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Use of empty words by teachers in classrooms kills the joy of listening and learning: Study
Teachers while delivering lectures in the classroom use a lot of empty words which have nothing to do with subject matter or vocabulary of the topic they are teaching.

However, both the teachers and students get used to those empty words since the authority of the teachers gets accepted despite such words being jarring to ears and demonstrative of the lack of mastery over the communicative skills by teachers. Empty words are considered to be the main barriers to effective communication in the classroom.

A status study of urban schools teachers was undertaken in respect of the use of empty phrases in the classroom (N=30, Secondary teachers, Age: 28-45 years) during their non-textual verbal communication.

The twelve barriers to communication included in the study were: (i) You know; (ii) You see; (iii) I mean; (iv) Mind you; (v) as a matter of fact; (vi) the trouble is; (vii) to put it another way; (viii) what's more; (ix) speaking as layman; (x) as you know; (xi) a sort of and (xii) God knows. The teachers were asked to speak extempore for one minute on the work culture in their respective schools.

The frequency of use of each of the empty phrases was recorded. The three most frequently used empty phrases with percentage of teachers using them were: (a) You know (41%); (b) you see (30%); (c) mind you (22%) and (d) others (18%, all together).

All teachers were found to be using one or the other empty phrase without exception. Implication of the study for teacher training is the creation of awareness in communication barriers and skill development to make classroom communication effective through simulated practice san the empty phrases.

There is a need to enhance the communication skills of both teachers and educators through pre-service and in-service training. Students need to be saved from the barrage of empty words shot at them which hamper learning.

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