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Types of communication / communicator

The following vocabulary is useful for understanding and discussing types of communication / communicator

Types of spoken communication

  • A discussion – when two or more people discuss a specific matter. It is often a formal situation where topics are discussed, often from different points of view.
  • A conversation – where two or more people talk informally. There may not be a specific topic to discuss or different points of view.
  • A dialogue – very similar to a discussion, although often more formal and with the aim of finding a solution to a specific problem.
  • An interview – a formal meeting where a person is asked questions and their answers are either evaluated or reported.
  • A monologue – a single person speaking for a prolonged period. This is often used in acting, but can also indicate that someone has dominated the conversation and it is only them speaking.
  • A speech – when a speaker talks in front of an audience for a given purpose (e.g. a wedding speech).
  • A lecture – a speech given to an audience or class, especially for teaching purposes
  • A debate – similar to a discussion, but often used as a formal contest of different points of view (e.g. a political debate)

Types of communicator / listener

  • Active listener – someone who listens and asks feedback questions to make sure they understood.
  • Inattentive – someone who does not pay close attention to what is being said or shown

Types of communication

  • Gossip – talking about the personal or private affairs of other people (often based only in rumours, not facts).
  • Hint – an indirect clue or indication, something not said directly (e.g. ‘she hinted that she would like a new computer for her birthday, but didn’t say so directly’).
  • Confession – admitting something that was wrong, illegal or shameful (he gave a confession to the police about the car he stole)

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