Skip to main content

Core Competencies: Communication


The Communication competency encompasses the knowledge, skills, processes and dispositions we associate with interactions with others. Through their communication, students acquire, develop and transform ideas and information, and make connections with others to share their ideas, express their individuality, further their learning, and get things done. The communication competency is fundamental to finding satisfaction, purpose and joy.


The Communication Core Competency has two interrelated sub-competencies:


Communicating encompasses the set of abilities that people use to impart and exchange information, experiences, and ideas; to explore the world around them; and to understand and effectively use communication forms, strategies, and technologies. Communicating provides a bridge between peoples’ learning, their personal and social identity, and the world in which they interact.


People who communicate effectively use their skills and strategies intentionally to ensure understanding their audience. They communicate in an increasing variety of contexts, for a variety of purposes, and often with multiple audiences.


Collaborating involves the skills, strategies, and dispositions that people use to work together to pursue common purposes and accomplish common goals.


People who collaborate effectively recognize how combining others’ perspectives, strategies, and efforts with their own enhances collective understanding, use, and impact. They value the contributions of group members, interact supportively and effectively using inclusive practices, and strive for shared commitment and mutual benefit.


1. Connecting and engaging with others 

Students engage in informal and structured conversations in which they listen, contribute, develop understanding and relationships, and learn to consider diverse perspectives. This facet of communication is closely linked to the building and sustaining of relationships at home, at school, in the community, and through social media.

2. Focusing on intent and purpose

Students communicate with intention and purpose. They understand that communication can influence, entertain, teach, inspire, and help us make sense of the world and our experiences. They recognize the role the audience plays in constructing meaning, and they make strategic choices to help convey their messages and create their intended impact. They draw from a range of forms, media, and techniques, monitoring and adjusting their approaches and assessing their effects.

3. Acquiring and presenting information

Students communicate by receiving and presenting information. They inquire into topics of interest and topics related to their studies. They acquire information from a variety of sources, including people, print materials, and media; this may involve listening, viewing, or reading, and requires understanding of how to interpret information. They present information for many purposes and audiences, and their presentations often feature media and technology.

Six Profiles
Profile One

In a safe and supported environment, I respond meaningfully to communication from peers and adults.

Profile Two

In familiar settings, I communicate with peers and adults.


I talk and listen to people I know.

I can communicate for a purpose.

I can understand and share basic information about topics that are important to me, and answer simple, direct questions about my activities and experiences.

Profile Three

I communicate purposefully, using forms and strategies I have practiced.


I participate in conversations for a variety of purposes (e.g., to connect, help, be friendly, learn and share).

I listen and respond to others.

I can consider my purpose when I am choosing a form and content.

I can communicate clearly about topics I know and understand well, using forms and strategies I have practiced.

I gather the basic information I need and present it.

Profile Four

I communicate clearly and purposefully, using a variety of forms appropriately.


I share my ideas and try to connect them with others’ ideas.

I am an active listener – I make connections and ask clarifying and extending questions when appropriate.

I can plan ways to make my message clear and engaging for my audience and create communications that focus on a variety of purposes and audiences.

I acquire the information I need for specific tasks and for my own interests and present it clearly.

Profile Five

I communicate confidently, using forms and strategies that show attention to my audience and purpose.             


In discussions and conversations, I am focused and help to build and extend understanding.

I am an engaged listener; I ask thought-provoking questions when appropriate and integrate new information.

I can create a wide range of effective communications that feature powerful images and words, and I identify ways to change my communications to make them effective for different audiences.

I use my understanding of the role and impact of story to engage my audiences in making meaning.

I acquire information about complex and specialized topics from various sources, synthesize it, and present it with thoughtful analysis.

Profile Six

I communicate with intentional impact, in well-constructed forms that are effective in terms of my audience and in relation to my purpose.


I contribute purposefully to discussions and conversations.

I synthesize, deepen, and transform my own and others’ thinking.

I can weave multiple messages into my communications; I understand that my audience will use their own knowledge and experiences in making meaning.

I show understanding and control of the forms and technologies I use; I can assess audience response and draw on a repertoire of strategies to increase my intended impact.

I can acquire, critically analyze, and integrate well-chosen information from a range of sources.


1. Working collectively 

Students combine their efforts with those of others to effectively accomplish learning and tasks. As members of a group, they appreciate interdependence and cooperation, commit to needed roles and responsibilities, and are conscientious about contributing. They also negotiate respectfully and follow through on plans, strategies, and actions as they share resources, time, and spaces for collaborative projects.

2. Supporting group interactions

Students engage with others in ways that build and sustain trusting relationships and contribute to collective approaches. They value diverse perspectives and integrate the ideas of others with their own to tackle tasks, issues, and problems. Students seek to distribute leadership, listen actively, take turns in discussions, acknowledge contributions, and identify missing voices. They regulate the group’s interactions together, mutually encouraging one another, creating space for marginalized voices, and applying constructive strategies to navigate through misunderstandings, struggles, and conflict.

3. Determining common purposes

Students develop shared understandings of information, issues, situations, and problems in pursuit of common purposes and goals. They honour various group processes and proactively support movement forward, including refocusing on intended goals as needed. They revise plans according to mutual deliberations and strive for consensus. As co-members of a group, students see one another as valuable resources, commit to impact and collective success, assess group results and processes, and share in the recognition of achievements.

Six Profiles
Profile One In familiar situations, I can participate with others.
Profile Two

In familiar situations, I cooperate with others for specific purposes.


I contribute during group activities, cooperate with others, and listen respectfully to their ideas.

I can work with others for a specific purpose.

Profile Three

I contribute during group activities with peers and share roles and responsibilities to achieve goals.


I take on different roles and tasks in the group and work respectfully and safely in our shared space.

I express my ideas and help others feel comfortable to share theirs so that all voices are included.

I work with others to achieve a common goal and can evaluate our group processes and results.

Profile Four

I can confidently interact and build relationships with other group members to further shared goals.


I can identify and apply roles and strategies to facilitate groupwork.

I draw on past experiences to negotiate and develop group processes.

I am an active listener and speaker.

I share my ideas and try to connect them with others’ ideas, I ask clarifying questions and check for understanding when appropriate, and I test my ideas with others and consider their input.

I help resolve conflicts and challenges as they arise.

I recognize how my contributions and those of others complement each other.

I can plan with others and adjust our plan according to the group’s purpose.

Profile Five

I can facilitate group processes and encourage collective responsibility for our progress.


I play a role in collectively monitoring the progress of the group and adjust my contributions as needed.

I recognize the interdependence of our roles and draw on these to move us forward.

I ask thought-provoking questions, integrate new information and various perspectives from others, and think critically about whose voices are missing.

I can disagree respectfully, and I anticipate potential conflicts and help manage them when they arise.

I give, receive, and act on constructive feedback in support of our goals, and I can evaluate and revise plans with other group members.

Profile Six

I can connect my group with other groups and broader networks for various purposes.


I can step outside of my comfort zone to develop working relationships with unfamiliar groups. I develop and coordinate networking partnerships beyond and in service of the group.

I demonstrate my commitment to the group’s purpose by taking on different roles as needed.

I acknowledge different perspectives and seek out and create space for missing or marginalized voices.

I summarize key themes to identify commonalities and focus on deepening or transforming our collective thinking and actions.

I recognize when wisdom and strategies from others are needed and access these to address complex goals.

I help create connections with other groups or networks to further our common goals and our impact.

To view the Connections and Illustrations for the Core Competencies please visit the BC's New Curriculum website.