality (see the definition of communication) you want to convey to another person or group of people is the beginning of effective communication.
If you don’t have the idea straight in your own mind, don’t be surprised if others get a different idea from your communication than what you thought you intended to say.

Communication Skill #2 – Listening

Effective listening allows you to enter the reality of the other person and understand what their internal symbolic reality is. Only when you do this are you able to communicate effectively by understanding what they are sharing with you, even if it is very different from your personal perspective.
You can’t truly communicate with someone else of you don’t understand their internal reality.

Communication Skill #3 – Speaking

The third communication skill that leads to effective communication is your selection of words and the voice tones that you use when you speak them. While this may the part that most people concentrate on, research has revealed that nonverbal communication has more impact than the actual words that you use. In fact, the nonverbal portion of the communication can actually change the meaning of the words that you say.

Communication Skill #4 – Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the communication skill that usually receives little thought because it happens automatically. We actually learn to communicate nonverbally at a very young age ( a baby crying) and are able to communicate quite effectively using only nonverbal communication.
Here is more detailed information about nonverbal communication.


الجمعة، 25 أكتوبر 2013

Serving Multilingual Clients With Hearing Loss ... How Linguistic Diversity Affects Audiologic Management

Serving Multilingual Clients With Hearing Loss ...
How Linguistic Diversity Affects Audiologic Management
by Ishara Ramkissoon & Farhana Khan

These are exciting times for audiologists serving clients from a myriad of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Linguistic diversity, especially, affects audiologic management. Services are particularly affected when clients have limited English proficiency (LEP) because test materials are usually available in English only.
The great majority of audiologists in the United States—80%—are English speakers. However, the latest Census data indicate that almost 14% of U.S. residents do not speak English, creating a challenging clinical environment.
Although little information is available about the incidence of hearing loss among multilingual clients, a 2002 Gallaudet Research Institute survey reported that 8.9% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are from homes where more than one language is spoken and 10.3% are from monolingual Spanish-speaking homes. Thus, audiologists need specialized clinical knowledge to provide equitable services for such clients.
The client’s linguistic profile, such as age, number of languages spoken, acquisition age for each language, and proficiency in each language, affects audiological management. Linguistic profiles can be quite variable. For example, a client reporting elective bilingualism has decided to learn a second language and typically has proficiency in both languages. Alternatively, a circumstantial bi/multilingual person has learned several languages because of necessity in the communication environment, and proficiency in each language may be variable.

Communicating with Multilingual Clients
Despite the language mismatch between client and audiologist, appropriate clinical communication is important. Sometimes, a rudimentary knowledge of the individual’s language is insufficient to ensure an accurate interaction. Audiologists should have the ability to adjust management when language barriers exist. For example, enlisting interpreters or speech-language pathology/audiology (SLP/A) assistants is often a worthwhile decision.
Interpreters are usually competent in the client’s language, facilitating information gathering, giving test instructions, and relaying evaluation feedback. Interpreters often share the client’s social, cultural, or ethnic background and facilitate trust, comfort, and acceptability in the clinical interaction. Interpreters or assistants are particularly helpful during pediatric play audiometry. With training, they can effectively condition young children to the task at hand, facilitating response accuracy and improved test reliability. During audiologic rehabilitation sessions, interpreters usually relay information because of the clinician-client language barrier. Adequate training of interpreters and SLP/A assistants is required for successful outcomes. Optimum use of interpreters occurs in a symbiotic relationship with the audiologist, where appropriate training is provided, and responsibilities, boundaries, and functional limits are outlined. Clinical interaction is also enhanced when audiologists demonstrate a basic understanding of the client’s language.

Speech Audiometry
Speech audiometry is most affected by multilingualism because tests are language-based. Although English test materials might not yield ideal outcomes for non-native speakers, they are still popular because of their availability, longevity, research support, and compatibility with the language of most audiologists.
In clinical practice with multilingual clients, we often observed that the measured speech recognition threshold (SRT) did not match the pure-tone average (PTA), and was seldom within the 5–6 dB clinical norm. SRT measurement is critical in diagnostic audiology, providing an overall indication of hearing threshold for speech, serving as a PTA reliability check, and providing a baseline for suprathreshold tests. Therefore, audiologists have sought alternatives, such as using a subset of a popular test or using tests in the client’s first language, when available.
For LEP clients, audiologists often modify the SRT test by reducing set size, and selecting only familiar words. Set-size reduction is popular due to convenience, reduced test time, and because it eliminates the need for alternate tests. However, research from Punch and Howard indicated that it reduces measurement accuracy, yielding lower SRT thresholds, which could lead to erroneous diagnostic conclusions.
Although language-specific tests have been developed, their validity and perceptual saliency are questionable. These tests are fairly new to audiology and lack clinical research support. The primary drawback of all non-English speech tests is limited use and applicability because audiologists are seldom proficient in the language of the test. In addition, language-specific tests are useful for only one linguistic group, and do not meet the needs of a multilingual community. Thus, they do not solve the immediate problems facing English-speaking audiologists.
Given the limitations of these modified practices, audiologists need an alternate SRT test with cross-linguistic appeal to accommodate clients from various linguistic backgrounds. The digit-SRT test may be an appropriate solution because research demonstrated its applicability in the United States for LEP, non-native speakers of English. The digit-SRT test is also being used in South Africa and its evaluation with other multilingual or non-native English speakers is encouraged.
Although not well understood, multilingualism influences suprathreshold speech performance. In our experience, multilingual clients had disproportionately poor test scores, conflicting with clinical expectations based on pure-tone tests. Linguistic background influences test performance in a unique manner; however, an overall unfamiliarity with test words accounts for some discrepancy.
Suprathreshold speech tests are often conducted in the presence of background noise to determine communication handicap and evaluate central auditory processing ability. Hearing loss and linguistic profile influence performance on these tests. For example, research reviewed by von Hapsburg and Pena indicated that bilingual individuals have poorer speech perception in noise compared to their monolingual counterparts, suggesting that adding a challenging auditory environment to a test of unfamiliar words negatively affected performance.
Alternate suprathreshold tests were formally developed in languages such as Spanish, French, and Arabic. However, these tests have limited practical use because audiologists predominantly speak English and the tests do not meet the needs of a multilingual clientele. In addition, von Hapsburg and Pena’s review of Spanish suprathreshold tests developed for monolingual listeners in the United States indicates that bilingual participants were used to evaluate these tests, making their validity questionable.

Choices and Intervention
When hearing loss is severe or profound, multilingualism becomes an important consideration in language acquisition. There is very little research on bilingual language acquisition or the effects of multilingualism on communication in children with hearing loss.
Communication choices for children with hearing loss typically contrast manual and oral systems, with multilingualism having variable effects on each. The choice of communication system might be altered in different ways depending on the philosophy of the parents, educators, and community. In general, oral schools in the United States and Canada serving children from bilingual homes emphasize a transitional approach to language acquisition. Families are encouraged to use the home language with the child while moving toward proficiency in English. Some schools begin early intervention in English, starting in parent-infant programs while mainstream schools encourage home language use and development until formal teaching begins. The empowerment method encourages parental involvement and the integration of language and culture in communication development.
Research by Levi et al. indicates that functional speech perception skills are not different between oral multilingual and monolingual children; however, multilingual children in total communication environments are at greater risk for slower development of speech perception skills than their monolingual peers. It appears that adding a third language in a total communication environment negatively influences development of speech perception. Because this is an important consideration for multilingual families making communication choices for their child with hearing loss, audiologists should impart this information during the counseling process.
In conclusion, increased awareness of the impact of multilingualism on audiology practice has stimulated research, but ultimately, the responsibility lies with individual audiologists to provide equitable and relevant care.

أيمن محمد عبداللطيف محمد خالد
Aiman Mohamed Abdullatif  Mohamed Khaled
اختصاصي النطق واللغة
Speech and Language Specialist

السبت، 25 مايو 2013

مجموعة من النصائح لمعلمي الأطفال المعاقين سمعياً ...؛

 تعد عملية الاتصال جوهر استمرار الحياة الاجتماعية وتطورها، فالحضارة الإنسانية حافظت على بقائها وتطورها من خلال عملية الاتصال، وعملية التربية عامة تقوم على الاتصال الفعال، ونجاح الطالب ضعيف السمع في تحقيق الاتصال الفعال مع المجتمع من حوله من الأهداف الرئيسة وراء تربيته.
ويجب أن يتم تخطيط وتنفيذ المحتوى التعليمي من خلال معرفتنا بطرق التعامل والاتصال المختلفة بضعاف السمع والتي تتلاءم مع طبيعتهم وطبيعة الإمكانات البشرية والمادية المتاحة، ومن هنا فيجب على كل معلم أن يراعي بعض النقاط الخاصة بالمادة التعليمية وطرق توصيل المعلومات للطالب حتى نتمكن من انجاز الأهداف المرجوة.
توصيات لمعلم الصف ومعلم التربية الخاصة:
يجب على معلم الصف أن يركز علــى:
1.      إدراك الطالب للغة المنطوقة.
2.     فهم اللغة المنطوقة.
3.      إنتاج اللغة المنطوقة.
4.     إنتاج الكلام.
5.      فهم وإنتاج اللغة المكتوبة.
6.     الكفاءة التواصلية ــ اللغة المنطوقة كأهم أسلوب تواصل.
مجموعة من النصائح لمعلمي الأطفال المعوقين سمعياً:
النصيحة الأولى:
يجب أن تحظي بانتباه الطفل عندما تتحدث إليه، وقد يساعد في ذلك النقر بصوت عال على الطاولة أو تحريك اليدين، وفي المناقشات الجماعية، اطلب من المتحدث أن يشير بيديه إلي الشخص الذي سيتكلم لاحقاً، إن الهدف الأساسي ـ من هذا الاقتراح ـ هو التأكد من أن الطفل المعوق سمعياً يعرف مصدر المعلومات البصرية أو السمعية، وعلى أي حال، علي المعلم أن يدرك أن الانتباه البصري المتواصل، قد يقود إلي التعب، ولذلك ينبغي توفير فترات للراحة.
النصيحة الثانية:
تحدث بصوت مسموع ( وليس بصوت مرتفع )، ولتكن سرعتك ـ أيها المعلم ـ في الكلام متوسطة، فالكلام بطريقة مبالغ فيها قد تجعل عملية قراءة الشفاه والكلام أمراً صعباً، وحتى تصبح عملية قراءة الشفاه سهلة، انظر إلي الطفل وجهاً لوجه، طالما كان باستطاعتك أنتفعل ذلك وحاول أيها المعلم أن تتواصل بالعينين مع الطفل، وتجنب التحرك في غرفة الصف بسرعة، وعندما تستخدم السبورة أنتظر حتى ينتهي من الكتابة عليها، قبل أن تتكلم، وذلك من أجل ألا تفوت الطفل الأصم الكلمات التي تقولها وأنت تنظر إلى السبورة، وحاول ألا تحجب رؤية شفتيك بكتاب، أو بقلم أو بأي شيء آخر وأن تتكلم.
النصيحة الثالثة:
أعد صياغة الفكرة التي تشرحها أو السؤال الذي تطرحه، وذلك حتى يصبح مفهوماً أكثر للطفل المعوق سمعياً، ويجب أن تكون تعليمات الاختبار والواجبات المنزلية، والملاحظات المتعلقة بالمناقشة وأية تعليمات أخرى مكتوبة، وقد تحتاج أيها المعلم إلي توضيح الأسئلة، وتكرارها أثناء المناقشات السريعة، ومع أن الطفل المعوق سمعياً قد يحتاج إلي المساعدة في بادئ الأمر، من خلال قيام شخص يتمتع بقدرات سمعية عادية بتسجيل الملاحظات للطفل الأصم مثلاً، إلاأنه من الأهمية بمكان كبير السماح للطفل الأصم بالاستقلالية.
النصيحة الرابعة:
استخدام المعينات البصرية إلي الحد الأقصى الممكن بما في ذلك الشفافيات، والأفلام، والشرائح، والسبورة وما إلي ذلك، وتجنب ـ أيها المعلمة ـ أنيكون مصدر المعلومات في أماكن إضاءة ضعيفة، واستبدال مصادر المعلومات، أو التنقل فيغرفة الصف بسرعة قد يعطل أو يعيق عملية الفهم.
النصيحة الخامسة:
شجع تطور مهارات التواصل بما فيها الكلام، وقراءة الشفاه، والهجاء الإصبعي، والتواصل اليدوي، وشجع أيضاً استخدام القدرات السمعية المتبقية لدي الطفل، وشجعه كذلك على أن يطرح الأسئلة من خلال توفير جو يخلو من التهديد، ولا يشعر فيه الطفل بالحرج، لما قد يبدو له على أنه أسئلة غير مناسبة.
النصيحة السادسة:
احصل على التغذية الراجعة من الطفل للتأكد من أنه يفهم، وكمعلم ـ كن حذراً فيما يتعلق بالصعوبات التي يواجهها الطفل في نطق بعض الألفاظ وبعض التعبيرات، وإذااتضح لك أن الطفل لا يفهم، أعد صياغة المعلومات، واترك الطفل يوضح لك أنه يفهم، وقد يكون عليك أن تخفف من سرعة التواصل.
النصيحة السابعة:
اترك الطفل يجلس في المكان الذي يسمح له بالإفادة من المعلومات البصرية، والإفادة من الطلاب الآخرين، فضلاً عن الإفادة منك كمعلم، واتركه يغير مقعده ليتوفر له ذلك في جميع المواقف.
النصيحة الثامنة:
عند تقديم المعلومات المهمة، تأكد من فهم الطفل المعوق سمعياً لها، فهناك حاجة إلي أن يقوم أحد الأشخاص بتكرار المعلومات التي تقدم عبر إذاعة المدرسة، أو الوسائل المسموعة الأخرى للتأكد من أن الطفل المعوق سمعياً قد فهمها، وفي حالات الطوارئ، قد يكون من المناسب أن تستخدم نظاماً ضوئياً معروفاً.
النصيحة التاسعة:
تعرف على المعينات السمعية، فقد يكون باستطاعتك استبدال بطاريات السماعة الطبية، أو خفض بعض أنواع الأصوات، وكن على معرفة بالتغيرات التي تطرأ على السمع، بسبب إصابة الطفل بالأنفلونزا، أو التهابات الأذن أو الأمراض الأخرى.

أيمن محمد عبداللطيف محمد خالد
AimanMohamedAbdullatifMohamedKhaled
اختصاصي النطق واللغة
Speech and Language Specialist