Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Communication Skills Related Abstracts

12 The Readiness of English Communication Skills for Travel Agents to Enter the ASEAN Economic Community

Authors: Bavornluck Kuosuwan

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to study the level of readiness of English communication skills for travel agents in the Silom road area of Bangkok in order to enter the ASEAN economic community in the year 2015. The multi-stage sampling method was utilized with 474 respondents from 79 travel agencies. An English Questionnaire was used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics included percentage, average, standard deviation and Pearson’s r coefficient. The findings revealed that the majority of respondents were not well prepared in terms of ASEAN knowledge including laws and regulations. The majority of respondents had not been well informed about the changes that will come with the coming of ASEAN economic community. Moreover, the level of English communication for most travel agents was between the poor and intermediate level and therefore improvement is needed, especially the speaking and listening skill. In other words, the majority of respondents needed more training in terms of communications skills. The correlation between the working environment and attitude of the staff was very positive. Moreover, the correlation between the background of staff and attitude of staff was also very positive and most of demographic factors had a positive correlation with attitude of staff, except gender.

Keywords: Media Engineering, Communication Skills, ASEAN, travel agents

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11 Using Presentation as a Means to Develop Communication Skills of Engineering Students

Authors: Urvashi Kaushal

Abstract:

With the entry of multinationals in India, engineering students of Indian universities have opportunity to work with the best and the most innovative industries in the world, but in order to compete in the global job market, they require an added competence of communication skills in English. With work places turning global, competence in English can provide the Indian student the added advantage to begin his/her career in the international market. The present method of teaching English in any engineering college across Gujarat mostly concentrates on developing writing, and reading skills. Developing speech becomes a secondary topic owing to the old trend of lecturing in the class room and the huge strength of the class. This paper aims to highlight the importance of improving speaking skills of engineering students. It also insists that presentations can be used as a viable method to enhance the communication skills of these students. Presentations force students to plan, prepare, practice and perfect their communication skills which will enable them to get a foothold in the industry. The paper also discusses one such experiment carried out at the author’s institute and the response it received. Further, such experimental language learning approach is bound to have some limitations and obstacles. The paper suggests ways to overcome such limitations and strives to develop an interesting means of developing communication skills of the engineering students.

Keywords: Engineering, English, Communication Skills, presentation

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10 Effective Communication Within Workplace: Key to Growth of Business

Authors: Mamta

Abstract:

Communication is the mixture of the various activities such as words, body language, volume and voice tone. Mankind has always throughout its history had the necessity for communication. It starts from birth and continues throughout life. Communication is just the right means of success and advancement in a workplace. Communication is one of the means to connect to different people at far distances. The modern workplace is inherently collaborative, and this collaboration relies on effective communication among co-workers. Also it has been observed that a lack in good communication skills especially within a workplace can result in conflicts and chaos hence hindering the productivity of an organization. Thus there is a dire need for developing good and effective communication skills which will result in increase in productivity and will enhance its efficiency.

Keywords: Professional Communication, Communication Skills, workplace communication, workplace efficiency

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9 Robot-Assisted Learning for Communication-Care in Autism Intervention

Authors: Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, Syamimi Shamsuddin, Hanafiah Yussof, Salina Mohamed, Nur Farah Farhan Jamil, Farhana Wan Yunus

Abstract:

Robot-based intervention for children with autism is an evolving research niche in human-robot interaction (HRI). Recent studies in this area mostly covered the role of robots in the clinical and experimental setting. Our previous work had shown that interaction with a robot pose no adverse effects on the children. Also, the presence of the robot, together with specific modules of interaction was associated with less autistic behavior. Extending this impact on school-going children, interactions that are in-tune with special education lessons are needed. This methodological paper focuses on how a robot can be incorporated in a current learning environment for autistic children. Six interaction scenarios had been designed based on the existing syllabus to teach communication skills, using the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) technique as the framework. Development of the robotic experience in class also covers the required set-up involving participation from teachers. The actual research conduct involving autistic children, teachers and robot shall take place in the next phase.

Keywords: ASD, Autism spectrum disorder, Humanoid Robot, Communication Skills, robot-assisted learning

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8 Communication Skills Training in Continuing Nursing Education: Enabling Nurses to Improve Competency and Performance in Communication

Authors: Marzieh Moattari Mitra Abbasi, Masoud Mousavinasab, Poorahmad

Abstract:

Background: Nurses in their daily practice need to communicate with patients and their families as well as health professional team members. Effective communication contributes to patients’ satisfaction which is a fundamental outcome of nursing practice. There are some evidences in support of patients' dissatisfaction with nurses’ performance in communication process. Therefore improving nurses’ communication skills is a necessity for nursing scholars and nursing administrators. Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a 2-days workshop on nurses’ competencies and performances in communication in a central hospital located in the sought of Iran. Materials and Method: This is a randomized controlled trial which comprised of a convenient sample of 70 eligible nurses, working in a central hospital. They were randomly divided into 2 experimental and control groups. Nurses’ competencies was measured by an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and their performance was measured by asking eligible patients hospitalized in the nurses work setting during a one month period to evaluate nurses' communication skills before and 2 months after intervention. The experimental group participated in a 2 day workshop on communication skills. Content included in this workshop were: the importance of communication (verbal and non verbal), basic communication skills such as initiating the communication, active listening and questioning technique. Other subjects were patient teaching, problem solving, and decision making, cross cultural communication and breaking bad news. Appropriate teaching strategies such as brief didactic sessions, small group discussion and reflection were applied to enhance participants learning. The data was analyzed using SPSS 16. Result: A significant between group differences was found in nurses’ communication skills competencies and performances in the posttest. The mean scores of the experimental group was higher than that of the control group in the total score of OSCE as well as all stations of OSCE (p<0.003). Overall posttest mean scores of patient satisfaction with nurse's communication skills and all of its four dimensions significantly differed between the two groups of the study (p<0.001). Conclusion: This study shows that the education of nurses in communication skills, improves their competencies and performances. Measurement of Nurses’ communication skills as a central component of efficient nurse patient relationship by valid and reliable methods of evaluation is recommended. Also it is necessary to integrate teaching of communication skills in continuing nursing education programs. Trial Registration Number: IRCT201204042621N11

Keywords: Simulation, Performance, clinical evaluation, Communication Skills, Competency, objective structure

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7 Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Przemysław Adamczyk, Mirosław Wyczesany, Aleksandra Domagalik, Artur Daren, Kamil Cepuch, Piotr Błądziński, Tadeusz Marek, Andrzej Cechnicki

Abstract:

The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Humor, Communication Skills, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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6 Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Speech and Communication Skills of Children with Autism

Authors: Aristi Alopoudi, Sofia Beloka, Vassiliki Pliogou

Abstract:

Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder with a variety of difficulties in many aspects such as social interaction, communication skills and verbal communication (speech). The aim of this study was to examine the impact of therapeutic horseback riding in improving the verbal and communication skills of children diagnosed with autism during 16 sessions. The researcher examined whether the expression of speech, the use of vocabulary, semantics, pragmatics, echolalia and communication skills were influenced by the therapeutic horseback riding when we increase the frequency of the sessions. The researcher observed two subjects of primary-school aged, in a two case observation design, with autism during 16 therapeutic horseback riding sessions (one riding session per week). Compared to baseline, at the end of the 16th therapeutic session, therapeutic horseback riding increased both verbal skills such as vocabulary, semantics, pragmatics, formation of sentences and communication skills such as eye contact, greeting, participation in dialogue and spontaneous speech. It was noticeable that echolalia remained stable. Increased frequency of therapeutic horseback riding was beneficial for significant improvement in verbal and communication skills. More specifically, from the first to the last riding session there was a great increase of vocabulary, semantics, and formation of sentences. Pragmatics reached a lower level than semantics but the same as the right usage of the first person (for example, I make a hug) and echolalia used for that. A great increase of spontaneous speech was noticed. The eye contact was presented in a lower level, and there was a slow but important raise at the greeting as well as the participation in dialogue. Last but not least; this is a first study conducted in therapeutic horseback riding studying the verbal communication and communication skills in autistic children. According to the references, therapeutic horseback riding is a therapy with a variety of benefits, thus; this research made clear that in the benefits of this therapy there should be included the improvement of verbal speech and communication.

Keywords: Speech, autism, Communication Skills, therapeutic horseback riding

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5 Analyzing the Perceptions of Accounting Practitioners regarding Communication Skills of Distance-Learning Graduates

Authors: Carol S. Binnekade, Deon Scott, Christina C. Shuttleworth, Annelien A. Van Rooyen

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Higher education institutions are constantly challenged to deliver skilled graduates into the workplace. Employers expect graduates to have the required technical knowledge as well as various pervasive skills. This also applies to accountants who need to know the technical requirements of financial reporting and be able to communicate with individuals, teams and clients at a high level. Accountants need to develop effective business conversational skills and use these skills to communicate up, down and across organizations, taking into consideration cultural and gender diversity. In addition, they need to master business writing and presentation skills. However, providing students with these skills in a distance-learning environment where interaction between students and instructors is limited, is a challenge for academics. The study on which this paper reports, forms part of a larger body of research, which explored the perceptions of accounting practitioners of the communication skills (or lack thereof) of recently qualified accounting students. Feedback (qualitative and quantitative) was obtained from various accounting practitioners in South Africa. Taking into consideration that distance learners communicate mainly with their instructors via email communication and their assignments are submitted using various word processor software, the researchers were of the opinion that the accounting graduates would be capable of communicating effectively once they entered the workplace. However, the research findings, inter alia, suggested that the accounting graduates lacked communication skills and that training was needed to differentiate between business and social communication once they entered the workplace. Recommendations on how these communication challenges may be addressed by higher education institutions are provided.

Keywords: Distance Education, Communication Skills, accounting practitioners, pervasive skills

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4 The Study of Strength and Weakness Points of Various Techniques for Calculating the Volume of Done Work in Civil Projects

Authors: Ali Fazeli Moslehabadi

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One of the topics discussed in civil projects, during the execution of the project, which the continuous change of work volumes is usually the characteristics of these types of projects, is how to calculate the volume of done work. The difference in volumes announced by the execution unit with the estimated volume by the technical office unit, has direct effect on the announced progress of the project. This issue can show the progress of the project more or less than actual value and as a result making mistakes for stakeholders and project managers and misleading them. This article intends to introduce some practical methods for calculating the volume of done work in civil projects. It then reviews the strengths and weaknesses of each of them, in order to resolve these contradictions and conflicts.

Keywords: Communication Skills, Technical skills, systemic skills, done work volume calculation techniques

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3 Comparison of Parent’s Treatment and Education Priorities between Verbal and Non-Verbal Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Iranian Families

Authors: Elanz Alimi, Mehdi Ghanadzade

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This current study compared the parents reported treatment and education priorities between verbal and nonverbal children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants were 196 parents of 2 to 21-year-old (83 non-verbal and 113 verbal) children and adolescents with an ASD who completed questionnaires measuring parent’s treatment and education priorities, child’s educational and intervention programs and current child’s level of performance according to each skill. Results of this study indicated that parents of verbal children with autism spectrum disorder considered communication skills, community living skills and academic skills correspondingly as their highest intervention and education priorities and parents of non-verbal children with ASD reported communication skills, social relationship skills and self-care skills as the most significant priorities for their children. Findings show that for Iranian parents of both verbal and non-verbal children with ASD, communication skills are the most crucial treatment priority.

Keywords: autism, Communication Skills, Iran, parent’s priorities

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2 'Get the DNR': Exploring the Impact of an Educational eModule on Internal Medicine Residents' Attitudes and Approaches to Goals of Care Conversations

Authors: Leora Branfield Day, Stephanie Saunders, Leah Steinberg, Shiphra Ginsburg, Christine Soong

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Introduction: Discordance between patients expressed and documented preferences at the end of life is common. Although junior trainees frequently lead goals of care (GOC) conversations, lack of training can result in poor communication. Based on a needs assessment, we developed an interactive electronic learning module (eModule) for conducting patient-centred GOC discussions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the eModule on residents’ attitudes towards GOC conversations. Methods: First-year internal medicine residents (n=11) from the University of Toronto selected using purposive sampling underwent semi-structured interviews before and after completing a GOC eModule. Interviews were anonymized, transcribed and open-coded using NVivo. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we developed a framework to understand the attitudes of residents to GOC conversations before and after viewing the module. Results: Before the module, participants described limited training and negative emotions towards GOC conversations. Many focused on code status and procedure choices (e.g., ventilation) instead of eliciting patient-centered values. Pressure to “get the DNR" led to conflicting feelings and distress. After the module, participants’ approached conversations with a greater focus on patient values and process. They felt more prepared and comfortable, recognizing the complexity of conversations and the importance of patient-centeredness. Conclusions: A novel GOC eModule allowed residents to develop a patient-centered and standardized approach to GOC conversations while improving confidence and preparedness. This resource could be an effective strategy toward attaining a critical communication competency among learners with the potential to enhance accurate GOC documentation.

Keywords: Medical Education, Communication Skills, goals of care conversations, emodule

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1 Task-Based Teaching for Developing Communication Skills in Second Language Learners

Authors: Geeta Goyal

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Teaching-learning of English as a second language is a challenge for the learner as well as the teacher. Whereas a student may find it hard and get demotivated while communicating in a language other than mother tongue, a teacher, too, finds it difficult to integrate necessary teaching material in lesson plans to maximize the outcome. Studies reveal that task-based teaching can be useful in diverse contexts in a second language classroom as it helps in creating opportunities for language exposure as per learners' interest and capability levels, which boosts their confidence and learning efficiency. The present study has analysed the impact of various activities carried out in a heterogenous group of second language learners at tertiary level in a semi-urban area in Haryana state of India. Language tasks were specifically planned with a focus on engaging groups of twenty-five students for a period of three weeks. These included language games such as spell-well, cross-naught besides other communicative and interactive tasks like mock-interviews, role plays, sharing experiences, storytelling, simulations, scene-enact, video-clipping, etc. Tools in form of handouts and cue cards were also used as per requirement. This experiment was conducted for ten groups of students taking bachelor’s courses in different streams of humanities, commerce, and sciences. Participants were continuously supervised, monitored, and guided by the respective teacher. Feedback was collected from the students through classroom observations, interviews, and questionnaires. Students' responses revealed that they felt comfortable and got plenty of opportunities to communicate freely without being afraid of making mistakes. It was observed that even slow/timid/shy learners got involved by getting an experience of English language usage in friendly environment. Moreover, it helped the teacher in establishing a trusting relationship with students and encouraged them to do the same with their classmates. The analysis of the data revealed that majority of students demonstrated improvement in their interest and enthusiasm in the class. The study revealed that task-based teaching was an effective method to improve the teaching-learning process under the given conditions.

Keywords: English, Second Language, Communication Skills, task-based teaching

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