Introduction to Communication

Hanna (Ha Le)

Blog assignment 1

Communication is the process of exchanging ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes...through different means. Noone lives without communicating with others, whether verbally or non-verbally. We talk to our parents, friends and colleages on a daily basic and even to strangers when waiting for the bus downtown.

Communication creates understanding, thus helps bring people together, especially in the world today with the emerge of the social networks where people from different parts of the world can see each other just by clicking a button. That's the reasons for my first two images.

As I'm on my way to Highschool Education and Psychology degrees, I find effective communication necessary for my teaching career and in my life. I want to transfer my knowledge to my students and want to be a source of inspiration by using my communication skill. For this, I would choose a picture of my mother who is my closest example of skillful communication and influentiality.

In conclusion, communication is a life skill and it requires great effort to be developed for a successful future.

Blog Assignment 2

Carrying out a research is a whole new concept to me, as I have never done any during my highschool years. Therefore, the "Doing research activities" session is really helpful for me and I find that the reading about plagiarism is of great importance. It raises my awareness of studying and using people's ideas and works in appreciation as well as the need for developing my own creativity.
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This picture implies plagiarism in a humorous way. It means that plagiarism is a type of thief, which is actually academic theft. However, it is not taken seriously or even unrecognized by many people, which can lead to undesirable consequences. Through this, I can conclude that plagiarism is a serious matter and needs to be taken into account in every studying work.

Blog assignment 3

For this week, I was caught right away by the video by Susan Cain: The power of introverts as it changed my thought on what introverts can do to influence people or to develop the society, based on the examples of world leaders and the story of herself. I feel like this topic also because I think it relates to myself as sort of an introvert. I like being alone or spending time with my family instead of going to some crowded places and make friends. In addition, I find myself working best when I am next to myself and often have problems expressing my opinions to others. For these reasons, I used to think there is little chance an introvert can become a leader or succeed in any jobs involving collaboration. However, I learned that a leader can be trained and the introverts play an important role in the society. Moreover, the introverts together with the extroverts make up the "yin" and "yang" elements in a community. Everyone has his own ways of working and all will help improve each other. Therefore, I believe through learning more about myself, I can develop my strengths to do things in the way I am best at, beside improving social skills which will assist me in whatever connecting to working with people.

How about you? What type of person do you think you are and do you feel there is something you can do with yourself to be a better person?

Blog Assignment 4

For this week, I am really interesting in our Group Project topic, which is about the access to physical opportunities for children to combat obesity. At first, it is a more general topic but now as it is narrowed down, I know what to look for. When in class this morning, I found that my classmates have a lot of knowledge and experience about this problem which indicates some certain percent of the project's success since the topic is understood. However, there is another factor that will make us successful which is the way we deliver our idea to the audience. And the videos in Quad on Audience Analysis and Supporting Material needed are very helpful. They demonstrate how to give the audience a considerable amount of useful information with reliability and interest by facts and examples... There is also an example video of making a speech for us to consider the positive and negative sides of the speech and think of ways to get it better. In brief, I think making the final speech is really important and with appropriate methods, it can be made credible and persuasive.

Week 5: Live speech ahhhhhhh!

Our class today is my most favorite Communication class that keeps me excited until now. Like I said, I am always scared of public speaking, even to my high school classmates who had been in the same class with me for more than 2 years. Whether I had prepared for the speech or not, my face always got red and my eyes started to stick to the ceiling or the wall opposite. Therefore I did not feel satisfied with my speeches afterwards.

However, I really enjoy our live impromtu speeches about effective speech delivery this morning. I could see my classmates standing in front of me speaking with comfort but with great enthusiasm and engagement, which was a great different compared to online classes. Everyone had different tips to share by using various approaches and they were relatable to me a lot, since all the tips were so useful and practical to make an effective speech. Although I still got freaking out some seconds in my speech today, I did not feel as stressful as I used to be because I am getting used of speeches and also because of the cozy asmostphere in my small class. Now that I am less scared of speaking out loud, I feel more comfortable and appreciative of the advantages live classes as well as public speaking bring about.

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I choose this picture because I find practice really matters in almost every activity. I can gain experience and confidence out of it and step by step improve what I used to be afraid of.

Week 6

This week is a busy week with a lot to be done. However, the process speech is the most interesting activity, in my opinion. I had to record many times again to finish the video but it was lots of fun. Through this I know how my ability to give instructions is and what to do to improve my clariness when speaking. This is also a way for me to get used to speaking to a camera.

I also enjoy watching my classmates' videos on how to make a key fob, an origami balloon, a braid and how to do push-ups through basic steps but bring out great outcomes. There is still space for improvements in our speeches but I think we did a good job for the first process speech. I really like this assignment.

All of you, my classmates, may have had a stressful week but how about you? Did you have fun in making the speech like me?

7th week: No impromtus? Yes!

No impromtus was such a good news to me this week. Although they are helpful in developing communication skills, I don't like the anxiety feelings they bring about. Instead of impromtu speech, my classmates and I had a very fun activity. We had to start and continue a conversation to get as much information about our classmates as possible without asking a question. What a challenging activity it was!

I was in the same group with Abby and Danielle. Our conversation seemed awkward and unnatural when everyone wanted to ask questions and there were gaps when we were figuring out what to say next. Through this, I am aware of how indirect communication matters in day life as well as professional affairs, considering. As a low context speaker, I need to develop this kind of communication to reach the effectiveness in conversations which may help me in my future career.

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I like the idea conveyed in this quote by Peter Drucker. Direct communication does not always bring good effects. Intead, in some situations, implications are what make the conversations more interesting and persuasive.

Assignment 8

This week, we talked about non-verbal communication and their importance in effective communication. We all know that non-verbals include eye contact, facial expressions, postures and many others. But what made me surprised was that TIME is a type of non-verbals and the way we use time does convey meanings, according to our Study Guide on Quad. There are so many things to talk about time but for me, the most interesting is the different ways punctuality is different through cultures. For example, when you are invited for dinner in France, it is better to show up 15-20 minutes after the invited time but in China, many meetings begin 5 minutes ahead of schedule. These are only two out of a lot of examples that are mentioned in the video below.
How Different Cultures Tell Time - Sana Reynolds

In my opinion, by knowing this kind of non-verbal communication, anyone can adapt and be less confused or frustrated with punctuality when invited to a meal, doing business or having an appointment in a foreign country, which contributes to effective communication.

Personally, I don't want to be late and I was always one of the first to come to meet with my friends in Vietnam. However, Vietnamese people tend to use "plastic time" when it comes to informal appointments which means late to the time scheduled so I was kept waiting several times. How about you? Have you ever experienced a different way time is used somewhere in or out of America?

Blog Assignment 9

The video The danger of a single story by Chidamanda Adichie is what I like most this week. We all tend to have some kind of single stories and even worst- prejudice about other cultures in our mind. Like what Chidamanda said, I've always thought of Africa as a poor country, not until she described her beautiful and wonderful childhood. And I realized how I had judged a whole big country like that.

Single stories, as small as they may seem, have negative effects, especially hurting people. I grew up in a city in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. When I as well as other people from my hometown go to big cities in the North or the South, we are often told: " You don't look like ethnic minority people". The main reason for this awkward conversation is due to the misleading media. Because there are more ethnic minority groups in our part than in other parts of Vietnam and the Government offer special policies and priorities to them, whenever our city is on the television, it is about ethnic minority groups and the undeveloped areas. Therefore, many people relate our city to more poverty and dificulties than it really is.

Through my own experience and this week Ted talk, I am more open to culture awareness and think on different sides instead of making rush conclusion or making someone sad unintentionally.

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Blog 10

In this blog, I'm writing about last week's material which is about disclosure. I found this interesting because I've had such experience related to disclosure here in America.

I used to talk a lot and could talk about everything when I was in Vietnam. Sometimes I even felt that I was talkative. I was rarely siting in silence and was a type of person who could start a conversation with strangers when waiting for my Mom to pick me up after school. However, when coming to the U.S, I tend to talk less and only talk when necessary. I don't chat much anymore and seem to keep things to myself. I think the reason for this is mostly that I am in a new country and using a different language. Sometimes I wanted to get into the talks or discussions that my classmates are in, but I couldn't find the proper words to express myself. And I didn't want everyone to wait until I finish my story so I would rather not talk about it. There were also sometimes when I didn't understand my friends' jokes and I didn't know how to react. What made it quite a situation for me is that my American friends could talk about everything, and of course with enthusiasm, while I was just siting there laugh or smile and saying nothing.

To my classmates who in my opinion, are disclosed: Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn't express yourself and how was your feeling at that time?