The Importance of Language and Culture

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, Linguistic relativity Pages: 7 (2122 words) Published: May 31, 2011
The Importance of Language and Culture
Diana Everett
Instructor Terrance Frazier
April 04, 2011

The Importance of Language and Culture

There are two forms of communications--verbal and non-verbal. Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Language is not the only source of communication, there are other means also. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact. Meaning can also be communicated through object or artifacts (such as clothing, hairstyles or architecture), symbols, and icons (or graphics). Speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Dance is also regarded as a form of nonverbal communication. Verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and interpersonal communications all play an important role in different languages and cultures. Sign languages and writing are generally understood as forms of verbal communication, as both make use of words — although like speech, both may contain paralinguistic elements and often occur alongside nonverbal messages. Nonverbal communication can occur through any sensory channel — sight, sound, smell, touch or taste. Nonverbal communication is important as: "When we speak (or listen), our attention is focused on words rather than body language. But our judgment includes both. An audience is simultaneously processing both verbal and nonverbal cues. Body movements are not usually positive or negative in and of themselves; rather, the situation and the message will determine the appraisal" (Givens, 2000, p. 4).

Hair color, gender, race, origin, clothing, appearance, and personality send nonverbal interactions during communication. Communication can be judged many different ways and that is why it is important to understand the different types of communication. Communication failures often result in lack of knowledge of communicating skills. A lot of people do not know or understand what kind of communication they are develop with their appearance. Verbal interactions are not used quite as frequently or not noticed as much. On average, to a moderate degree, women are better at nonverbal communication than are men (Hall, 1979).Verbal communications include body language, facial expressions, eye contact, paralanguage, environment, and the use of silence and time. Several thinks take part in the importance of communication. The world revolves because of communication. Without education to teach us how to communicate we would not be able to resolve important matters in everyday society and at home. Children learn culture through their parents, because they are the primary people in thier lives to teach them how to talk. That is why when children are born they speak and communicate like their family, environment, and origin. It is very important to teach children what communication means rather than just teaching them how to talk. The knowledge of understanding communication is important to be successful at communicating. Language and culture play a huge role in education. Without education the world would be very unorganized. We would not know how to even sign our name or manage our finances. It is important to learn different languages so you can communicate with other origins when needed. You may have to communicate with someone who speaks another language at your local grocer, the bank, the school, the courthouse. There are a wide range of languages in which people speak, and sometimes just because they live in the same country as you it does not mean they know how to speak the same language.When people encounter that can’t speak the same language, verbal communication is the only other way to communicate. Verbal...

References: Givens, D.B. (2000) Body speak: what are you saying? Successful Meetings (October) 51
Hall Judith (1979): Gender, gender roles, and nonverbal communication skills. Pp. 32-67 in R. Rosenthal (ed.): Skill in nonverbal communication: Individual differences. Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Hain.
Oneil D. (1998-2006) Language and Thought Processes.
Otto, B. (2006) Excerpt from Language Development in Early Childhood, p. 64-68
Downs (2011): Different Cultural Patterns.
McLeod J. A. (1994) Understanding Cultural Differences, p. 16-24
Kaiser & Rasminsky (2003) Culture and Language.
Salovey P and Grewal D (2005) The Science of Emotional Intelligence. Current directions in psychological science, Volume 14 -6
Bressert Steve (2009) What is Emotinal Intellegence? P. 52
Kilgour D., P.C., Edmonton M.P.(1999) Southern Alberta Heritage Language Association
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