Introduction to Communicative English…
What is Communication?
The art of communication is as old as mankind itself. It is, in fact, older than the written word or even the
spoken word. Human beings learnt to communicate much before they learnt to speak, read or write. That is
why communication is not unique to human beings. Communication encompasses all living organisms and
pervades the animal world as well.
Human beings have feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes—all of which they have to convey. In other words,
whatever the environment in which they are placed, they have to build links and establish relationships. The
need of communication arises from their desire to express themselves in a meaningful manner. Thus, every
human being has to essentially & effectively communicate with others. We communicate spontaneously all
The word ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin word “communicare” and “communico” which means
“to share” or “to interact” (giving or sharing of information).
Communication can be defined as:
• The process of meaningful interaction among human beings.
• The process by which information and feelings are shared by people through an exchange of verbal
and non-verbal messages.
• The successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior,
speech, writing, or signals.
• A dynamic, interactive process that involves the effective transmission of facts, ideas, thoughts,
feelings and values.
We communicate through words, and non-verbal signs, e.g. Waving of hands, or eye expressions. The ability
to speak fluently, using the right word, in the right order is good communication. It pervades the entire range
of social and professional relationships and plays a key role in our life. However the process of sharing
information is a symbolic interchange, and results in an exchange of meanings and understanding.
Communication is symbolic, because it involves not only words but also symbols and gestures that
accompany the spoken words. In fact, our ability to symbolize makes communication possible.
Characteristics of communication
1. Interchange of information: The basic characteristic of human communication is that it aims at
exchanging information. It is a two-way process. The exchange can be between two or more persons.
It may be at the individual or the organizational level.
2. Continuous process: It is not static. It is constantly subject to change and is dynamic.
3. Mutual understanding: The receiver should receive and understand the message in the manner that
the sender intended him to.
4. Reaction or response: A message becomes communication only when the receiving party
understands and acknowledges it, and also reacts and responds to it.
5. Universal function: Communication is a universal function, which covers all levels of authority.
6. Social activity: Sharing, getting in touch with others, understanding others, attempt to share meaning
and relate to one another is a social activity.