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Group interaction

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Introduction

GROUP INTERACTION I conducted my group communication at Ysgol Bryn Castell, Cefn Glas. I chose to do it there because it was convenient to conduct group interaction in a school, as there is always opportunity for this type of interaction in such a setting. For the interaction I read a simplified version of 'Romeo and Juliet' out to a class of six children, and then had a question and answer session to check that the children had understood the play properly and to find out what their views were on it. The children sat around me on their chairs in a semi circle. They were seated this way so that they could all see me, my facial expressions, body movements and gestures. This seating arrangement also allowed all the children to hear me properly and for me to check that they were all paying attention and were interested in the story. Communicating in these group situations is different from one-to-one communication. People have to take turns to speak and this can be more difficult to do in a group than when there is only one other person to converse with. People are easily influenced in group situations and don't give their full opinion or, if the group is large, some people may not contribute at all. ...read more.

Middle

Factors influencing interaction How barriers avoided Light Poor lighting may result in non-verbal signals not being picked up and can create an uncomfortable atmosphere. There was a dimmer switch in the room I conducted my interaction in so I adjusted the lights to a suitable brightness. Temperature The room was at an appropriate temperature when I arrived, so I didn't need to make any changes to the room temperature. Distractions Distractions such as background noise may have stopped me hearing the children or vice versa. There were very few distractions in the room in which I interviewed the patient, i.e. there was no music on, and we were the only people in the room, etc. so this possible barrier was not a problem in my interaction. Body language, gestures and facial expressions I used open body language towards the children to convey warmth and a sharing nature. I also used appropriate gestures to mirror the children so that they knew that I was listening to them. I tried to convey sincerity and understanding through my facial expressions. Active listening To show the children that I was listening intently and was interested in what they were saying, I used skills such as paraphrasing. ...read more.

Conclusion

I found that this also helped to keep the children involved and interested, as the pictures were amusing. In the question and answer session, I felt that I empowered the children as I was aware of them making their own decisions and I allowed the conversation to go in the direction that the children wanted so that it flowed more easily and the children would not be bored or disinterested. Sometimes during the interaction, it was difficult to understand what the children were saying because of the different disabilities, so I constantly used reflective listening to check that I had properly understood what the children were trying to say. I also could not be sure that the children could hear what I was saying all the time, so I had to heavily use appropriate body language and facial expressions, so not to confuse them, and I also spoke slowly and clearly. Action plan for improvement I could: o arrange for my interactions to be videoed so that I could then analyse and improve my verbal and non-verbal skills o have practiced reading the story out loud to myself or others before the interaction so that I knew the story and had no difficulty pronouncing words to the children, as I would have already practiced them o have watched the children's teacher do a similar interaction with them so that I could pick up some techniques from a professional. ...read more.

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