Korean Speech-Language & Hearing Association(KSHA)

Korean Speech-Language & Hearing Association(KSHA) - Vol. 29 , No. 1

[ ORIGINAL ARTICLE ]
Journal of Speech-Language & Hearing Disorders - Vol. 29, No. 1, pp.105-110
Abbreviation: JSLHD
ISSN: 1226-587X (Print) 2671-7158 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2020
Received 20 Dec 2019 Revised 20 Jan 2020 Accepted 30 Jan 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15724/jslhd.2020.29.1.105

Self-Perception Early Childhood Teachers of the Importance of Communication Skills
Hyo Jung Kim1 ; Myung Sun Shin2 ; Hyun Jin Chang2, *
1Dept. of Speech and Language Pathology, Kosin University, Professor
2Dept. of Speech and Hearing Therapy, Catholic University of Pusan, Professor

의사소통 기술의 중요도에 대한 유아교사의 자기 인식
김효정1 ; 신명선2 ; 장현진2, *
1고신대학교 언어치료학과 교수
2부산가톨릭대학교 언어청각치료학과 교수
Correspondence to : Hyun Jin Chang, PhD E-mail : changhj26@cup.ac.kr


Abstract
Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to investigate how children's day care centers and kindergarten teachers, which are models of communication between infants and children, perceive communication skills.

Methods:

To this end, this study conducted a survey targeting 51 teachers at a day care centers and kindergartens in Jeonnam Region. The questionnaire consisted of 21 questions including 10 spoken words questions, 3 language questions, 6 attitude questions, and 2 other questions. The mean and standard deviation of each item were calculated, and the independent sample t-test was conducted to find the difference according to the type of work and the educational background.

Results:

This study found that the surveyed teachers perceived 'the articulation of pronunciation' as the most important in speech factors. Also, the survey results showed that teachers perceived 'the diversity in vocabulary', followed by 'language of contents', and 'complicated sentence', etc. as important in language factors; in addition, teachers were found to perceive the 'eye-contact' as the most important in attitude factors. In other factors, 'rich knowledge' was recognized as important for communication. Second, according to the type of work, all the communication skills were significantly different between the daycare center and the kindergarten. Third, there were significant differences in vocabulary diversity and in terms of importances between education.

Conclusions:

This study hopes that these research results could be positive grounds having an influence on interaction between a teacher and a child in the light of communication skill factors which are judged as important by infant teachers and child care teachers.

초록
목적:

본 연구는 언어발달 시기에 있는 아동에게 의사소통의 모델이 되는 어린이집 및 유치원 교사가 의사소통 기술 중 어떠한 요소를 중요하다고 생각하는지, 어린이집과 유치원 교사의 의사소통 기술 중요도 인식에 차이가 있는지, 교사의 학력에 따라 인식에 차이가 있는지를 알아보고자 하였다.

방법:

본 연구는 전남지역에 어린이집 및 유치원 교사 51명을 대상으로 설문조사를 실시하였다. 교사의 의사소통 기술과 관련된 요인들에 대한 선행연구(Shin, 2015)를 바탕으로 설문지를 수정 보완하였다. 설문지의 내용은 구어 10문항, 언어 3문항, 태도 6문항, 기타 2문항으로 구성되었고, 의사소통 기술 영역 중 교사로서 중요하다고 생각하는 정도를 5점 척도 응답하도록 하였다. 각 문항의 평균과 표준편차를 구하였고, 근무유형과 학제에 따른 차이를 알아보기 위하여 독립표본 t 검정을 실시하였다.

결과:

첫째, 교사들은 의사소통 기술 중 구어 영역에서 ‘발음의 명료도’를 가장 중요하다고 인식하였고, 의사소통 기술 중 언어 영역에서는 ‘어휘 다양성’이 가장 중요하다고 인식하였으며, 의사소통 기술의 태도 영역에서는 ‘시선접촉’이 가장 중요하다고 인식하였다. 기타 영역에서는 ‘풍부한 지식’이 의사소통에 중요하다고 인식하였다. 둘째, 근무형태에 따라서 어린이집과 유치원 간에 의사소통 기술의 모든 문항에서 의미한 차이가 있었다. 셋째, 학제 간 차이에서는 어휘다양성에서만 유의한 차이가 있었다.

결론:

어린이집 및 유치원 환경에서 교사의 의사소통에 대한 인식은 어린이집 및 유치원 아동들의 언어 발달에 영향을 줄 수 있다. 이러한 연구를 바탕으로 유아교사들의 아동의 의사소통 발달에 바람직한 영향을 줄 수 있도록 교사의 의사소통 기술의 중요성을 강조하는 기초자료가 될 것이다.


Keywords: Communication skill, self-perception
키워드: 의사소통기술, 자기-인식

Ⅰ. Introduction

People want to have smooth interaction and communication because they live in relationships with countless people in society. Perhaps the most important factor for social life is language and communication skills(Brinton & Fujiki, 1991; Curran et al, 1996; Denham, 2007; Hamre et al., 2008; Perren et al, 2017). In order to facilitate this communication, the importance of communication skills and techniques must be recognized and used appropriately. In addition, recognition or perception of a person as a conversation partner implies an impression from the subject. Interpersonal perception is more complex with a variety of communication techniques than with simple objects. The process of developing these communication skills begins from infancy.

The role of early childhood teachers and child care teachers lays the groundwork for whole-hearted growth and framework at the critical stages that are the basis of the whole life of the child's development process (Kim, 1997), and have an important effect on the learning and development of the child and the infinite possibility. Moreover, the communication ability of the early childhood teacher who directly leads the children and takes the living time together with them, is a basic condition to help the children acquire the identity as a social being and to efficiently interact with others and various people.

Among the various roles of early childhood teachers and child care teachers, communication with children may be treated as the most important aspect (Lee, 2013). Communication is the process or act of exchanging information, thoughts, emotions, and feelings between two or more people. Thus, communication is the most basic and essential element in establishing and maintaining human relationships. Factors that can be included in such communication skills can be divided into verbal, linguistic, and attitude. Among the elements included in the various categories, speaking accurately, logically, attracting or trusting listeners, and other factors are also recognized as important (Shin, 2015).

Damage to these factors can lead to communication disorders. The incidence of communication disorders is on the rise, and many children with developmental disabilities are delayed in language development (Owens, 2002), and their acquisition process is much different from normal children (Bloom & Lahey, 1978; Kim, 2003). In the preschool age, language development is a period of enormous growth, and in addition to acquiring new words and using complex sentences, children experience and learn their roles as partners in conversation with parents and peers and teachers in various social contexts (Owens et al., 2007). In other words, infancy is the time to experience important developmental tasks that complete all the linguistic components of the language, form and content of the native language(Kim, 2011; Kim, 2003). Poor language development during these growing seasons can lead to communication problems.

The discovery of communication disorders can be made by the main caregiver or teacher. Teachers can observe children more objectively than caregivers. In addition, as a policy to support child care fees from the age of zero, many infants are beginning to attend child care and educational institutions at an early stage. Given that communicative disorders are prevalent in preschool age, teachers who spend a lot of time with the child may find early communication impairment in the child (Kim, 2012), and various communication skills with children can be very important.

Even if early childhood teachers and child care teachers guide children through appropriate teaching methods, proper teaching and learning will be difficult if the communication skills used with children are not met. Accordingly, it would be appropriate for early childhood teachers and caregivers to determine and apply desirable communication skills based on experience and intuition.

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to find out how nursery school and kindergarten teachers perceive communication skills. This has implications for early detection of children's language problems and for helping to identify the importance of teacher communication skills. Upon recognizing the importance of an early childhood teacher's communication skills, I wanted to provide opportunities for children to find ways to communicate effectively by interacting and in consideration of factors such as spoken language, written language, and attitude.


Ⅱ. Methods
1. Subject

This study surveyed 51 nursery school and kindergarten teachers in Jeonnam area. Subject information is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. 
Information of subjects
Category N Percentage
Gender Male 0 0
Female 51 100
Age 20’s 30 58.8
30’s 11 21.6
40’s 10 19.6
Education Collage degree 23 45.1
Bachelor’s degree 28 54.9

2. Method
1) Research tools

This study was revised and supplemented based on previous studies on factors related to teacher communication skills (Shin, 2015). The questionnaire consisted of 21 questions including 10 spoken words questions, 3 language questions, 6 attitude questions, and 2 other questions.

2) Research procedure

Data collection was conducted by on-site surveys of the subjects' institutions. The survey asked respondents to measure the perceived importance of communication skills on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from “very important” (5 points) to “not very important” (1 point).

3) Statistical processing

To examine the importance of communication skills self-awareness, technical analysis such as mean and standard deviation was conducted, and data analysis was done using SPSS 21.0. To find the difference according to the type of work and the educational background, the independent sample t-test was conducted.


Ⅲ. Results
1. Importance in communication skills
1) Importance in speech factors of communication skills

Table 2 shows the results of teachers comparing the importance of each item in the spoken words of communication skills. Teachers recognized the clarity of pronunciation as the most important. In spoken words, it was recognized as important in order of accuracy of pronunciation, loudness, pitch, speaking properly breaking, accent control, no hesitation, average rate, no repetition, and slow rate.

Table 2. 
Importance in speech factors of communication skills
Items M SD
Accuracy of pronunciation 4.13 .66
Intelligibility of pronunciation 4.15 .70
Pitch 3.94 .90
Loudness 3.98 .86
Speaking properly breaking 3.86 .77
Average rate 3.68 .88
Slow rate 2.37 1.05
Accent control 3.80 .74
No hesitation 3.78 .78
No repetition 3.58 1.45

2) Importance in language factors of communication skills

Table 3 shows the results of teachers comparing the importance of each item in language of communication skills. In language, it was recognized as important in order of variety of vocabulary, logical words, and complex sentences.

Table 3. 
Importance in language factors of communication skills
Items M SD
Logical words 3.70 .67
Variety vocabulary 3.80 .75
Complex sentences 3.45 .87

3) Importance in attitude factors of communication skills

Table 4 shows the results of teachers comparing the importance of each item in attitude of communication skills. In language, it was recognized as important in order of eye contact, using gestures, speaking with confidence, speaking calmly, speaking reliably, and speaking audience to focus.

Table 4. 
Importance in attitude factors of communication skills
Items M SD
Eye contact 4.17 .74
Using Gestures 4.05 .75
Speaking with confidence 4.01 .78
Speaking calmly 3.90 .75
Speaking audience to focus 3.84 .73
Speaking Reliably 3.90 .75

4) Importance in other factors of communication skills

Table 5 shows the results of teachers comparing the importance of each item in others of communication skills. In others, it was recognized as important in order of rich knowledge and mixing well with different people in communication skills.

Table 5. 
Importance in other factors of communication skills
Items M SD
Rich knowledge 3.41 .69
Mixing well with different people 4.03 .82

2. Comparison of importance of communication skills according to the type of work place of early childhood teacher

The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in the importance of communication skills according to the type of work of the early childhood teacher. The differences according to the types of work are shown in Table 6. According to the type of work, the communication skills were significantly different between the daycare center and the kindergarten.

Table 6. 
Comparison of importance in type of work place
Items Daycare Kindergarten t
Accuracy of pronunciation 3.78(.49) 4.73(.45) -6.916*
Intelligibility of pronunciation 3.75(.50) 4.84(.37) -8.136*
Pitch 3.46(.76) 4.73(.45) -6.587*
Loudness 3.53(.71) 4.73(.45) -6.573*
Speaking properly breaking 3.50(.67) 4.47(.51) -5.437*
Average rate 3.25(.71) 4.42(.60) -5.950*
Slow rate 1.78(.75) 3.36(.68) -7.539*
Accent control 3.43(.61) 4.42(.50) -5.851*
No hesitation 2.81(1.25) 4.89(.45) -6.935*
No repetition 2.87(.97) 4.52(.61) -6.630*
Logical words 3.37(.55) 4.26(.56) -5.509*
Variety vocabulary 3.46(.62) 4.36(.49) -5.371*
Complex sentences 3.37(.60) 4.21(.41) -5.275*
Eye contact 3.71(.52) 4.94(.22) -9.677*
Using gestures 3.65(.60) 4.73(.45) -6.765*
Speaking with confidence 3.59(.61) 4.73(.45) -7.040*
Speaking calmly 3.53(.62) 4.52(.51) -5.884*
Speaking audience to focus 3.46(.56) 4.47(.51) -6.334*
Speaking reliably 3.46(.62) 4.57(.50) -6.586*
Rich knowledge 3.06(.50) 4.05(.40) -7.274*
Mixing well with different people 3.56(.61) 4.84(.37) -8.150*
*p<.05

3. Comparison of importance of communication skills according to early childhood teacher education

The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in the importances of communication skills according to the education of teachers. The differences according to the education are shown in Table 7. There were significant differences in vocabulary diversity and in terms of importances between college graduates and four-year graduates. All questions related to the rest of the communication skills were not significantly different.

Table 7. 
Comparison of importance in education of teachers
Items College Graduates Bachelor’s degree t
Accuracy of pronunciation 4.20(.80) 4.14(.65) .269
Intelligibility of pronunciation 4.20(.76) 4.04(.49) .804
Pitch 4.23(.77) 4.04(.58) .927
Loudness 4.00(1.05) 3.85(.65) .552
Speaking properly breaking 4.03(.99) 3.90(.62) .552
Average rate 3.96(.88) 3.71(.56) 1.148
Slow rate 3.86(1.00) 3.42(.59) 1.781
Accent control 2.46(1.16) 2.23(.88) .756
No hesitation 3.93(.82) 3.61(.58) 1.493
No repetition 3.70(1.60) 3.42(1.20) .657
Logical words 3.63(1.37) 3.28(.78) 1.043
Variety vocabulary 3.86(.68) 3.47(.67) 2.016*
Complex sentences 3.90(.80) 3.66(.57) 1.140
Eye contact 3.80(.71) 3.52(.60) 1.147
Using gestures 4.20(.80) 4.14(.65) .269
Speaking with confidence 4.10(.88) 4.00(.54) .459
Speaking calmly 4.10(.88) 3.90(.62) .870
Speaking audience to focus 4.03(.85) 3.71(.56) 1.504
Speaking reliably 4.00(.78) 3.61(.58) 1.876
Rich knowledge 4.00(.87) 3.71(.64) 1.277
Mixing well with different people 3.50(.73) 3.33(.57) .871
*p<.05


Ⅳ. Discussion and Conclusions

Whether or not daycare center teachers and kindergarten teachers value communication skills was divided into spoken words, language, attitudes and other factors. Based on the findings, the discussion is as follows.

The colloquial aspects in the area of communication include factors related to pronunciation, voice related factors, and factors related to fluency. In colloquial language, one of the areas of communication skills for teachers, they recognized the clarity of pronunciation as the most important. They recognized the correctness of pronunciation as the next most important thing. These results indicate that teachers are more aware of pronunciation-related factors than spoken and fluency factors in the aspect of colloquial language. Shin (2013) recognized that the general adults were more important about pronunciation accuracy than speech therapists. It can be said that daycare center teachers and general adults recognize the characteristics related to pronunciation in communication skills.

Also, in terms of language, it was recognized as important in order of variety vocabulary, logical words, complex sentences. Teachers are aware of variety vocabulary and logical words because they need to understand and apply children according to their perception of communication skills. The more the teacher uses the vocabulary, the more information is provided. It is recognized that the children's understanding of language improves if they actively respond to the children using this (Kim, 2004). In other words, teachers seem to value the use of various vocabulary in communication skills.

In addition, teachers recognized that eye contact was the most important aspect of attitude. Kim (2011) stressed that speech is to convey the mind to the listener, and that trustful words are important not only for content but also for attitudes related to eye contact and body language. The nonverbal communication attitude area has also a linguistic role as well as a communication function, and even small movements and changes in rhyme have respective meanings. Therefore, in order to effectively understand the person to be communicated, it must be able to properly interpret the non-verbal actions sent by the other party and to control the non-verbal communication that they perform. In other words, attitude is one of intentional and unintentional information exchange through non-verbal signals except language. Therefore, daycare centers and kindergarten teachers have a great impact on young children's personality and identity through non-verbal communication including children's eye contact (Choi, 2000; Hawang, 2005; Jo, 2007), and improve children's social efficacy. So teachers perceived that eye contact was more important than speaking-related factors and gesture use in the attitude.

Among other areas, the importance of communication skills was recognized in the order of rich knowledge, mixing well with different people. As society develops, communication is emphasized. It is a reality where speech and leadership are emphasized. In order to improve the children's ability to communicate better, teachers are aware of communication based on abundant knowledge and smooth communication with conversation partners.

Based on the examination of the difference in importance of communication skills according to the type of work of preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers expressed that communication skills were important compared with teachers in daycare centers in all areas. This is related firstly to a conversational partner's ability to communicate, with the communication skills of a kindergarten teacher's conversational partner being better than that of the daycare center teacher's conversational partner. In other words, the ability of a teacher-child exchange can vary according to the lever of interaction and communication of children, and the importance of communication skills recognized by kindergarten teacher is high.

The differences in the importance of communication skills were examined according to the education of teachers, and there were no signigicant difference of and there were no significant differences in 17 questions, but only the vocabulary diversity.

This is because the curriculum of kindergarten teachers, daycare teachers, and colleges has similar fields of study for obtaining certifications, similar contents for actual credits, and similar employment places after graduation.

Children communication skills will be developed in the relationship between teacher and carer, and infants will continue to improve their communication skills more in the relationship. In addition, communication between the teacher and the infant plays a decisive role in promoting the overall development of the infant(Kim, 2011; Baek, 2002; Jeong, 2009). This communication will be the basis for the interactions needed to initiate and maintain social relationships with people. To form effective communication skills in early childhood, the communication skills recognized by teachers are the foundation.

Based on these results, it is hoped that the interaction communication skills between teachers and children in the day care center and kindergarten environment will be established to help the development of learning and identity of the day care center and kindergarten children.

The limitations of this study are as follows.

First, this study surveyed the importance of communication skills to preschool teacher in a limited way but it should also be implemented for elementary and secondary school teachers to look at their communication skills in relation with the student they teach.

Second, in this study the number of daycare center teachers and kindergarten teachers, and the number of teacher's educational subjects did not match. It is recommended that future studies match these features.

Third, regional aspects were not considered for the number of subjects in this study. It is recommended that future studies match the number of subjects.


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