First of all I would like to apologize for my prolonged absence from my blog. I was quite occupied somewhere else; in AIESEC’s global volunteer program. For those of you who do not know about it, AIESEC is a youth organization that sends people abroad for volunteering and internships. I went to Nepal to work as a volunteer teacher in the project ‘Color the Future’.

In Nepal, I had to teach students english. Now it sounds like an easy task, some would say. It is not easy when you have to teach a language they do not speak, and they speak a language you do not understand. But when you overcome this obstacle, you truly learn something about effective communication. Here I have listed four seperate skills that I have learnt and implemented to effectively communicate with studetns, backed by their psychological basis.

  1. When a student gives a correct answer or accomplishes any task desired by me, I have the entire class clap for this student. Explanation: This accomplishes two things: It acts as postive reinforcement for the student increasing the frequency of the behaviour that I desire of him or her. Secondly, when other students observe that this student is being rewarded for a particular activity, they too learn to do the same through the process of modelling.

  2. Creating a loud noise like banging a table or clapping immediately grasps the attention of the entire group regardless of it’s size. This is very helpful when you want to grab the class’s attention. Explanation: According to evolutionary psychology, loud noises are percieved as immediate danger or threat and demand immediate attention of the individual.

  3. When orating a topic or facilitating a discussion it pays to speak loudly and clearly. Explanation: When we speak louldy and clearly then the its is easier for the student to differentiate and comprehend the words. This is because each word has an intensity of sound, this intensity is the absolute limen of that word. The word that comes after too has an intensity of sound and is the relative limen compared to the preceding word. If the relative limen is not significant then the student will not be able to separate the two words and will not comprehend our speech.

  4. When you want to make a point or give focus to a certain concept, speak in low tone or softly. Explanation: Doing so creates cognitive dissonance in the student’s mind as he conflicted as to why the teacher is speaking softly. This leads to increased attention of the student and hence better understanding of the concept.

My volunteering made a real impact on the society and I am thankful for AIESEC for providing me this opportunity.