Communication Strategies

TxDHH Learning Bites 4/23/18


Learning happens anytime we reflect on something we have experienced. That experience could be a formal professional development workshop we have participated in, or it could be a quote we heard or read, a video we watched, or book we read.

The TxDHH Learning Bites addresses a topic relevant to deaf educators by providing resources in various sized bites! Whether you have 1, 5, or 15 minutes, or you choose to dig much deeper, you will find resources to help make an impact on you and your students.

For more information, check out our Video!

learning bites banner communication strategies

Why this topic?

Simply put, communication is the exchange of information between a sender and a receiver. A long time ago, people were only able to communicate via face to face, by phone or by writing letters. Today, technology has opened several avenues for the exchange of communication. As a result, people need to keep in mind every aspect of how their communication will be relayed. This is turn has created the need for communication strategies which when integrated can lead to a very successful exchange. The three types of communication strategies are verbal, non-verbal and visual.

How will this work?

Below are four different learning opportunities on the weekly topic, each requiring a different level of time commitment and involving different types of materials. Think about how you prefer to learn and how much time you want to commit. Then choose one (or more) of the activities or articles below.

If you prefer a topic other than the weekly topic, we have included Mental Health Musings, Terp Topics, and Learning Tech Bytes for you to consider.

When you complete your PD, follow the directions at the bottom of the Learning Bites Smore to apply for your Continuing Professional Education credits.

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Just a Minute PD

Read the quote below. What does it mean to you? Think about what it says as you answer the reflection questions below.
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Prefer to Read a Blog or Watch a Video?

Looking for the Research?

Strategies for Improving Communication between Teachers and School Students about Learning: a university/school collaborative research project.

The research reported here is the result of a collaborative project between a group of teachers in a secondary school and two university lecturers. The group has been meeting for several years and the issue of trying to improve communication arose as a result of findings from a previous study in the school. After reviewing the literature, we were able to identify actions for teachers to trial in the school and, following data collection and analysis, we were able to refine those actions for widespread adoption in the school. We were also able to identify issues that required further exploration. The research exemplifies a way in which university and school staff can engage in collaborative, high quality research. It also identifies some of the complexities involved for schools and teachers as they try to improve practice.

Want to Dig Deeper?

Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected

Effective communication has always been a cornerstone of Jim Knight's work. Knight's approach to communication is grounded in his partnership principles which, at their core, are about honoring one another as professionals who bring unique strengths and talents to the relationship. This book will help you hone your communication skills by becoming a better listener, establishing emotional connections and trust, asking good questions, and engaging in true dialogue. It empowers you to become your best self in your relationships with students, peers, and fellow citizens. The book includes a range of self-assessments and other helpful tools to monitor progress toward better conversations.

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Mental Health Musings

Ever hear the old adage "You have been given two ears and only one mouth for a reason"? It is easy to get distracted during a conversation when you are convinced you have a witty reply. You are constantly sucking in air in anticipation, mouth wide open, impatiently waiting for your turn to respond. Sound familiar right?

Just keep in mind, that although you found your reply to be witty, even, dare I say genius, all that could be lost on the person interacting with you if they too were anxiously anticipating their next turn.

Try to practice active listening, as well as, asking questions to gain clarity and insight into the other person's perspective. At this point, you can offer your input into the conversation. See if trying these techniques might help you become a better listener. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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Stretching Nonsense!

Warming up is critical for interpreters. We have to make sure we are physically prepared to be moving as much as we do to avoid injury. Here is a great article to read regarding warming up prior to assignments.

Take care of yourself!

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Insert Learning

InsertLearning is a Chrome extension that lets you turn websites into interactive lessons. Use of Insert Learning is simple as it requires only to add the chrome extension and you are on your way. It allows you to pull up any webpage, and turn it into an interactive lesson quickly and is not difficult to use. Try it out at

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What does this look like in action for me?

For any learning experience, our learning is equal to our effort. In order for us to grow from our learning, we need to take the time to pause and reflect. How does our new learning fit in to what we already know and do?

Each of you reading this has a different role, with different responsibilities. Think about what you learned today through the lens of your particular role, as well as your personal and professional learning needs. This is an important part of the learning process!

Take the time to think about a new idea you learned, a new approach you want to try, or a new skill you have acquired. Consider how to put your new insights, skills, and abilities to work! That's where the real learning happens.

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Texas Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

Susie Tiggs, State Lead DHH Services

Anne Darr, ESC Region 11 DHH Services

Twyla Loftin, Texas DHH Services

Danielle Battle, Sensory Impairment Services Birth to Three

Miriam Ackerman, DHH Services Technician