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ENGLISH FOR ORAL COMMUNICATION
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Communication, as define by the Oxford Online Dictionary, is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. There are many other definitions for communication, coined by dictionaries and academician. However, the keyword to this essentially important aspect of our life is - effective. The effectiveness of communication extends the meaning and it’s worthiness to the process. Thus, this paper - “Communicating effectively in spoken English in selected social contexts” will highlight the importance, the mechanics of the oral communication and their effect on our personal and professional achievement.
One of the most universal element within the communication process is oral communication, or, as we commonly refer to, as speaking. As we were born, it is the sound of our cry that indicates to the people around us that we are physically all right. It is in fact our first communication with others. As we progress, we begin to imitate sounds and finally master the aspect of speech production. According to Matthias R. Mehl,Simine Vazire, Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, Richard B. Slatcher and James W. Pennebaker (Science Magazine 6 July 2007: Vol. 317 no. 5834 p. 82 ) the average man and woman spoke about 16,000 words per day. Apart from 7 hours of sleeping time, an average human would utter 15 words for each walking minute. Given these facts, oral communication is indeed an essential part of our daily life.
In Malaysia, the need of fluency in English is in high demand. Either for studying or for workingpurposes, the competitive edge would always favour those with a fluent command of the English language. Segmenting the speaking skill within this context, eloquent speakers, being students or workers, not only would be noted by their peers but would also give them the advantage in their field. Despite being the main factor for initial source of anxiety to most of us, many people have owed their success to their ability to give good presentation or participate confidently in a discussion.
Speaking skill, however, is a productive skill that needs a lot of practice, besides mastering the fundamentals. It is a spectrum of skills that are inter-related. These skills, nicely woven with the fundamentals, would produce an eloquent speaker, not only for personal glory but for the general benefits to all involved with the process. History had shown that powerful orators such as Hitler and Sukarno of Indonesia had proven their ability to persuade and influence their listeners.
The Mechanics of Oral Communication
Oral communication is as old as human exsistence. However, it was not until the 20th century that scientist begin to study the process.
Harold Dwight Lasswell, a renowned communication theorist defines communication as “Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect.” Carl Rogers (1952) says that “Real communication occurs... when we listen with understanding – to see how the expressed idea and attitude from the other person’s point of view, to sense how it feels to him, to achieve his frame of reference in regard to the things he is talking about.” From the two definitions, a generalisation of the mechanics of communication could be translated as a process of conveying meaningful information and able to give understanding to the receiver as intended by the speaker. This concur with Barnlund’s (2008) transactional model of communication which proposed individuals are simultaneously engaging in the sending and receiving of messages.
Looking and studying theses definitions, it can be concluded, in simple and practical...