Communication requires language as a medium to ensure that the receiver understands the intended meaning of the message. Therefore, language is a system of written symbols and sounds used to convey messages between individuals of a particular region. The language varies depending on the context and environment. Speech entirely depends on the language and meaning to communicate a message to the audience. This paper explains the role of language and meaning in a speech communication class.
According to ( ), language consists of a set of written symbols and words used for writing or talking by people in the same geographic area. However, due to globalization and immigration, people in different geographic regions can share the same language. Besides, language finds application in both writing and speaking. There are about 7000 human languages in the world including both natural languages and dialects. Moreover, sign language is also considered to be a language since it allows humans to exchange symbolic utterances to achieve communication. Effective use of oral and written language is essential in the achievement of communication goals. However, one needs to clearly understand the language dynamics such as grammar and vocabulary to communicate effectively using the language.
Communication aims to generate a meaning such that the receiver can understand what the sender intends to communicate. The decoding and encoding communication models generate meaning which the receiver of the message understands after engaging both the nervous and sensory system. Thus, the receiver needs to listen in verbal language and observe the signs and symbols in the sign language. Each word represents a specific object or idea. Also, each sign or symbol used in the sign language represents an object or an idea. Hence, the receiver needs to understand the object or concept represented by a specific word or a sign for sign language to get the meaning of the whole message. Moreover, there exists either a direct or indirect relationship between a word or symbol and the object the word represents. Therefore, a proper understanding of the relationship between words and objects they represent is necessary when deducing the meaning.
() defines speech communication as “the study of how people generate shared meaning through the use of verbal and nonverbal symbols.” Therefore, speech communication relies on both language and the meaning deduced from the speech in conveying messages. It involves public speaking and communication among small groups where the speaker uses their communication skills to make the audience understand their message. Various aspects of speech communication such as message, channel and feedback necessitate the emphasis on language teaching in a speech communication class. Moreover, speech communication relates words and phrases with objects to deduce the meaning intended by the speaker. However, the audience arrives at the correct meaning of a message through the application of communication skills such as active listening.
In conclusion, both language and meaning are essential aspects of speech communication which makes them a necessary part of speech communication classes. Language is the system of words and symbols used to convey messages between people who understand the words. The language is used to express what the sender means. Therefore correct decoding of the message yields the meaning to the receiver. Both language and meaning are useful in speech communication classes to teach students the critical communications skills required for communicating a message to the audience.