Communication seems to be the hardest word

Aggiornamento: 7 ott

I have been spending the last few days mulling over the difference between speaking and communicating, especially when you need to do so in a foreign language.

It is so common for my students to fall under the spell of wanting to speak that they end up forgetting they also need to communicate. Let me clarify this. According to the Cambridge Dictionary 'to speak' means 'to say words, to use the voice, or to have a conversation with someone'.

However, 'to communicate' means 'to share information with others by speaking, writing, moving your body or using other signals'. Interestingly, 'speaking' as a noun becomes 'the act or skill of giving a speech at a public event' but as the speaker moves on the stage or enunciates behind a lectern, isn't this communication at its finest? I am digressing.

Communication is at the heart of any meaningful interaction and is the hardest skill to master even within your own cultural space. I believe that when speaking and teaching English as a foreign language, focus on communication should be at the core of any exchange. Have you ever had to apologise to someone because your words came across as offensive even if you did not meant to be rude? If so, you know exactly where I am coming from (and no pun intended!).

Un po' di aiuto - keywords

mulling over = rimurginare

to fall under the spell = essere sotto l'incantesimo (del voler parlare inglese)

According to = secondo

enunciates behind a lectern = enuncia dietro ad un leggio

at its finest = al suo meglio

digressing = divagando

meaningful interaction = interazione significativa

to master = da dominare/padroneggiare

at the core of any exchange = al centro di qualsiasi scambio (verbale e comunicativo in questo caso)

came across = è stato interpretato/capito

to be rude = essere maleducato/scortese

no pun intended = è una battuta accidentale; si riferisce qui ai due significati di 'coming from' = provenienza/nazionalità (gli italiani tendono ad essere più diretti nel loro modo di comunicare rispetto ad un britannico) e 'coming from'= da dove arriva la mia esperienza/quello che ho provato.

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