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Communication and its forms

Communication is an important part of people´s lives. Human beings use their languga (system of founds, words, patters, etc.) to communicate thoughts and feelings. We also use system of signs, symbols, gestures for conveying information.

We can divide communication into few groups: verbal, non-verbal, written.

Verbal communication si communication by pronouncing words. People talk to each other every day. Many of us prefer talking to others face to face. There are different kinds of conversation: formal, informal, chattering, gossiping. Most of us find it embarrasing to remain silent in company, and feel we have to fill silence by saying something. Others like silence and do not use a lot of words. Silence can sometimes communicate ideas more powerfully than speech.

Non-verbal communication means using symbols, signs, gestures. Like all animals, we have a complex body language of postures and facial expressions. Our bodies are constantly talking. We smile, frown or make different gestures, shapes with our hands, etc. Sometimes we join words with gestures, other times our bodies show our feelings or thoughts. When we yawn, we are tired or bored. Sitting with eyes and mouth wide open means that we are fascinated. Banging your fist on the table or stamping your feet expresses anger, shaking hands or hugging conveys pleasure or satisfaction. We produce thousands of signs every day. We are able to understand non-verbal performers like mime artists or dancers who “speak” body language fluently. We also know the language of music – it can be the universal language. Sign language is a type of communication determinated for deaf-mute people.

The other form of communication is writing. The first people who began with it were cave men. One of the cave man's first inventions was the handy sharpened stone, the all-purpose skinning and killing tool. This later adapted into the first writing instrument, which was used to keep records of hunting trips. Cave men also scratched pictures with the stone tools onto the walls of their caves. Most of the cave drawings represented events that happened in daily life such as hunting victories or planting. Somewhere between 1700 and 1500 B.C. the alphabet replaced the pictograph form of writing. The Hebrew alphabet that is used today has been popularly used since around 600 B.C. Around 400 B.C. the Greek developed their alphabet. This was the first known script that was written from left to right.

Nowadays people write letters to each other, publish newspapers and magazines. Guttenberg´s printing press in 1450 was the great invention, although that was not the first type of movable print. From this time there were printed a lot of books. In bookstores you can buy encyklopedies, novels, fairy-tales, etc. When you do not want to buy some book, you can go to the library and borrow it.

You can see a lot of advirtisements anywhere you look – on billboards, on the highway, in newspapers, in magazines, on posters. Advertising is an important part of the economy and the industry.

People speak and respond variously in various situations. Between our friends or schoolmates, when we are in ordinary situation and when we feel relaxed, we can use informal communication. On the other hand, the formal communication is necessary for serious or official situations, for example when you apply for a job, or write a letter to some company. It is very important to distinguish the situations, because our incorrect manners and expressions could get us into embarrassed moments. It is also serious to learn symbolic gestures and traditions of other nations before visiting them. One meaning can be signalled by diverse actions: in Europe if you tap your forefinger against your temple, it means a sign of stupidity but in Arabic countries you touch the lower eyelid with the tip of the foreginger. Or, in our country it is impolite to belch loudly after eating but in Japan you convey by belching that the meal was really tasty.

Modern technology influences people in such a way that coming back home we switch on TV or radio and they replace our missing communications. The TV has become something that the majority of people cannot live without. Many people talk to their appliances (Come on, boil!) but they usually do not expect a reaction. Other possible types of communication are mobile phone or e-mails. They are very popular these days and people can send a message to whom it may concern very quickly. It once seemed that the telephone had made writing to people unnecessary. E-mail has allowed us to find its benefits again, because it respects the demand of more urgent business. E-mails are usually more informal than letters. We can write a two-line messages to someone on another continent or send a joke to someone in the next office. It is also not problem to send pictures or documents by e-mail.

Internet is a big source of informations. People search everything they need or want to know by Google or Yahoo. Young people use to chat with their friends. Nowadays you can do your shoppings by internet. But Internet has its cons, too. One can easily become dependent on it. Many of us have less motion and exercise and we injure our eyes because of frequent sitting in front of computers.

When in danger, we send a mayday. A system of sending messages, using dots and dashes or short and long sounds or flashes of light, is called Morse code. When travelling, we usually read pictograms or drivers find their way from signs.


patterns – šablóny, vzorky
convey – vyjadriť, vysloviť
chattering – džavotanie, táranie
gossiping – ohováranie
postures – držanie tela, postoj
gestures – gestá, posunky
hug – objať
sign language – posunková reč
deaf-mute people – hluchonemí ľudia
belch – grgať

Key words

-language, grammar, vocabulary, communicative skills: listening, reading, speaking and vriting, integrated skills
-reception, production, interaction, mediation
-formal, informal, colloquial, dialect, slang, jargon, varieties of language, standard English, standard American, spoken and written
-communicative language competence: linguistic, siociolinguistic, strategic, discourse
-first language, mother tongue, official language, native speaker, non-native speaker, bilingual speaker
-linguistic ability, skills, studies, development, learning strategies
-languages: modern, foreign, language barrier
-fluency, accuracy, appropriacy, range, pronuncation, interactive communication
-turntaking strategies, asking for clarification, coherence, cohesion, precision
-signs, signals, hand signals, morse code, sign language, gestures
-mime, shake, nod, make a sign, motion, wink, wave, gesticulate
-whisper, cry, shout, roar
-sign, symbol, emblem, logo, insignia

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