Communication and Community Engagement

I chose to work with a day school as peer teacher in a local high school on the long holiday.  The school comprises a homogeneous community of students, teachers and subordinate staffs. I informed the deputy principal on how to influence the students on attitude change, motivating them to act and growth in leadership and personal development.

There was a problem noted in the way the students communicate between themselves and their teachers. The use of an argot language by the students affected the interpersonal communication between them, teachers and other new members that joined the institution such as subordinate staffs, teachers and the new students. The use of an argot is to exclude the third party such as teachers, prefects and other intruders of any secret discussed by the youth group.  One of the worst scenarios with the language is its dynamism in that it is re-invented repeatedly when a familiar word, phrase or terms   discovered by others seem to threaten therefore the language could not at all be standardized in books, grammar, dictionaries, and formation of sub-argot for exceptional cases such as drug users. The school being a day involves a community that knows one another well and commonalities in language, cultures and mannerism and this might have been the sole cause of this invention, which makes the teens, and the adolescents feel secure. This goes beyond to affect the performance of language studies, and social values and ethics. First, I noted that whenever a teacher spoke there were shouts behind in the class, assembly and other co-curricular activities, which one cannot understand, second there was much code switching, as all students are bilinguals and finally the adverse effects in languages.

The strategy to manage the situation involves the evaluation of both teachers and the students where we realized the shortcoming and acted on them, collaborative strategy involving all the stakeholders, external consultancy and continuous assessment and mediation (Burnard, 1997) . This was to start a short-term and a long-term management and solution. Without blame game and use of consultative measures, the adjustment plan would be possible.

To address the problem mainly involved the solution to a language barrier that was affecting the interpersonal and public communication. The strategy was to incorporate a collaborative action between teachers and the students governing council for mediation. The prefects would meet on a fortnight workshop with a group of teacher as a committee to discuss the intervention measure to take without neglecting student’s freedom. I was in the committee, and we set some of the following resolutions: Dialogue, role model and teachers support.

The school program had to increase participatory public communication through drama, festivals, talent shows, class and assembly presentation with a reward strategy on the competency and skills application. Other activities identified are monitored club meetings such as science, Christian union, games and theatres with sternness on the use of language. Every head of a club were to suggest the people to invite who with prior knowledge would discuss the issue of the effects of poor communication.

Another recommendation was on the use of one language, setting up a library that would stock literature materials on contemporary and compelling issue in the school that would reduce time wastage, storytelling and increase attention of the minds in the books. The library would run throughout the week and the weekends so that interested students should access to it. Increase of language teachers was desirable to reduce overload, which led to poor interaction of the teacher-student in identifying areas of weakness and reducing the workload of the students due to shortage of labor.

An exchange program where the students were to take some units in other local high school , adventures on subjects like Geography, Biology and History, would allow students participate with the general public and thus develop a desired etiquette when doing research, and discussing social matters with the federal, religious and political leaders (Burnard, 1997). 

We then identified areas and sources that led to the spread of the argot and some of the main observations were the media familiar with the youths such as Facebook, radio, internet and mobile phones that mostly used to transmit information in concise, efficient means that result to poor writing and talking and use of language. On this note, the parents and other stakeholders of the community were to help in an informed manner of the repercussion of the argot and reduce the use of these sources for students and therefore adjust the deviation.

The set strategy with the full scope of the negative effects of the argot would help in informing, influencing and inducing change to a group of students, which would then revolutionize change through an informative strategy. Identifying the attitudes, values and allowing personal decision making and implementation of desired changes is in the hands of the student’s community (Fielding, 2006). It was the only long-term way out to save the detriment of the official language that is English. Without policing from enforcement viewpoint, a deliberate action, which ensure self-control and efficiency help to achieve the goal.

There would be a social demonstration that would involve a walk in the main centers aimed at sensitizing the masses on the issue of the argot language, and therefore spark the individuals to take a step and dissuade them from influencing the students further. The committee identified the use of banners and speeches to enhance its effectiveness.

Finally for the purpose of the new comers such as the new students joining there we recommended the orientation program that would create awareness of ethics and regulation of conduct in A mechanism for interventions measures and consequential measures  would reduce this as the students need to commit themselves to the enforced rules that guide the school community.

The implementation started in the third week of the term with the prefects assigned in respective classes influencing their companions to re adjust the language. This minimized the argot shout that used to cause disillusionment to teachers. There was in all classes 10% representation and in the course of the first fortnight meeting, a 25% drop in almost every class noted. The prefects took one on one dialogue that motivated the student’s reduction of the habits. However, the indiscipline group was antagonistic to the idea and pushed for their “independence”.

The teachers agreed to collaborate in active motivation of students during lectures, club meetings and programming a relevant schedule that would allow coordination, supervision and participation. The weekly meetings outcomes discussed at the end of the week indicated that there were changes realized amongst the leaders and the new recruits in every club. Nevertheless, the middle forms had not shown many improvements.

The school management was able to furnish the library with outsourced materials in the following week, and there was flocking, as students wanted to read new information. The emerging assessment concluded that there was a reduction of readers in the progressive weeks as there was less restocking of the new books.

There was preliminarily preparation that involved interaction with the larger society. The students recruited for these activities attended religious meeting with poems, skits and agenda proposal, local authorities meetings and proposed change of youth language. External consultancy with the public figures in the region such as the working staff, old school students and recommended local high-ranking members also materialized. Other events that were successful included science congress, drama and music and wildlife club visit, community hospital cleaning and orphanage visit that realized positive outcomes.

Increasing the number of teachers did not go through in the course of the term since there was to be a rigmarole process involving the bond of directors, the administration and the public service structures. Social demonstration also required a lot of planning with the federal authorities, resources and educating the participant to make it effective.

The exchange program with other school was to take long since it had to involve the management of other school to identify such a problem and agree on decision and acceptance of our strategy. The sources of the influence of the argot were challenging since the media are not specific to their audience and its profit goals motivate them to use a language that would enhance attraction, attention and retention and retrieval of multiple messages. However, parental control  as communicated in the AGM and letters to individual parents, which are hard to quantitatively, determine the outcome had also worked well.

A Case Study: The Use of Argot in the School System

• The study included five open-ended questions on the cause, use, influence, outcomes and intervention measures on the argot language.

• In your view, what is the leading cause of argot development? There is an increase of permissiveness in our social institution and this reduces the deterministic possibility on language issues.

• What makes it more adoptable and useful among the youths? It has “hidden” motives, efficiency and prestige.

• How is it influencing the education and communication system? There is a lot of code-switching and poor performance and fluency in English.

• What can you predict of it? It is here to stay since the youth are the most influential members of fashion and style change.

• What are some of the measures to this phenomenon? Promotion of value and attitude change based on preferences.

• Communication is complex and dynamic, and in the case, it is a possession of the whole community (Fielding, 2006).  Any change must be regulated, modified and maintained in an acceptable manner that will influence the completely communal institutions. Otherwise, a discrepancy always arises when the introduced changes are differently incorporated. For an efficient communication system, there must be active social steps to cope with and manage changes. There ought to be a language commission with effective research and regulation of official languages and promotion of mechanism on language if a long-term pervasive solution is would exist.

The first thing was to solve through engaging with colleagues, learning the attitudes in the environment toward change, determine the extent of the problem and promotion of diverse mechanism to realize the change. Continuous research from the internal and external sources also helped to address the issue. The purpose  of addressing the problem being to motivate action change, personal development, persuasion ,influence and informing the students population on the use of desired languages for competency and effectiveness. Introducing change through professional consultation in the case of highly esteemed personalities such as public figures is a more efficient method.

The problem was societal since it affected the general social system in adverse ways. The education, family and all level of communication are affected. The solution, therefore, was not to be systemically set without involving the stakeholders in the social institutions to implement steps toward the solution. Public perception and perspective of the purpose here is the foundation toward a lasting solution.

The most outstanding change in the approach was to look positively at the problem without disregarding the victim’s contribution. For instance with the full knowledge of the repercussion of a defective language and creation of divergent ways of communication, many students imposed change without much coercion and persuasion which is the most efficient manner of encouraging social change. Allowing feedback and expressions of sentiments enhanced the weight of the most appropriate approach that will be long lasting and effective.

My impact on the problem of the language was both institutional based and communal oriented. The main thing was to sensitize through informing and articulation of deviation to all the sensitive parts involved in education, family and politics of the region. Another was to spark the adjustment and regulation mechanism to see a desired retrieval of the standards. Finally, the promotion of collaborative action as holistic therapy to a social problem was an impact. I also ensured emphasis on the crucial matters such as individual decision making, consequences of the argot and personal development through choice of rhetoric and language literally use.

The major strengths in handling the problem were the power of motivation, which influenced emotional and decision making. I developed a refined approach and keen eyesight on the dynamics, problems and solution to the language dynamics that helped the address of the issue in a concise and compelling manner. The effective communication that was transformational since I had the vision to a desired goal that propelled mind to act on it. I also was strong in encouraging the colleagues and prioritizing as well as consideration of the alternatives in the case where one approach failed or seemed undesirable. The effectual way I communicated influenced by knowing and understanding the use and the purpose of what to communicate.

In the case of a major social issue in U.S, the development of multilingualism is at its height. Due to increasing technology in transport trade, occupation, and communication at a global scale most people are devising efficient modes of communication, this mostly happen on the areas of one’s register and influence therefore resulting to development of pidgins which then after some years will develop into creoles such as Gullah. The languages will also complex detection in an increasing terrorism era where poor coordination will ground development of groups that effect terror. Importantly is the consideration of the official language to avoid its corruption, which would then be too costly to implement. Despite the 21st century emphasis on human rights and permissiveness, there should get a coordinated mechanism on desired change to effect what ought to be and what ought not. Language is inseparable to human and would never be at the mercy of one generation that only secures their personal, subjective interest.