Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

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In the very beginning of chapter two, we learn that social language does not always come as quickly as the language in the textbooks. Social language takes up to three years to master and is used in the hallways, classrooms, school busses and playgrounds. The social language is embedded with much more than just words. People can communicate with gestures, objects, and pictures. According to the text, this language is called Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, or BICS (Haynes, 2007, p. 14). For someone who is just learning the English language, it may be hard for them to understand what the other person is trying to communicate through BICS.
For some, this social language will come naturally; however, for others, it may not. Some English language learners may need to be taught interpersonal communication skills. Often times they do not understand the appropriate use of nonverbal language, personal space, and
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Before looking at the English language from this perspective, I never knew that there were different forms of it. I can really see now how confusing it could be for someone just learning the language to be confused in so many social situations. I just image myself not understanding the typical social norms of our society and I really feel terrible for the students who are still learning. Basic interpersonal communication skills may come naturally for us; however, that is not the case for everyone here in America. I can also see how confusing it could be when learning academically as well. Learning a language is one thing but understanding what the text is trying to portray is a whole different, more complex skill. As future educators, it is so important for us to keep this in mind when teaching English language learners. They may be able to read and pronounce words, but we must make a point to reassure ourselves that they understand what they are reading/saying

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