Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

As regards verbal and non-verbal communication in the context of language learning / teaching, we must point out that acquisition of verbal skills has set the standard, whereas non-verbal communication skills have been largely overlooked. On the other hand, non-verbal skills are relatively easy to teach because students use them when communicating in their own native language, although they do it unconsciously. So our aim as English teachers is to help students use those skills when they are communicating in English.

I would also like to stress the fact that the terms verbal and oral should not be confused. Verbal communication means communication through words, and these words may be spoken or written. A verbal translation, for example, is a translation made word for word. The term “oral”, on the other hand, excludes the written form of language.

Following Canale & Swain, communication is understood as the exchange and negotiation of information but, at least, 2 individuals, through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, oral of written modes, production & comprehension processes.

There are two forms of communication: Verbal & non-verbal communication.

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