Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions on Use of Non-Verbal Communication in Instruction of English in Public Secondary Schools in Bauchi Metropolis, Nigeria
Garba, Sadiya Inuwa
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English language teaching is all about effective classroom communication. Classroom communication is in verbal and non-verbal form. Non-verbal communication is an important aspect of classroom communication in language. In spite of this, teachers of English language in Bauchi state have no adequate knowledge on the important functions of non-verbal cues in English language teaching. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish non-verbal communication used by teachers in the instruction of English language, to establish the perception of teachers and students on the use of non-verbal communication in instruction of English language, to establish the functions of non-verbal communication in instruction of English language, to investigate the challenges experienced in the use of non-verbal communication in instruction of English language. The study was guided by two theories. The Kinesics Theory by Birdwhistell of 1970 and the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) developed by Howard Giles in 1976. Kinesics theory assumed that all body movements are aspects of human communication while Communication Accommodation Theory is concerned with the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of communication. The study adopted descriptive survey design. Two research instruments were used for this study, namely; observation complemented by video recording and interview schedule for both teachers and learners. The study adopted both qualitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. Quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in descriptive statistics, while qualitative data were categorized in themes according to the research objectives and reported and narrated. The target populations were Five (5) schools which were selected based on quota sampling technique for the study. Sixteen (16) teachers while fifty-eight (58) students’ respondents were conveniently sampled for the classroom observation and the interview. Piloting was conducted before the actual data collection was done to test the validity and reliability of the research instruments. The study found that the two categories of non-verbal communication that were used frequently by the teachers were the Kinesics and Oculesics behaviours. Hand movement, facial expression and eye contact played a very significant role in language teaching and learning. Findings of this study revealed that teachers use non-verbal communication in teaching. This non-verbal behaviour performs various functions and for better understanding in classroom teaching. Findings also revealed that non-verbal communication is an important aspect of English language classroom communication as it promotes good teaching and learning of English language. Both students and teachers perceived NVC as a useful tool for effective classroom communication. Teachers and students do not normally experience many challenges when non-verbal gestures are used in classroom communication. The study recommends that teachers should be enlightened on the use, functions and importance of non-verbal communication in teaching English language.