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Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > Sociology > Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication

Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 900 | Submitted: 06-Jun-2010
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Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication

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Language is the one thing that all four verbal communication skills have in common; it is a specifically human form of communication that uses symbols to represent ideas and concepts. Later on in the course, we will look more closely at the concept of language, its uses and variations.

Non-Verbal Communication is the form of communication that does not involve the use of speech or writing. In effect, non-verbal communication is the use of voice, space, objects, movement, time and the five senses to convey meanings that without using words. Because the types of non-verbal communication focus on physical actions and manipulations to convey meaning, they are often referred to as communicative behaviours.

Communicative behaviours comprise the following:

Vocalics refers to the use of voice in communicating messages. This does not include actual words, but modulations in tone of voice, rate of speech, pitch and non-verbal utterances. Because vocalics is often used in conjunction with speech communication (i.e. – verbal), it is often referred to as paralanguage.

Proxemics is the use of space to communicate. Standing close to someone may indicate that you like her; likewise, changing seat during an exam may indicate that you suspect your neighbour of cheating or some sort of discomfort.

Artifacts are objects that convey some sort of message about you. These include clothes, jewellery, home decorations, book bags etc.

Movement incorporates several movements of the body – eye contact, facial expressions, posture and gestures all communicate information. Failing to meet eye contact when speaking to a parent may indicate nervousness, shame or the possibility of untruthfulness; sitting straight in a chair could indicate attentiveness.

Chronemics refers to the use of time. By being early for class you show respect for the teacher and fellow classmates; similarly, a teacher who arrives consistently late for class is exhibiting a lack of respect for her students and profession.

The five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) are also used in non-verbal communication. For example, a normally good cook who over-salts a dish for her cheating spouse may be using taste to indicate her unhappiness or displeasure.
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