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Communication facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
50th Anniversary of the Selma Marches - President Obama speech 1
President Obama speaks at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches

What comes to mind when you hear the word communication? Perhaps you think of someone giving a speech like President Barack Obama in the photo.

Or maybe you think of texting, phoning, emailing - these are all examples of communication and there are many more. Let’s explore:

All communication involves skills like reading, talking, typing, observing and writing. One of the most important communication skills is listening.

When we communicate, we are sending or receiving a message.

What exactly is a message?

A message is a discrete unit of communication and can be information, facts, opinions, feelings, sensations, stories, news or ideas.

A message can be verbal (have words) like an email.

A message can also be non-verbal (have no words) like these emojis. An emoji can be a facial expression or a hand gesture.

Sometimes, facial expressions and hand gestures are used together like this emoji.

Noto Emoji Pie 1f917

When people have a conversation, they use many facial expressions and hand gestures, too. This is called body language.

Hand gestures have different meanings in other countries. To prevent misunderstanding, it is a good idea to be aware of the meaning of hand gestures before visiting another country or talking to a person from another country.

Music and art can convey emotional messages and are also forms of communication.

A song can be a combination of lyrics (words) and a voice or instruments that can convey emotion.

A comic book can have words and also pictures.

Young boy reading manga

Braille is a verbal system of “touch” reading and writing for blind people. Raised dots represent letters of the alphabet.

Sign language is used by and with deaf people. Sign language is non-verbal and combines hand gestures, facial expressions and body movements to symbolize words. It is used along with verbal finger spelling where various hand gestures represent letters of the alphabet. Some deaf people are also able to "read the lips" of speaking people.

Signs and symbols are types of non-verbal communication. For example:

Thailand road sign ต-9.svg This sign means curvy road ahead.
Diver Down flag.svg This flag symbol means there are scuba divers below.

The way messages are transmitted is called the medium. Examples include:

Electronic Medium Non Electronic Medium
Email Regular mail letter
Text Newspaper
Radio broadcast Book
E-Book A baby on your lap cooing
Digital news Shaking hands

Three things must be present for communication to take place:

  1. A message is sent.
  2. A message is received.
  3. A message is understood.

Sometimes there is interference that causes confusion or prevents the communication from happening. For example:

Perhaps, you typed out a text, but forgot to hit send. Or perhaps, you sent the text, but the intended recipient’s phone is not charged. Or perhaps, the recipient received the sent text, but doesn’t understand an abbreviation like LOL. Or maybe your language is not their first language and they don’t understand an idiom you wrote like “break a leg” meaning good luck. In spoken communication, sometimes you just can’t hear the person talking because of other noise or because you have on headphones. Sometimes, the person isn’t speaking clearly or speaking too quietly or you don’t understand the language they are speaking.

Good communication is an important skill in interpersonal relations, work performance, political cooperation and government – in just about anything you can think of. So, work to improve your writing and speaking skills, and especially, your reading and listening skills.

Related pages

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Article author: Diane Nelson. Diane taught communication and other subjects in public school for 23 years. She is also a public health nutritionist, and taught nutrition at NYU. Diane has traveled extensively throughout the world. She presently teaches ESL part time.
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Communication Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.