ERIC Number: ED196089
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Interpersonal Communication Skills Approach to Communication Instruction.
Krueger, Dorothy Lenk
The rapid growth in the field of interpersonal communication has outstripped educational planning in the field, resulting in the espousal of questionable methods of selecting and presenting the materials germane to interpersonal communication. One of the more recent directions of instruction in interpersonal communication has been toward a "skills" orientation, advocating instruction in communication skills such as empathy, self-disclosure, and listening to increase the student's interpersonal competence. A rhetorical analysis of the requirements and strategies for teaching interpersonal communication via this skills approach reveals that difficulties resulting from the skills approach stem from a lack of adequate research concerning the value and effectiveness of particular communication skills and the ability to teach and learn the skills. Until research confirms the value of specific skills, caution should be exercised in selecting skills to be taught. Teachers using the skills approach should follow these guidelines: (1) present the philosophy behind the choice of skills; (2) present evidence or lack of evidence for teaching the skills; (3) represent the skills in terms of their situational constraints; and (4) do not evaluate skill mastery; instead teach for mastery where there is support for the skill's value, while teaching rhetorical sensitivity in all other cases. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Berlin, Germany, May 29-June 4, 1977).