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Communication is very important in our lives. Like a saying says Man does not live by words alone; despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them. As we all know we need to

communicate to others not only verbally but there are also different types of communication especially in this technology era. Based on Merriam Webster online dictionary Communication means an act or instance of transmitting information verbally or in written form. It is also a process by which information is exchange between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviour. Carl Rogers (1952) defined communication as understanding the conversation and interpreting the message accurately. We communicate everyday in our lives. We communicate when we share ideas, feelings and experience. To make sure that the process of communication is success there are a few strategies and skills of effective communication. Communicating effectively is a two-way process, which is sending the right message that is also being correctly received and understood by the other person. In order communication to be effective, it is important to understand how the people you are interacting with may interpret your message. As we all know we obtain information through our senses, and it is therefore

recommended that your communication includes aspects of the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic language to appeal to all listeners.

Using English to communicate is a challenge especially to us Malaysian as it is our second and for some the third language. English Language was introduced in Malaysia from the time when the British ruled what was then Malaya to the present moment. When the British came to colonize the country, they brought with them their culture, their language and their beliefs. They introduced the English language as the medium of instruction in the primary and secondary schools. After Independence, nationalistic sentiments arose and in 1970, Bahasa Malaysia was introduced as the medium of instruction in the schools. With the advancement in science and technology and the advent of globalization, English regained part of its lost status. It is now taught in the schools both at the primary and secondary school level and it is also used to teach Science and Mathematics. Besides, it is the medium of instruction in the private colleges. Currently, the mastery of the English language is much encouraged at all levels of education from the primary to the tertiary level. Moreover, English is much needed in the commercial and business sectors and as a result, besides the government-sponsored schools, many private and

commercial institutions have mushroomed and English is taught for specific purposes. In order to have an effective communication in English we need to know what is communication how it works and its theories and the skills needed to communicate effectively.


Oral Communication

Oral communication is communication through mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each other whether it is direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Not only that, speeches, presentations, discussions are all forms of oral communication. Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication matter is of temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face to face communication such as meetings, lectures, conferences, interviews, etc is significant so as to build a rapport and trust.

Many people owe their success to their ability to give good presentations and to participate confidently in discussion, despite the fact that both are initially a major source of anxiety for most of us. As with any behaviour-based skill there are those who are 'gifted', but that does not mean that effective discussion techniques, charismatic public speaking and presentation skills can not be learnt. Through learning the techniques you will also develop the ability to understand how the communication process works, so that you can adjust your approach to suit your purpose. Clarity of oral communication and well-developed interpersonal skills, when interacting in a group or one-to-one, are attributes that make us more successful students, professionals and all round communicators.


Models of Communication

There are three models of communication which are Linear Model, Interactive model and also Transactional Model.

2.1.1 Linear Model The Linear Model is a one way process of communication. It is also known as the transmission model as communication is transmitted in a straight forward manner from the sender to the receiver

2.1.2 Interactive Model The Interactive model is when one person speaks and the other person speaks. No feedback is done in between speaking. For example, in a press conference. The question is asked of the press and that person answers. The person asking the question does not provide any sort of feedback for what had been said.

2.1.3 Transactional Model The Transaction Model is a model that sees communication or negotiation of meaning in two or more parties responding to their environment and each other. In transactional model the

elements in communication are independent. The person in the communication act is both the speaker and the listener. This means that in this communication sending and receiving messages can be done simultaneously.

The implications in the transactional model; a) Communication is an ongoing and continuously changing process. This means that you are changing, the people around you that you communicate are changing and your environment is also changing.


Elements exist in the relation to all the other elements which brings interdependence where there can be no source without a receiver and no message without a source.


Four Types of Communication

Communication is exchanging information in the form of messages, symbols, thoughts, signs and opinions. There are many different types of communication, depending on the medium used for communication or the way in which information is exchanged. Let us discuss the basic four types of communication. These four types of communication are as follows:


Verbal Communication

Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said to have originated from sounds and gestures. There are many languages spoken in the world. The bases of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area, age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and is again classified into two types which are interpersonal communication and public speaking.


Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also included in nonverbal communication. Body language is a non-verbal way of communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Body posture matters a lot when you are communicating verbally to someone. Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like, shaking hands, pushing, patting and

touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Reading facial expressions can help you know a person better. When using English using non-verbal communication can help you communicate better as it helps people to understand better.


Written Communication

Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good written communication is essential for business purposes and also social and career. Written communication is practiced in many different languages. E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom the communication is intended.


Visual communication

The last type of communication out of the four types of communication is the visual communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography,

photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.

These are the four types of communication. The different types of communication media are increasing day by day to ensure clarity and eliminate the ambiguity in communication.


Forms of Oral Communication

There are a few forms of Oral Communication. For this purpose I will only discuss Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication and Public Communication /Public Speaking.


Interpersonal Communication

Mastering the skill of effective interpersonal communication is one of the major keys to happier, healthier and joyous relationships with the people in your life. Almost every relationship has communication problems or challenges of one kind or another. When we communicate well with other people many of those issues will no longer exist. Effective communication skills work equally well with your family, partner, children, teenagers, friends, and at work. Effective communication is a skill. We can learn these skills to be able to communicate effectively. Our lives will be much more successful, happier, and we will achieve much more by not wasting time and energy on arguments etc.


Small group communication

Small Group communication is communication that is carried out within a small group. In small group communication, interaction can be done verbally or non-verbally where members of the group try to influence one another. A small group is generally defined as a group that consists of at least three members and at the maximum around twelve to fifteen members. A group that has just two members or more than fifteen members would not come in the category of a small group. Small group usual can be seen in workplace or in schools or higher education. The basic characteristics of small group are: i. ii. iii. Three or more people Face to face interaction A span of time


A common goal or task 2nd ed. NewYork: McGraw-Hill)

(Extracted from Shaw, M. E. (1976). Group Dynamics: the psychology of Small Group Behavior.


Public Communication/Public Speaking

Public communication can be defined as the sending and receiving of messages on a large scale that impacts groups of people. For the communication to be considered effective, the messages must be clearly and accurately sent and received with full comprehension.

(Extracted from Effective Public Communication | 6672164_ effective-public-communication.html#ixzz1Ru8Vo0vz). A few examples of Public Speaking are:

Speaking to employees Presenting an idea at a staff meeting Selling to customers face to face Phone selling Giving a talk

All these situations utilize the same set of effective communication skills. With knowledge and practice, anyone can speak confidently whatever the situation. But theres a whole lot more benefits to a business when your staff learns effective communication skills. Effective communication skills when applied to can:

Overcome the fear of public speaking Help anyone become a public speaker Stop boring presentations - a waste of everyones time effort and money Help managers and supervisors inspire their staff Help a meeting stay on track Give everyone the means to get their message across clearly and concisely Save time Increase sales Increase productivity Become skilled as a presenter, to persuade others

Build trust and rapport between team members, and between staff and clients Speak confidently to anyone Selling yourself at an interview which can push your career Getting your point across in a meeting Having a one-to-one meeting with your boss Influencing your work colleagues


Importance of English Language

After knowing what oral communication is, the forms of communication, models and also types of communication, now let us discuss on why we need to communicate effectively using English in various social contexts. As e all in this globalization era, to be able to communicate in English is an advantage and it may be the best thing you can do to improve your life. English is use widely around the world. In this era of technologies information through the internet are mostly in English. Therefore it would be fun and easy for you to have access information needed just by clicking on the computers. English is also important in different aspect of life such as;


English for Study

English is important for people who are studying. English is spoken or used widely around the world it is also the international language of diplomacy, business, science, technology, banking, computing, medicine, aviation, engineering, tourism, and so on. Therefore using English

especially in our studies will help us to achieve greater success. We can communicate with others around the world and share ideas and information based on the subject or matter we are studying. Not only that, to be able to communicate in English will enable you to acquire knowledge easily. For students, acquiring knowledge using the internet nowadays is a must. As we know most information in the net uses English. Therefore to get hold of the information and to understand it we need to know the language. Communicating effectively in English can also

help you to pursue career such as to become a salesperson. So like it or not, English is a very important language to learn how to speak.


English in Workplace

English in the workplace nowadays is a common thing. In this era of globalization where the government is encouraging foreign investment knowing English is a must. Communicating effectively also helps to create a harmonious relationship among employers and employee. It allows smooth flow of ideas and information. English can help you to push your career forward. If you want a good job in business, technologies or science well knowing English is a must.


English for Social Network

English is also use widely now in everyday usage among friends, family and also in businesses. People found it as a way to improve their English by using it around friends and family members. Not only that, English is used widely around the world to build new friendship. This is especially using the social network such as Facebook. Finding new friends around the world and also communicating with friends whether in Malaysia or in foreign countries helps us to have wide knowledge of the world. Therefore, English is the language that we use when we want to build friendship around the world as it is the most common language that people know.



As a conclusion, to be able to communicate effectively in English in different social contexts is an advantage to us and it is one of the most essential skills that we Malaysians are now in the process of acquiring. It is important for us to know the different forms of communication to enable us to communicate effectively based on the different context using English. We must also be aware of the level of English our audience are, so that the message will not be misinterpret. Using different forms of oral communication and using non-verbal communication and also visual can also help a smooth communication. There is also a need for interpersonal

communication which includes small group and public communication/public speaking to be able to fulfil our communication needs in other various contexts. Communication comes

naturally as we communicate all the time. To know the functions and the strategies of an effective communication is important so as to acquire knowledge, pass information, persuading others and develop goodwill as in maintaining a harmonious relationship with the people around us. (2512 words)