The following vocabulary is useful for understanding and discussing communication and language.
Communicating without speaking
- Body language – how a person positions themselves (e.g. facing someone, looking at the floor, crossing their arms) that tells us how someone feels.
- Non-verbal communication – similar to sign language, but this can be clear, pre-arranged signals. A policeman directing traffic, for example, often uses his/her arms to tell drivers where to go, when to stop etc – this is non-verbal communication.
- Sign language – use of the hands to show words and meaning used by (and to communicate to) deaf people.
- Mother tongue – (also called ‘Native language’ or ‘First language’) this is the language you were brought up listening to and speaking
- Bilingual – the ability to speak fluently and accurately in two languages
- Multilingual – the ability to speak fluently and accurately in more than two languages
- Polyglot – a person who is multilingual