•  
  •  
 

Abstract

The current structure of most basic courses can be traced to the traditional context-based approach to studying communication. However, there seems to be no agreement on what specific contexts should be covered. Students often become confused with context specific jargon and may have difficulty transferring skills and knowledge across contexts. A different approach is to focus on transactional communication skills, principles, and processes that transcend contextual definitions. Such an approach focuses on similarities rather than differences among contexts and may lead to an integrative, rather than devisive, approach to communication study. Rather than learning specific skills for distinct contexts, students learn skills that generalize to all contexts. A focus on basic communication processes and skills may increase agreement as tot he nature and structure of the basic communication course.