Situated Communications post class task: ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’. In Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Main Themes

The main theme of this text is to convey how questions can and will effect your communication. It gives reader an insight into how questions can be asked and whether they can be effective or ineffective to the listener. The main themes are:

  1. The different types of questions
  2. The purpose of questions (Why do we ask them)
  3. How effective different questions can be depending on the context they are used in.

Claims and Evidence

This text claimed that throughout school children are frightful of answering questions due to class mates reacting in a negative manner. The US study mentioned within the text goes on to further convey that throughout a student life and as they grow older they become much less comfortable with answering out in class. As someone who has always had quite a ‘loud’ manner, I cannot agree with this statement on a personal level within my school time but since going through college and doing a course I wasn’t sure about, I can agree that I was much more conscious of the answers I was giving and was typically more embarrassed if they were wrong. As a student teacher this experience has allowed me to become more confident in asking for help and this is something I can possibly bring to the children in a classroom.

Analysis and Evaluation

Within the example with the children from the ‘Orkney satanic abuse’ trail, I cannot agree with the question type used. It was portrayed in a manner that was far above the child’s age and was conducted by a biased questioner. By using these types of leading questions, a questioner can begin to manipulate and trick a child into saying things that are just not true to benefit the latter party. Children can find these questions extremely difficult due to them being asked in an adult manner, too advanced for a young child to comprehend.

Knowledge and Comprehension

Throughout the text there were multiple words I did not understand, Some were as follows:

  • Presuppositions – a thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.
  • Elicit – To evoke or to draw out of someone.
  • Acquiesce – accept something reluctantly but without protest.

The funnel sequence

This is a theory in which people are asked an open question which may have multiple answers. For example: ‘What do you do after school?’ Multiple answers can be given and eventually the questioner will begin to whittle the question down to a closed question by giving respondents knowledge, context and information in order for them to all get the same answer. Closed questions must only have one answer. ‘The funnel sequence’ is in reference to a funnel in which it begins very wide, with multiple answers’ and begins to narrow as you come towards the closed question and the final, only answer.

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