THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS TO UNIVERSITY STUDENT

M.T. Frejo1, J. Del Pino1, P. Moyano1, M.J. Anadon1, M. Lobo1, J. Garcia2, A. Flores1, M. Ruiz1, J.M. Garcia1, F.J. Mourin1, M.J. Diaz2

1Complutense University (SPAIN)
2Alfonso X University (SPAIN)
The traditional theoretical development of the different university disciplines has materialized in a training focused on the competences that the student must develop, both general and specific.

Currently, this approach requires a shift from the professor’s role to that of the student, from traditional teaching styles to new learning styles. The students have to develop a greater autonomy to carry out activities that, even if guided by the professor, will require them to develop new competences, one of them being communicative ability.

In the presentation of works, we daily verified that this communicative ability is limited in many cases due to the fear of speaking in public. University students do not usually excel in oral communication, since the development of written communication skills has traditionally been promoted, in detriment of oral communication, presupposing that the latter is acquired without the need for any help from the professor. Therefore, an important goal to work with students, in order to establish that communicative competence, is to eliminate, or at least reduce, such fears.

The experience and feelings experienced by the majority of the students, when exposing their works to their classmates and teachers in the classroom, is usually negative. The most frequent answers to the question of why they feel so bad when they speak in public are: problems of shyness, lack of self-confidence, fear, fear of ridicule, shame at what others may think, lack of practice and lack of knowledge about expression techniques. Students need to channel this fear and insecurity, to improve not only as students, but as future professionals.

Communication deficiencies seen in university student’s classroom presentation could be minimized by a constant and exhaustive work. In order to learn, improve and enjoy their presentations and debates in class, they need to cultivate the art of conversation, creativity and spontaneity. They must learn to express themselves with conviction and to encourage the interest of listeners, among others. Therefore, the professor must complete his/her pedagogy by teaching the student to correctly and adequately develop techniques, strategies and oral communication skills.