IS THERE MORE TO LANGUAGE THAN JUST SPEAKING?
I am finding it absolutely impossible to define communication in a single sentence, in a single idea, or in a single thought. There are many elements to include in effective communication, and they are all equally important when learning a new language or even just day-to-day communication in your native language. Imagine if all you knew how to do was speak. Imagine you didn’t understand body language, facial cues, or even how to listen. How successfully could you get your point across? How effective could your communication be? The Women's Incubation Services for Entrepreneurs (WISE) program at TYO believes it is of importance to sharpen all aspects of a businesswoman’s communication skills, no matter what level English she is speaking. Whether they practice delivering speeches, peer reviewing each other’s work, hashing out grammatical rules, or talking about what body language tells us about a person, the WISE English classes are honing these skills through the common medium of English. We’ve had fun polishing these skills by giving a variety of speeches ranging from debates on cloning to demonstrating how to make a cappuccino, listening to popular songs and interpreting the lyrics, watching good, bad, and ugly interviews, and writing for a wide range of audiences.
These eager businesswomen are gearing up to travel the globe, attend conferences, speak at international events, and advance their local businesses to benefit their community. As confident and knowledgeable women they are ready to not only represent themselves at home and abroad but also represent their country. Without taking the time to practice their communication skills in English now, they wouldn’t have the change to do down the road.
As the Spring 2013 WISE English classes draw to a close this week I am reminded of how lucky I was to grow up speaking, hearing, and interacting in English. Remembering that speaking isn’t everything when it comes to learning to effectively communicate in English, but also practicing human interactions, facial cues, and body language are essential in achieving fluency in any foreign form of communication.
Emily is an intern at TYO in Nablus.