Situated Communication Independent Study/Reading Task (Hargie)

The main aim of this chapter was to further develop the readers understanding of questioning, the range of questions and the important role it plays in our everyday lives when communicating. Some of the key themes within the chapter are the purpose of questions, different types of questions, for example, open or closed questions, how effective each question type is and the range of contexts these questions may be used in.

Within this chapter, Hargie makes several claims surrounding questions and uses a range of evidence to back this up. One claim is that pausing can be used as a type of probe. This is backed up with evidence from Margutti (2006) who showed that teachers in a classroom often use pauses to indicate the start of a new question-answer sequence and micro-pauses were used after a question to show that some form of answer or response was expected.

Another point which Hargie makes is that pupils in a classroom often do not ask questions in the classroom, even when they have one, due to the fear that other pupils may react negatively. This is backed up through a study in the US which showed that the older children get, the more uncomfortable they feel when it comes to asking and answering questions. I strongly agree with this point due to my own experiences as a pupil.

One thing I disagree with is the use of non-leading open-ended questions and other prompts in Box 5.3 from the Orkney satanic abuse crisis. This form of questioning seems very distressing and frustrating for the child and we see them refuse to agree with the social worker. As a result, the original question is still unanswered at the end of the conversation.

One concept mentioned in the chapter was the funnel sequence which is the “approach of beginning an interaction with a very open question and gradually reducing the level of openness.” (Kahn and Cannell, 1957, pg. 127)

Reference: ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Den Building- SitCom

Group and leadership

Within the group, there was a team leader. This naturally happened due to the skills the person already had in this area and so they were able to give good advice throughout the task making this very beneficial for the team. It was clear who the team leader was as they knew what to do, and shared their knowledge with the team while encouraging them. I feel everyone was included and they each had their own role in helping to complete the task. A challenge I faced was that I was working with some people I did not know very well and so did not know their strengths and weaknesses.



The group explained how they created their den well. This was very clear as they were able to show how they created their den with the resources they had and how they came up with this idea. I think maybe more planning could have been done.



Within this environment I felt I had to project my voice more than I would in a classroom setting at it was a more open area and also had other groups nearby. As well as this I found myself getting slightly distracted within this environment. To help prevent children from getting distracted when listening in this environment I could gather them in an area where there is little distraction such as a corner.



I think our group were successful when it came to negotiating as we were able to gain resources which we needed in order to improve our den. The most challenging part about negotiating was trying to convince other teams to swap their resources as they were already using many of them or already had the same resources and so were unwilling to trade.