The 'problem of communication' is the recent challenge for the modern world. It is not like that we are not able to speak or write, or there is a breakdown of internet or postal services. The failure of communication has occurred because both the parties are not ready to give a reception to the other.
The topic- Introduction of Communication Skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing)- finds a mention in the second-semester syllabus of Amity University Noida. The reason is no reason. This is what we have been teaching to the undergrads and even postgrads in India. We have taught them the process and a lot more. We have not inculcated the 'Communication Skills or Communicative Competence' among them. The communication structure has been disturbed among the social groups and even among families. Moreover, in schools and universities, students tend to feel that their teachers are overwhelming them with a flood of information which they suspect is irrelevant to actual life." (David Bohm in On Dialogue)
What so ever is the predicament of the Communication thing, we are here to Talk, teach and attempt yet another effort to make all understand that Communication is not merely a mundane academic or electronics concept made of some principles or models, it is much more than anything we assume. It represents life and the one who sees the applicability of the process and its associated features is able to give a wonderful sense of meaning to what he does.
David Bohm in On Dialogue elaborates it further: It may be useful to begin to discuss this question by considering the meaning of the word "communication.".This is based on the Latin commun and the suffix "ie" which is similar to "fie", in that it means "to make or to do". So one meaning of "to communicate" is "to make something common," i.e. to convey information or knowledge from one person to another in as accurate a way as possible. This meaning is appropriate in a wide range of contexts.
The above excerpts show that there has been a "gap" in what Communication Can do and what we are allowing it to accomplish. The solution does lie somewhere. Here, it is in the fundamental process as well as the Four Types of Communication Skills.
The above four (LSRW) have to be read and followed in the same order of appearance. We are born, we start listening. It is followed by imitation of the sounds we have been hearing all this while. Speaking happens as an attempt to articulate what has been listened to. We can understand that whereas Listening is a Receptive faculty, speaking is an Expressive one. After getting the basic training in Listening followed by Speaking, we are introduced to a Script, which is of a language. We start 'identifying' the symbols-shapes-codes-letter of the language. Once we are able to recognise and differentiate between them, the crayons come and pencil follows. We are turning literate by drawing the language on a paper. This sequence is visibly a logical order of Learning Communication Skills. One should not try to break it if the aim is to master the 'communication skills'.
Listening has been defined as a "thoughtful attention one pays to what is heard". It explains much of what Listening should be. We hear sounds and make out a meaning out of them and curate a response, quick or delayed, but for sure we respond. If the sounds don't mean anything or we don't see them as part of the 'interaction' we ignore them, refuse to react, even though we hear the sounds. Listening is the Primary Skill that makes us sensible human. It is not wrong to say that We have turned civilised because we could give 'thoughtful attention' to what was said by the thinkers and changemakers.
We utter something and it gets a response. If so, it is speaking. We make sounds, in a defined or accepted language and the receiver/listener is able to pay "thoughtful attention", the activity of speaking gets done. Oral Communication is the other name of Speaking Skills or Spoken Communication. This skill makes us look smart amid a pool of people who have been listening things but do not express by their vocal chords. Oral Communication/Speaking Skills are crucial in the professional world now. The Paralanguage features of Pitch, Tone, Intonation, Accent etc play a big role in taking us to a good place in Speaking.
Initially, we could do the following types of reading (described by NCERT, Reading Development Cell):
- Children perfectly identify the letter and they can read the words by connecting the letter.
- Children/Beginners are able to read word-by-word from written or printed material.
- Children are reading only the contents/books/pages/worksheets that are handed over to them by their class teachers or parents. Basically, they read the academic/curriculum books that are made for a subject.
Do you expect that by any of these READING processes, a reader can ever experience the JOY of READING? Of course, NOT!
Our Reading has to fluent and we must be able to GET THE MEANING of WHAT WE READ! This is possible with practice and practice can happen only when we do it. Reading is a Literacy Skills and it is indeed a wonderful possession for those who can decode a script.
Sir Francis Bacon said: "Reading makes a full man; Conference a ready man; and Writing an exact man."
Reading gives you an immense amount of Knowledge.
Conference/Speaking/Discussion/Interaction enable readiness in you to express your views.
Writing: When you put your thoughts, knowledge in Written Words, it makes you an 'exact' man/Communicator. The world knows what is documented or recorded. In this case, even the voice recording can be considered as 'written'. We post things on Social Media or we write them with a pen or pencil, all these are our WRITINGS. It is not just about handwriting which needs to be neat, it is more about the words we select in usage and the positioning of words, per se, sentence structure. Grammar plays a very important role here. Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity (of thought and expression) is vital for Impressive Writing Skills.
Let the world know you by the way you have taught yourself these Fantastic Four Skills of Communication.