Independent Study Task: The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of Chapter 5 :‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ is to have a deeper insight into the types of questions we can ask, how we ask questions, e.g. with or without a pause, and how we respond to questions.

A few key themes within this chapter are:
– What a question is and why it is important
– Different types of questions
– The structuring of questions

A theory in this chapter that I found quite interesting in particular was the “Tunnel Sequence”, or sometimes known as a “string of beads” (Stewart and Cash, 2008). This is a type of questioning that would be very useful in an interview as the questions being asked are closed and makes it easier for the interview panel to compare several candidates’ answers as they are all responding to the same questions.

One claim I read in this chapter was from a US study: pupils will not answer questions in class because their are afraid that their fellow peers will not respond well to their responses. I agree with this claim as pupils do not want to be told that their answers are incorrect or they do not understand the context of the question in front of the class.

I did not know what the word “presuppositions” meant. A definition was provided in the chapter: “silent implications or taken for granted references” within questions. (Fiedler, 2007:15). In other words, it means to assume something beforehand.

Overall, this chapter has brought to my attention the importance of using different types of questions when communicating with pupils instead of asking only closed questions to receive one answer from them. Open questions will allow pupils to give an elaborate and detailed response.

Reference: Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Communication in Other Environments

On Tuesday, our workshop task was to go outside and build a den with a group of people who we would not normally work with to enhance our communication skills and to work better as a team.

There was no group leader, however, my group and I were able to agree or disagree on resources that we required and the structure of our den.  I personally feel that there were no challenges when working with my group as we all worked together and helped each other.

A few  “Purposes of Explaining” that I feel my group achieved would be “to simplify a complex idea” because we thought carefully and decided as a team where we would use certain materials to create our den and chose a location that would be easy to work with. Another purpose that was achieved would be “to express opinions regarding particular attitudes, facts or values” as all members of my team and I were able to contribute our opinions about our den.

The only challenge with working outside was that it was a bit windy sometimes, so we had to make sure our den was as strong as we could make it! There were also moments where we could not hear one another properly as there was chatter from groups nearby us.

We did not negotiate with the other groups as we had collected most of the resources available to us at the beginning of the task and were keen to use all of them!

From Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication. 5th Edition. London: Routlege