Some scholars estimate that speaking comprises 75 percent of all human communication. Do you have to be able to speak in order to be able to engage in human interaction? How is human language capability different from the communications of other species? We will consider the answers to these questions in looking at the topic of speaking, as speaking is impossible without language.
What comes to mind when you're asked to describe speech or speaking to someone? At first it seems very simple. You translate your thoughts to vocal verbal expressions and that's called speaking. Now consider sign language: is it speaking? And what about cars and other machines that give verbal instructions: are they speaking?
In this Building Skills article we will explore a variety of ways in which you can think about speaking. We will also consider three elements in effective speaking: content, expression and meaning.
In the How To section we will consider the uniqueness of human language skills by exploring some animal language studies. Then we will give you a chance to explore the wide range of meanings for the term "speaking" through some interactive exercises.
At the completion of all of the segments of this Building Skills article, you should: