Non-verbal Communication

We will now focus on NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION.

Non- Verbal communication: That is any transmission of signals accomplished by other means than spoken and written words, such as: body movements, physical characteristics, paralanguage, tactile conduct and artifacts.

Messages are sometimes communicated by non verbal signals. The following are typical contextual non verbal elements:

1. Body movements including gestures, movements of the body, limbs, hands, head, feet, facial expressions (smiling), eye behaviour such as blinking, direction of sight and also posture.
2. Physical characteristics include physical appearance, general attraction, body scents, height, hair, skin tone (these characteristics are constant).
3. Paralanguage: refers to how something is said and not what is said. It uses the non verbal vocal signs surronding speech (tone, qualities of the voice, rythm).
4. Proxemics: the use and perception of social and personal space. The individual determines his own space based on social and personal rules.
5. Tactile conduct: kissing, hitting, guiding, etc.
6. Artifacts: include the manipulation of objects, which can act as non-verbal stimuli, with interacting persons.These artifacts can be: perfume, clothing, lipstick ...
7. Surroundig factors: this category includes those elements that intervene in human relations which are not a direct part of it: furniture, interior decoration.

The purpose of non verbal communication is to:

a) to communicate emotions
b) to regulate communication/conventions.
c) To interpret.
d) To identify social status, etc.

The cultural specificness of these elements should be highlited (Spanish and English gestures, for instance, are different).

Meaningful language includes a knowledge of these aspects for true communication.
On the other hand, the importance of drama, mime, action songs, role-plays, simulation of real life situations to include as many non-verbal elements as possible cannot be underestimated.

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La comunicacion en la clase de lengua extranjera: comunicacion verbal y no verbal. Estrategias extralinguisticas: reacciones no verbales a mensajes en diferentes contextos

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