By Graeme Burton; Richard Dimbleby

We study such a lot of our conversation talents with no consciously operating at them. "Teaching conversation" units out what these abilities are and indicates methods of constructing them. This publication could be of curiosity to academics of verbal exchange experiences.

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A stranger seeking directions from a local person is seeking to obtain information, but he or she is also inevitably making human contact with another person. Clearly this section has relevance to the kind of tasks that one is likely to set, as well as to the forms of communication chosen in order to achieve the purposes for a given audience. In this sense, there is value in focussing the pupils’s attention on principles of communication—indeed in teaching these by stealth. Examples of use would be: to inform, to warn, to persuade, to encourage, to apologize, to explain, to entertain.

One final point—examples of communication do not simply divide into written and visual for our convenience. The value of creating leaflets or wall charts, for example, is precisely that they combine words with visuals. Written formats Letters; articles; questionnaires; checklists; fact sheets; memoranda; dialogue; short reports; scripts. Visual—general Leaflets; booklets; posters; wallcharts; many advertisements. Visual—graphic Flow charts (algorithms); schedules; graphs; pie charts; bar charts; pictograms; ground plans; grids; logos.

Our own view is that one cannot teach any communication course for a year or more without addressing some of 2, 3, and 4, and a little bit of 1. How one deals with the relevant topics and concepts is of course another matter. It is understood that in the A level one can be more explicit about concepts, and cover all the categories (though extrapersonal communication is still regarded as being a little bit esoteric, even so —see p. 19 below). Nevertheless, as we have said, even on a vocational course, the concepts must be lurking close behind the activities.

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