Terminologies in Communication and The Four Language Skills

Communication as we saw earlier is a broad topic on its own which entails a lot. A lot of scholars developed their views about communication and it seems all those views are considered to be true; it has led to the broad area of communication. In order not to confuse learners, especially university students, it is advisable not to talk about forms, types, etc of communication but we can just look from the angle of terminologies in communication and the four language skills to make things simple.

There are a couple of terminologies in communication but the keys one would be considered in this article. They are;

Intrapersonal Communication vs Interpersonal Communication

Verbal Communication vs Non-verbal Communication

Public Communication vs Mass Communication

Four language skills of Communicators

These are the key terminologies in Communication and each of them would be discussed properly in this article.

Intrapersonal Communication Vs Interpersonal Communication

Terminologies of Communication and the four language skills
Two women on a interpersonal therapy with their friends and psychologist by mymediajourney.com

The two terms sound confusing and are many at times used interchangeably. As mass communication students and practitioners, you must know the differences between intrapersonal communication and interpersonal communication.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines intrapersonal as relating to or within a person’s mind: Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand oneself and one’s emotions.

The Oxford Learners Dictionary also defined Interpersonal as ​connected with relationships between people.

From the definitions provided by the two great dictionaries in English, it could be seen that intra means within one’s self whiles inter means connecting with other people. Intrapersonal communication is always involved with a single entity but interpersonal communication occurs always between two or a few people.

Planning, reflection, and meditation become effective when Intrapersonal Communication is involved. Interpersonal Communication on the other hand happens when someone wants to communicate meaning with others. All you need to note is that intrapersonal communication happens mainly in our thoughts but interpersonal communication happens between two or a few people.

Forms of Interpersonal Communication

You should also note that within interpersonal communication exists two forms, thus Dyadic and Small group communication.

Dyadic Interpersonal Communication occurs between two entities only. When you are having a romantic chat with your spouse on a date, that kind of communication falls under dyadic interpersonal communication.

Small Group Interpersonal Communication also looks at the interactions and connections that exist between two or more people with a common goal. Within the small group, communication is the Task Oriented and Relational Oriented Groups.

Terminologies of Communication and the four language skills
Terminologies of Communication and the four language skills by mymediajourney.com

Verbal Communication Vs Non-Verbal Communication

These terminologies carry their meaning along. Verbal means using words to carry a meaning or message to others. These two forms of verbal communication and thus written and oral verbal communications. The written aspect includes letters, novels, and other written documents. The oral aspect of verbal communication also has an instance where a speaker is delivering a speech.

Non-Verbal Communication is the opposite of the latter. It involves the gradual process of sending and receiving information without the use of voice. However, whatever information is being conveyed must be socially acceptable to receive appropriate feedback.

The verywillmind.com provided a couple of forms of non-verbal communication. This was based on time, personal space, body movement, eye, touch, use of voice, and appearance.

Objectics: This is the use of the environment, clothes, and other artifacts to communicate. An individual wearing black attire is perceived to be in hard times.

Vocalics: These are the meanings derived from the use of voice or sound during an interaction. A clear example is when someone suddenly pauses in the course of speaking.

Haptics: This is also the use of touch during communication. An example is a handshake, kiss, hand holding, etc.

Oculesics: It is the use of the eye in communication. The gentlemen sometimes use their eyes alone to make an indication to a lady that, he is interested in her without saying a word.

Kinesics: This is when body movement and gestures are applied during communication. An example of gestures is the facial expressions that sometimes occur during communication.

Proxemics: This is the use of space in conveying a piece of information to others. When you give others too personal space, they are quick to know that you have no interest in them.

Chronemics: It is the usage of time and the perception behind time to convey meaning.

It could be seen from the forms of non-verbal communication that, we as humans normally make use of non-verbal communication in our daily lives.

Public Communication Vs Mass Communication

This happens to be the last of the key terminologies in communication. Public and Mass Communications just like intrapersonal and interpersonal communications are sometimes used interchangeably. In Public communication, the encoder transmits information to a larger group of people who may give verbal and non-verbal feedback. An example is a football coach delivering tactical play tutorials to his team, the former is transmitting information to a larger group who would respond verbally by saying ‘yes sir’ when appropriate.

Mass Communication on the other hand occurs when a piece of information is delivered to a large number of unseen audiences. A clear example is the radio stations that deliver information always to an audience they do not know.

The Four Language Skills of Communication

There are four basic language skills that every communicator must possess. They are;

Listening: When you want to learn new words, you first have to listen to the pronunciation of such words.

Speaking: After you have successfully listened to the words, then you start pronouncing them yourself.

Reading: This is where you familiarize yourself with the words you have learned in the course of reading.

Writing: Now you become the master at this level as you begin to write and construct your own words from the understanding of the words you have learned previously.

As a communicator, kindly take note of the piece above especially when you are into mass media.

Image source: pixabay.com and canva.com


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