Jason used a key verbal pragmatic skill when
he initiated the interaction with his peers, communication of
feelings. Jason and his friends use the popular vocabulary of
their group to share both positive and negative feelings about
school, each other, and themselves.
Selecting the precise word or phrase and using
the appropriate inflection or tone are fundamental abilities related
to the accurate communication of feelings. These abilities involve
using physical and social cues to identify one’s current
emotional state, reviewing known words or phrases in memory to
label the emotion, and speaking the word or phrase that best communicates
the emotional state to another person or persons. Communication
is facilitated when the speaker overlays a tone and inflection
appropriate to the words and phrases being spoken.
Here are some strategies to help students develop
their ability to communicate their feelings accurately
- Improve students' ability to communicate their
feelings by enhancing their ability to recognize their different
emotional states and identify their own emotions. Help students
develop the vocabulary words to label their emotions and thoughts,
and improve their verbal expression of feelings.
- Recognize students' non-verbal attempts to
communicate feelings (e.g., facial expressions, sighs, and gestures),
and encourage them to express those feelings in words.
- Allow students to express themselves in ways
other than through oral discussion (e.g., writing journal entries,
matching pictures, answering true/false questions, role-playing).
- In particular, teach students to verbalize
their feelings when they are becoming frustrated (e.g., This
work is hard; I'm not sure what to do here; etc.).