Practical tools, activities, and resources
to guide instruction

Instruction - Communication

Communication Activities

Men discussing blueprintsA speaker’s communication skills effect how clearly the speaker can convey meaning to the listener and how much effort the listener has to put into understanding the speaker’s message. Many aspects of language play a role in making what one says more or less understandable to others, such as pronunciation, grammar, word choice, and coherence of ideas. Poor control over any of these areas can affect comprehensibility.

For lower level English learners who do not produce a lot of language, communication is often a struggle on the level of words and phrases because of mispronunciation, misuse of words, or lack of grammatical structure. For higher level learners who can express themselves with more language, communication can be a struggle on the level of sentences and extended speech because of lack of cohesion or precise vocabulary. Although the words themselves may be comprehensible, the overall meaning may be obscured by omission of essential background information or ideas that seem to contradict each other. Communication and comprehensibility of a speaker’s message involve elements such as:

  • Hesitations, fillers (e.g., um, uh), pauses
  • Pronunciation, accent, intonation
  • Clarity, appropriateness, logic of message
  • Cohesion and organization of ideas
  • Accuracy of vocabulary
  • Phrasing
  • Grammar
  • Background and context

Back arrowHome iconNext arrow