Tag Archives: language

Wolfgang Ratich

Wolfgang Ratich (1571 – 1635)was a practitioner of education during the 17th century. His work during his lifetime was mostly a failure but time was a better judge of his practical insights into education. In addition, Ratich was an early influence on Comenius who was one of the greatest educators of all time.

Ratich studied philosophy and theology at university with the goal of becoming a preacher. However, a speech impediment put an early end to his career in ministry. This led him to try teaching as his career.

Views on Education

Ratich quickly formed strong views on education. He believed that children should study their mother tongue first before learning about others, which is an idea that is still supported to this day.

Teaching should also be inductive in nature which means that the students learn from examples and experience first and use these experiences to form conclusions. This was radical at the time because most believe that learning involved making grand conclusions first and finding support for them which is called deductive thinking.

Ratich also despised rote learning as intellectual harmful to students. He preferred to allow a child to learn according to nature. This idea was further spelled out in the work of Piaget and Kohlberg who stressed development in young children.

Language Teaching MEthod

Ratich method for teaching English was methodical, to say the least. His method included about 6 steps.

  1. Teach the alphabet
  2. Form words and syllables
  3. Teacher reads a book out loud to the class with students following along
  4. Students take turns reading parts of a chapter from the book the teacher read
  5. Teacher teaches grammar
  6. Students identify grammatical examples of the English terms in the book

It’s rather amazing this system worked. However, it was ahead of its time. Unfortunately, the results were mixed but maybe not for the method but rather because of the teacher

Implementation

After several years of trying Ratch was finally allowed to put his ideas into practice at a school. With his thoughts on education and detailed method results were assumed o be coming. However, the school was a failure. This is due primarily to the poor people skills of Ratich

Ratich alienated everyone with his personality and stubbornness. He was rude and considered arrogant. Even Ratich’s religion was a point of contention as Ratich was Lutheran and he was living and working among Calvinist. Eventually, Ratich irritated the prince and was thrown in prison for a while before leaving.

Conclusion

Ratich in many had the right ideas and wrong personality. His ideas were revolutionary and in many ways laid the foundation for ideas in TESOL such as inductive learning, the use of authentic reading etc. Ratich only problem was Ratich which may be one of the lessons a young Comenius learned when he visited Ratich’s school.

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Student and Teacher Talk in the ESL Classroom

Student and Teacher talk refers to the variety of ways in which a language teacher communicates with their students in the classroom. Generally, teacher talk can be divided into indirect and direct influences that shape the interaction of the students with the teacher and each other. Student talk is more complex to explain but has some common traits. This post will explain the two types of influence that are under teacher talk as well as common characteristics of student talk.

Indirect Influences

Indirect influences is teacher talk that is focused on feelings, asking questions and using student ideas. The focus on feelings is accepting and acknowledging how students feel. This can also involve praising the students for their work by explaining what they have done well.

Other forms of indirect influences include using student ideas. The ideas can be summarized by the teacher or they can be repeated verbatim. Either way, allows the students to contribute to the class discussion.

Lastly, another indirect influence is asking questions. This is a common way to stimulate discussion. The questions asked must be ones in which the teacher actually expects an answer.

Generally, indirect influences are often soft and passive in nature. This is in direct contrast to direct influences

Direct Influences 

Direct influences are more proactive and sometimes aggressive in nature.  Examples include giving directions and or information. In each case, the teacher is clearly in control and trying to lead the class.

Other types of direct influences include criticism. Criticism can be of student behavior or of the response of a student. This is clearly sending a message to the student and perhaps the class about what are acceptable actions in discussions.

Student Talk

When students talk it is usually to give a specific or open-ended response. A specific response is one in which there is only one answer. An open-ended response can have a multitude of answers.

Students can also respond with silence. This can happen as a result of the inability to express oneself or not understanding the question. Confusion happens when students are all speaking at the same time.

Students may also respond using their native language. This is normally avoided in TESOL but there are times where native language responses are needed for clarification.

Conclusion

Communication in the classroom can show itself in many different ways. The insights provided here give examples of the various forms of communication that can happen in a language classroom.

Understanding Techniques in Language Teaching

Technique is a core term in the jargon of language teaching. This leads to people using a term without really knowing what it means. In simple terms, a technique is any task/activity that is planned in a language course. Such a broad term makes it difficult to make sense of what exactly a technique is.

This post will try to provide various ways to categorize the endless sea of techniques available in language teaching.

Manipulation to Interaction

One way to assess techniques is along a continuum from manipulation to interaction. A manipulative technique is one in which the teacher has complete control and expects a specific response from the students. Examples of this include reading aloud, choral repetition, dictation

Interactive techniques are ones in which the student’s response is totally open. Examples of interactive techniques include role play, free writing, presentations, etc.

Automatic, Purposeful, Communicative Drills

Another continuum that can be used is seeing techniques as an automatic, purposeful, or communicative drill. An automatic drill technique has only one correct response. An example would be a repetition drill in which the students repeat what the teacher said.

A purposeful drill technique has several acceptable answers. For example, if the teacher asks the students “where is the dog”? The students can say “it’s outside” or “the dog is outside” etc.

Restricted to Free

The last continuum that can be used is restricted to free. This continuum looks at techniques from the position of who has the power. Generally, restricted techniques are ones that are teacher-centered, closed-ended, with high manipulation. Free techniques are often student-centered, open-ended, with unplanned responses.

Conclusion

All levels of language teaching should have a mixture of techniques from all over any of the continuums mentioned in this post. It is common for teachers to have manipulative and automatic techniques for beginners and interactive and free techniques for advanced students. This is often detrimental particularly to the beginning students.

The continuums here are simply for attempting to provide structure when a teacher is trying to choose techniques. It is not a black and white matter in classifying techniques. Different teachers while classifying the same techniques in different places in a continuum. As such, the continuums should guide one’s thinking and not control it.

Institutional Context of Language Teaching

The context in which language teaching happens influences how the language is taught to the students and how the teacher approaches language instruction. Generally, the two most two most common context in which formal language instruction takes places is at the primary/secondary and tertiary levels.

How language is viewed at these two levels depends on whether they see the mother-tongue of the students as subtractive (negative) or additive (positive) to acquiring the target language. The purpose of this post is to explain how language teaching is approached based on these two context.

Primary/Secondary

There are several language models used at the primary/secondary level. Some of these models include submersion, immersion, and bilingualism.

Submersion is a model in which the student is thrown into the new language without any or little support. This is derived from a subtractive view of the mother tongue. Naturally, many students struggle for years with this approach.

Immersion allows for students to have content-area classes with other students who have the same mother tongue with support from a trained ESL teacher. The mother tongue is seen as additive in this context

Bilingualism involves receiving instruction in both the first and second language. This can be done for the purpose of transitioning completely to the second language or to try and maintain or enrich the first language.

Tertiary

At the tertiary level, many of the same models of language are employed but given slightly different names. Common models at the tertiary level include pre-academic, EAP, ESP, and social.

Pre-Academic language teaching is the tertiary equivalent of submersion. Generally, the students are taught English with a goal of submerging them in the target language when they begin formal studies. This is the same as mainstreaming which is one form of submersion

EAP or English for Academic Purposes is essentially advanced language teaching that focuses on scholarly type subject matter in pre-academic language programs.  This is often difficult to teach as it requires a refinement of how the student approaches the language.

ESP or English for Specific Purposes is a general form of EAP. Instead of the focus being academic as in EAP, ESP can be focused on business, tourism, transportation, etc. Students learn English focused on a specific  industry or occupation.

Social programs for English provide a brief exposure to English for the sake of enjoyment. Students learn the basics of listening and speaking in a non-academic context.

Conclusion

There are various programs available to support students in acquiring a language. The programs vary in essentially no support to support in maintaining both languages. Which program to adopt at an institution depends on the context of learning and the philosophy of the school.

First and Target Language Conflict and Compromise

In an interesting contradiction of language acquisition, it is a given fact that the greatest challenge and blessing in learning a second language is the first language. For many people, they wonder how the first language can be an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time.

In order to understand this mystery of second language acquisition, we will look at interference, facilitating, as well as suggestions for teachers to help students to deal with the challenges of the first language in second language acquisition.

Interference and Facilitating

A person’s first language can be a problem through what is called interfering. Interference is the assumptions a person brings from their first language to the second language.

Each language has distinct rules that governs its use in the form of syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology, etc. When a person learns a new language they bring these rules with them to the new language. Therefore, they are breaking the rules of the target language due to their obedience to the rules of their native language.

Below is an example of a native English speaker trying to speak Spanish

English Sentence: I want the red car
Spanish with English rules: Yo quiero el rojo coche
Correct Spanish Version: Yo quiero el coche rojo

In the simple example above, the native English speaker said: “rojo coche” (red car) instead of “coche rojo” (car red) in Spanish. In other words, the English speaker put the adjective before the noun instead of the noun before the adjective. This is a minor problem but it does sound strange to a native Spanish speaker.

It needs to be noted that the first language can also help in communicating in the second and this is called facilitating. In the example above, the majority of what the English speaker said is correct. The subject-verb-object order was correct as an example. This is because when the rules of the language are the same the facilitate the person’s learning of the target language and when the rules are different they interfere.

Helping with Interference and Facilitating

The goal of a teacher is to help a student to discard interference and hold on to facilitating. To do this a teacher needs to listen to the errors a student makes to understand what the problems are. Often it is good to explain the error the student is making and what native language rule they are clinging to that is causing the problem.

Another goal is to encourage direct thinking in the target language. This prevents translation and all of the errors that come with that.

Lastly, recognizing the benefits of facilitating by showing how the two languages are similar can help students. Generally, teachers focus on interference rather than facilitating but an occasional acknowledge of facilitation is beneficial.

Conclusion

A teacher needs to understand that the first language of their students is not always an enemy. The first language provides a foundation for the development of the target language. Through working with what the students already know the teacher can help to develop strong language skills in the target.

Paralinguistic Language Features

Paralinguistics has to do with the aspects of language that do not relate to the formal systems of language such as phonology, syntax, grammar etc. The features of paralinguistics fall into two categories. The categories are

  • Vocal paralinguistic features
  • Body paralinguistic features

Vocal Paralinguistic Features

Vocal paralinguistic features relate to how we say something. We can speak loudly are soft which are characteristics of volume. Our voices can be breathy, which is an approach some singers may use. The tone of our voice can be changed as well. A high tone can indicate nervousness or a question and even anger in some people. A low tone indicates doubt or authority in some people. All of these features convey intention and are influenced by circumstance

Body Paralinguistic Features

Paralinguistic Features of the body is how we communicate meaning through the use of our bodies. Facial expressions is one example. When we frown, smile, raise our eyebrows, etc. these all share different forms of information. Clenching the teeth and biting one’s lips also sends a message. The cultural context also colors what these behaviors mean as well.

Gestures are another form of bodily communications. Crossing out arms sends a message. Shrugging our shoulders in the US context indicates that the person does not know or does not care. Scratching our heads indicates confusion or lack of understanding.

Proximity is how close two people are when communicating. Normally, the closer two people are the more intimate. The further a part two people are indicates a formal setting and hierarchy. Many people keep a certain distance from their boss when communicating.

Posture is another feature. Slouching indicates laziness. When a person holds their head down it is often a sign of inferiority. If a person stands with hunch shoulder it sends a message as well.

An interesting thing about paralinguistic features is that people often echo each other. In other words, if someone speaks with a high pitch the person they are talking to may respond the same way. If someone folds their arms across their chest while speaking the person listening may do so as well. Normally, echoing is a sign that the other person is listening intently or it could be to mock the other person.

Conclusion

Paralinguistics is an aspect of communication that conveys information distinctly from other forms of language. The way the voice is used as well as the way people use their bodies while communicating sends powerful, yet subtle messages to people.

Methods of Teaching English: Part 3

This post will continue our look at different methods to teaching English. This post is unique in that we will examine methods that are considered by many to be somewhat outside the main line of English teaching methods. The methods of this post are…

  • Community Language Learning
  • Suggestopedia
  • Total Physical Response
  • Silent Way

Community Language Learning

Community Language Learning method involves a circle of students who are attempting to speak. There is a person called the “knower”, also known as the teacher, who stands outside the circle and helps the students to articulate what they want to say. The knower helps the students by translating, suggesting, or modifying what the students are trying to say. Through this process, the students develop a basic idea of the grammar of the target language.

There is a significant lack of direction in the use of the Community Learning method. This concern has been one of the strongest complaints. In addition. students are constantly being corrected in groups, which is not appropriate in many different context.

Suggestopedia

Suggestopedia is perhaps one of the most unusual methods of teaching English. This method focuses on developing a relaxing environment in which the students emotions are made calm. The student-teacher relationship is one of a child-parent, which is disconcerting to many. During the lesson, the teacher reads a dialog with Baroque music in the background, which helps to provide a nice ambiance for the learning. The three phases of Suggestopedia are

  1. Pre-sessions-Students are informed of the topic and materials of the lesson
  2. Session-Students experience the lesson
  3. Post-session-Various elaborations of the topic are used to encourage assimilation of the text such as role playing or monologues.

It is not hard to prove that this is a unique teaching method. The teacher has an extraordinary amount of psychological influence over the students that few would consider healthy.

Total Physical Response

Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method in which the teacher tells the students in the target language to do various tasks. Examples include “run in place” or “jump up and down.” By doing the commands the students learn the language. As the students become comfortable they begin to give commands themselves.

TPR is an excellent approach for learning the basics of the conversational aspects of a language. However, deeper levels of communication and academic levels of speaking are not possible through this method alone. Initially, TPR can also be highly teacher-centered, which limits students learning at times.

The Silent Way

In the silent way, the teacher rarely speaks. Instead, they point to a phonemic chart and model the sounds. The students attempt to imitate the sound that they hear and the teacher uses gesture to indicate the accuracy of the students’ imitation. This places the burden on the students to figure out the language. When students are correct, the teacher moves to a different phoneme or word.

Lack of communication makes this approach frustrating for someone. Beyond pronunciation, this method is not widely used.

Conclusion

Different methods work for different people. Although these methods in this post are considered somewhat as being on the fringe of English teaching they are still useful in a variety of context. As such, it is the responsibility of the teacher to determine which methods are best for their students.

Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL)

One of the more recent changes in English language teaching has been the use of cellphones and tablets in language learning. Through the use of the phones, students are learning fundamental components of conversational English. The use of mobile devices in the context of learning has been given the acronym of MALL which stands for Mobile Assisted Language Learning.

There are many distinct advantages and disadvantages to MALL and this post will explore them

Advantages

One of the most obvious advantages of MALL approaches is the mobility. Students can study anytime and anywhere since they normally keep their cellphones with them. This leads to a second advantage of informal learning. Informal learning is unstructured learning while formal learning materials developed and by the teacher. Not always but often MALL approaches involve the use of materials that are not prepared by the teacher and thus are informal.

Another advantage is that cellphones and the apps that they use are often cheaper than computers. This means that the use of MALL approaches can be useful for saving on the investment of a regular size computer. The use of apps specifically can allow for student choice in that the students could decide for themselves which apps to use to develop their language skills. This is critically important since choice is a critical part of self-directed learning. This opportunity in directing their own learning helps students with decision-making as well as critical thinking skills.

Despite the autonomous nature of many MALL approaches, MALL can also encourage collaborative learning. This is often done by using Web 2.0 technologies such as twitter, facebook, and Youtube. Through social media, students can develop language skills together. This form of learning also leads to authentic assessments, which provides clear evidence of what the students are capable of doing. One example would be the use of infield mobile learning in which learning activities are conducted outside of the classroom during a trip such as to the museum. Students complete the assessment en vivo, in the field rather than in the classroom.

Disadvantages of MALL

There are also some problems with MALL. For example, if texting is employed in the learning it can become expensive for students and teachers. Tracking performance is another issue. In a world of evidence-based learning, it is difficult to monitor how several dozen students are doing on their phones to learn English. In addition, any new approach to learning requires the training of the students to utilize new tools.

Another major concern is that the current crop of MALL approaches and the apps that go with them are focused primarily on lower-level thinking. Apps consist of dictionaries, translators, and flashcards. Such approaches are useful for memorizing but not as beneficial for higher level thinking such as summarizing, compare/contrast, and or evaluating. As such, MALL is most beneficial for beginners but not as valuable for advanced language learners who are trying to communicate for academic purposes. This poses a problem for such settings as universities where the English requirements are beyond the conversational level.

Stockwell and Hubbard (2013) found both physical and pedagogical issues with MALL. In terms of physical issues, they specifically mention the screen size, battery life, and the processor speed of phones as problems. For pedagogical issues, they list that the task must be appropriate for the mobile phone. This may be the reason that flashcards and quizzes are so popular for mobile phones as they are highly useful in allowing students to work whenever it is convenient for them.

Another pedagogical concern was transferring classroom task to an m-learning environment. This transition is not always smooth as classroom behaviors are not easy to mimic in the real world. However, transfer knowledge from one context to another is a problem for traditional teaching and learning. Lastly, student motivation is a challenge for the MALL environment. Choice was mentioned as a positive in learning but choice is not significant if the student is not motivated. Since performance tracking is difficult, it makes it easy for students to avoid doing MALL related task if there is no follow-up by the teacher.

In light of these limitations to MALL, Stockwell and Hubbard (2013) developed several concepts to keep in mind when conducting M or mobile learning. One, teachers need to be observant of the limitations of MALL. This includes the disadvantages already discussed. Two, teachers should limit texting. One obvious reason for this is the cost involved. Three, MALL tasks should be kept short in order to assure student completion. Lastly, students who need support should be trained in using their smartphone and or the app that is required to complete the assignment. This point was shared earlier but even though we live in a digital age, there are still many who lack the tech savvy to complete MALL task.

Common Theories of Linguistics

One aspect of linguistic theories focuses on how children acquire language. In general, the theories of language acquisition are divided into nature vs nurture perspectives. Some propose that language acquisition is natural while others believe that the context that a child is in influences heavily their acquisition of a language.

In this post, we will look at one theory that supports the argument for nature and one theory that supports the argument for nurture in relation to language acquisitions. The nature argument is supported by the generative approach while the nurture argument is supported by the constructionist approach.

Generative Approach

The generative approach states that children are able to acquire language because they are born with the principles related to the structures of human language. In other words, children are born with the ability to obtain and use language. According to people who support this view, there is a place in the brain called the language acquisition device (LAD) and children use the rules within the LAD to develop language.

One major criticism of the generative approach is that the original theories related to this concept were based on results from adults and not children. Another problem was that there is little evidence of one set of language rules that can be applied to all languages.

Constructionist Approach

The constructionist approach states that children learn the linguistic rules of a language through the environmental input they experience. To put it simply, children are not born with innate rules of language as the generative approach states, rather, they learn these rules through interacting with their world.

As children are exposed to language, they find the patterns in the communication they experience. For example, parents speak to their children. From this experience, the children learn how to communicate.  The children use what they hear until it becomes natural for them. There are now innate abstracts, instead, the child acquires the rules through trial and error.

The focus of the constructionist approach is on the use of language. There is no desire to develop universal grammatical rules but to examine how the context impacts how language is acquired.

Conclusion

The purpose is not to claim that one theory is superior to the other. In reality, both theories are trying to explain the phenomena of language acquisition from different perspectives. Generative are seeing language acquisition from a deductive perspective in that the child starts with the rules and applies them to a specific context. Constructionist are seeing language acquisition from an inductive viewpoint as they believe the child starts with specific examples to acquire rules that are appropriate in the local language context. As such, there is room in the discussion of language acquisition for both arguments and many more.

Components of Language Part II

In the last post, we began a discussion on the components of language. In this post, we will conclude this discussion by looking at two more components of language, which are…

  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics

Semantics

Semantics is the rules that determine the meaning of words. Synonyms and antonyms are also a part of semantics. Synonyms are different words that have the same meaning. Examples include “small” and “tiny” or “big” and “large.” Antonyms are two words that have opposite meanings. Examples include “big” and “little” and “small” and “large.”

Understanding semantics can allow a language user to employ a rich vocabulary that is full of alternative words and meanings. However, it is the sentence and not the individual word that most significantly shapes the meaning of communication. This is due to the fact that the entire sentence or paragraph provides context, which is something we will look at later.

There are two ways to define the meaning of a word. One is denotative and the second is connotative. The denotative meaning is the dictionary definition. The connotative is the context-specific definition. For example, a dog is a four-legged animal that barks. This is the denotative definition. The connotative definition would depend on the setting. One person may think that a dog is a giant barking monster. Another might see a dog as a cute little friend. They both know a dog is a four-legged barking animal but the further define a dog by the addition of further explanation.

Pragmatics

Pragmatics is the study of language in the context of its use. This component of language describes the rules of communication, types of communication, and the intentions of communication. Culture is a powerful influence on the pragmatics of a language.

There are several common characteristics that influence the pragmatics and how people speak to each other. These characteristics are gender, age, race, dialect, style, social status, and role. In English, it is common to change how we communicate based on these characteristics. How we speak to our boss is different than to our children. How to speak to colleagues is different than to strangers. These differences in communication are due to pragmatics.

Conclusion

The components of language attempt to succinctly explain how communication takes place. Understanding these concepts will help those who are learning a language or teaching people to learn a different language where problems may be. For example. if a student uses an inappropriate phrase this may be due to a misunderstanding of pragmatics. If a student mispronounces a word this is due to issues with phonology. Language components can be valuable in identifying language learning challenges.

Components of Language

There are three major components of language. These components are form, content, and use. Form involves three sub-components of syntax, morphology, and phonology. Content is also known as semantics and use is also known as pragmatics. In this post, we will look at the sub-components of form which are…

  • Syntax
  • Morphology
  • Phonology

Syntax

Syntax is the rules for the structure of a sentence. Syntax deals with such details such as sentence organization, the order of clauses, relationships between words, elements of a sentence, etc. Syntax also determines which word combinations are acceptable. For example, if I say “He went to town.” it is acceptable, however, if I say, “town to went he” it does not work because of the syntax of English.

There are certain common rules of syntax. A sentence must contain a noun phrase and a verb phrase. Using our previous example “He went to town” contains a noun phrase “He” and a verb phrase “went to town.” Another example would be the “The big dog ran to the house.” The noun phrase for this example is “The big dog” and the verb phrase is “ran to the house.”

Morphology

Morphology is focused on the organization of words. Morphemes are the smallest grammatical units possible. Examples of morphemes would be any letter or vowel of the English alphabet.

There are two types of morphemes free and bound. Free morphemes can stand only. Examples include many words such as boy, small, and sad. These morphemes do not need any help to make sense. Bound morphemes must be connected to a larger word to make sense. Examples include prefixes and suffixes such as un-, non-, -ly, -s.

Phonology

Phonology looks at the sound of speech and the shaping of syllables. The sound for /p/ is different depending on its placement in a word and the vowels near it. For example, /p/ can vary in sound in such words as pea, poor, and soup. Each word contains /p/ but the sound is slightly different.

Sequencing also changes the of words the -ed sound is different in “jogged” than it is in “walked” the first has a /d/ sound while the second has a /t/ sound.

Conclusion

There is much more to be said about language form. The understanding of syntax, morphology, and phonology helps in better understanding language acquisition. Therefore, ESL teachers need an exposure to the basics of this in order to be able to provide better support for their students.

Speech, Language, and Communication

There are three terms that people commonly use interchangeably when describing how people interact verbally with each other. The terms are speech, language, and communication. Although these terms are similar they are not synonyms for each other. This post will explain the difference between these three terms.

Speech

Speech is specifically a verbal means of communicating. This distinguishes it from non-verbal forms of communicating such as written communication or body language. Speech involves the vocalizing of specific sounds called phonemes. Every language has specific phonemes that make of sounds for that language. For example, Spanish involves the rolling of the “r” often.

Speech is not limited to phonemes. Other aspects of speech include the voice quality, intonation, and rate. Voice quality is the phonetic characteristics of a person’s voice. Our example of the r sound in Spanish relates to voice quality. Intonation is related to the pitch of the voice. Sometimes a language uses different pitches depending on the context. For example, if a question is asked in English the pitch rises at the end. Lastly, the rate is how fast the people talk in the language.

Language

Language code for conveying concepts through the use of symbols. For example, almost all languages have some sort of word for “dog.” In English, the word for this animal is “dog.” In Spanish, the word is “perro.” In French, the word for dog is “chien.” Regardless of the language, when people hear one of these words for dog in their language they connect this word with the concept of a four-legged creature that often barks. The term “dog” is a symbol for an animal. This is thinking in a highly abstract way.

Languages can be expressed verbally through speech and also through writing. In order for each side to understand the other, they must know each other’s language in order to convey and share ideas. An obvious reason that people from different countries do not understand each other is because they speak different languages.

Communication

Communication is a process of exchanging ideas and needs. This process involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding. Encoding is the process of taking a concept identifying a word that is associated with it. If a person has in their mind a barking animal they may think of the word “dog.” Transmitting is sharing the concept through the use language. This is when the person says “dog” verbally.

Decoding is this process in reverse and is done by the receiver. The receiver hears the word “dog” and he translates this into a barking animal in his mind. All of this happens in a split second every day in many peoples lives.

Communication can happen in many was beyond verbal. As mention earlier, people can communicate ideas in writing or through the use of body language. Even art can communicate information through the use of music, painting, or more.

Conclusion

Speech, language, and communication are distinct aspects of understanding how people convey information. Understanding these differences can help people to know how they are trying to share information.