Differentiating between effective communication and ineffective communication when grade 12 learners are taught

It is important to distinguish between the different types of communication. On this page we differentiate between effective communication and ineffective communication when grade 12 learners are taught.

NB: Please consult your textbook as the primary source. This is not a memobut a simple guide for students

Differentiating between effective and ineffective communication is crucial, especially for Grade 12 learners. Let’s break it down:

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AspectEffective CommunicationIneffective Communication
ClarityMessages are clear and concise, making objectives easy to understand.Messages are vague or overloaded, leaving students confused about objectives.
ListeningPractices active listening, ensuring full concentration, understanding, response, and remembering.Minimal effort to understand students, leading to misunderstandings and lack of engagement.
Non-Verbal CuesUses positive body language, such as eye contact and nodding, to reinforce messages.Uses negative body language, creating a hostile environment.
FeedbackEncourages a two-way exchange of feedback, allowing for clarification and adjustment.Lacks a feedback loop, leaving students’ misunderstandings unaddressed.
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Effective Communication


  • Clarity and Conciseness: Messages are clear and to the point, making it easy for students to understand the lesson’s objectives.
  • Active Listening: Teachers and students practice active listening, meaning they fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said.
  • Positive Non-Verbal Cues: Body language, such as eye contact and nodding, reinforces the spoken message, making the learning environment more engaging and supportive.
  • Feedback: There is a two-way exchange of feedback, allowing students to express confusion or ask questions, and teachers to clarify or adjust their teaching methods accordingly.

Example: A teacher explaining a complex mathematical concept uses clear examples and checks for understanding by asking students to summarize the concept in their own words. The teacher actively listens to the responses, provides constructive feedback, and uses positive body language to encourage participation.

Ineffective Communication


  • Lack of Clarity: Messages are vague or overloaded with information, leaving students confused about what is expected of them.
  • Poor Listening: There is minimal effort to understand students’ viewpoints or questions, leading to misunderstandings and a lack of engagement.
  • Negative Non-Verbal Cues: Inconsistent or negative body language, such as avoiding eye contact or showing impatience, can create a hostile learning environment.
  • Absence of Feedback: A lack of feedback loop means students’ misunderstandings or needs are not addressed, hindering their learning process.

Example: A teacher rushes through a presentation on historical events without pausing to check for understanding or answer questions. Their body language suggests impatience with students who struggle to keep up, and there’s no opportunity for students to provide or receive feedback, leaving many confused and disengaged.

In summary, effective communication in a Grade 12 setting is characterized by clarity, active listening, positive non-verbal cues, and a robust feedback system. This approach not only enhances understanding but also fosters a supportive and engaging learning environment. On the other hand, ineffective communication can lead to confusion, disengagement, and a lack of motivation among students, significantly impacting their learning experience and outcomes.

Below is some optional content gathered from online sources. NB, please consult approved and prescribed learning content at your school at all times: