As a student, I would like to clearly state that I have a great passion for English. It is one of my favorite subjects in this institution. Since my time in elementary school, I have been producing good grades, in fact better than most of my colleagues who have branded me a linguist. During this year, I have taken several courses which have both enlightened and challenged me. However, I have always been taking the initiative to do my best irrespective of the difficulties experienced. In this paper, I would like to compare and contrast Communication Skills and Syntax. These are two of the courses which have been of great value to me.
In my Communication Skills class, I was privileged to be taught by Dr. Christine. As an experienced tutor, Dr. Christine is one of the highly valued professionals in this institution. Many students including myself love her because of her professionalism, cooperation and love for her learners. She always demonstrates a high level of expertise in whatever she does. Meaning, she is privy with the pedagogical principles and approaches appropriate for her learners. For this reason, she treats learners as individuals who have different backgrounds, interests, strengths, weaknesses and goals.
On the other hand, the Syntax class was taught by Prof. Luther. As we all know him, Luther is a very strict lecturer who does not leave anything to chance. Although he also an equally experienced professional, he is always faster and does not engage learners on discussions. Instead, he only selects the bright learners with whom he rushes the lessons. This is quite unfair because he does not prioritize the interests especially those of the slow learners. Therefore, despite the high expectations that we had in him, he disappointed us because of his negligence. Had he been like his counterpart Dr. Christine, Syntax would definitely become the most interesting course so far.
During my Communication Skills lectures, I got an opportunity to learn a lot of lessons. First, I was taught about the importance of critical listening in interpersonal communication. As my lecturer put it, effective interpersonal communication is a critical experience because it helps in establishing a healthy relationship between different people. However, I also realized that this can not be attained unless there is a critical listening. Besides, I learnt that speaking is a skill that anyone has whether they are educated or not. Therefore, in order to be a good speaker, it is necessary to be composed and relaxed at all the times. This can pave way for audibility, confidence and precision.
Meanwhile, the major lesson learnt from the Syntax class is the relationship between letters, words, morphemes, phases and sentences as they are used in the word order. Prof. Luther made it clear to us that for any written communication to be established, it is inevitable to know the elements of these structures. Since they depend on one another, the letters, words and sentences should be clearly distinguished. Without the knowledge of Alphabetical Letters, no one can know how to combine them to construct a meaningful word. The same also to the sentences which are of course constructed from words. However, as he said, these are basic structures whose understanding lay a framework for the construction of more complex prefixes and suffixes when changing the meanings of each sentence.
Based on the above analysis, it is important to acknowledge that these are some of the greatest courses which had a lot of practical skills to impart on the learners. For certain, now I know that communication is not an innate, but a slightly acquired skill which must be nurtured. As my lectures explained to us, listening and speaking are two major components of communication. Whether it is written or spoken, communication should be thoughtful and engaging. A verbal communication must incorporate the elements of non-verbal cues. On the other hand, a written communication must proceed from a thorough knowledge of the syntax premises. Without knowing how to distinguish each of these elements, no adequate and effective communication can be made. For instance, wrong choice of letters or phrases can either result into a meaningless sentence or distortion of the intended meaning.
Therefore, everyone should be careful on the use of such elements since they determine the effectiveness of both face to face and written communication.
In conclusion, Communication Skills and Syntax were life changing courses. At least for now, I know how I can establish an appealing and persuasive communication between me and my peers, juniors and elders. As Dr. Christine insisted, listening is paramount for the success of any communication. The ignoring of another person or intentional periodical interruptions can be so detrimental. A part from interfering with the smooth flow of the communication process, it can adversely affect interpersonal relations both at home, in school or in the workplace. Indeed, these courses were properly designed to suit the learners at my level. They are worth being included as part of our curriculum.