In the previous class (12th November 2009),we learnt about an interesting topic PARALANGUAGE. First of all, I give you a brief definition about of what paralanguage is.
*It is about the how we said things and not what is said. Paralanguage is part of the nonverbal communication and takes into account emotions and attitudes.It also may be expressed consciously or unconsciously.If you brings your memory back,you might remember that we listened the word YES in different ways such as: excited,annoyed, sarcastic and many others. This word ,can mean complettely different things (even if this word is expressed in the same sentence), it depends on how it is said because how we say things can change the meaning of the message.
The HOW is a key word in paralanguage.
Paralanguage also involves intnation,empahasis,body langauge , tone of voice,word an syllable stress and so on.I found some categories of it, I think it could be interesting for you. I will try to explain them:
1.- VOCAL QUALIFIERS: This term is also known as TONE OF VOICE. There are many factors that can affected our perception of tone of voice ,increasing loudness or softness. The second group involves raised or lowered pitch,which can involve things like fear or anxiety.
2.- VOCAL DIFERENTIATORS: It refers to another way that how someone says something can be influenced by how it's said. For examples: crying,laughing or speaking in a bad manner.
3.-VOCAL IDENTIFIERS: This category refers to the samll sounds ( expressions -interjections) that we make whe we are speaking but they have a maningg.For example: opps! ah-hah! and many others. These non verbal characteristics affect how we interpret the words.
As I mentioned before,paralangauge involves many elements, another is BODY LANGUAGE. This is an essential language that takes part in our communication, this involves movements of part of the body such as: rising of the eyebrows,crossing fingers,etc.Body language can be expressed unconsciously. For example, when a teacher asks their students about the topic they saw in the previous class, the students move their eyes. It is a signal that they try to remember the topic and this behaviour is expressed unconsciously.
Another example of paralanguage and body language is one we saw in this class. When we practiced the question WOULD YOU PLEASE SIT DOWN? we said it in different ways (friendly-angry- happy), and we noticed taht our tone of voice change as well as our facial expression.
As you can see, PARALANGUAGE involves intonation in our voice ,the speed in which we are speaking ,our movements and all these words where we put emphasis. It plays an important role in our daily life in communication, I think, we as futures teachers must be taken into account this element,because how we say something can make all the difference in our classrom.
Here you can find some interesting articles and a video about this topic: