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Why do we communicate?

Communication can be described as a tool that people utilize to exercise their influence on others, motivate people around them, bring about changes in other people’s attitudes and create and maintain relationships. Since communication makes a significant part of people’s active lives and social activities, there are various reasons why we communicate including:

  1. To provide information: A bank announcing reduction in interest rates, a teacher demonstrating a procedure to students, a personal virtual assistance software explaining procedures for using a phone to a user are all forms of communication to provide information.
  2. To persuade: Communication helps people to convince others to do what they desire. For instance, advertisers display models on clothes to persuade people to buy them and parents patting their children to make the stop crying. These examples have the same objective of persuading even though the communication employed is discordant.
  3. To seek information: Communication can also be utilized to seek information, for instance, a student asking for further clarification on a certain concept or instruction from the teacher, a person asking for direction to a particular place and a police officer making enquiries regarding a case.
  4. To express emotions: People also use communication to express emotions such as happiness, fear, satisfaction, sorrow or disappointment with appropriate words and gestures (Communication Theory, 2019).Why do we communicate?

Why study communication theory in an education core course?

It is vital to study communication theory in an education core course because communication skill is not language specific. In other words, it is not as though speakers of a certain language possess refined communication skills while speakers of other languages possess unrefined communication skills. Instead, communication skill relates to the culture of the group to which the people belong. This means that all messages that people receive or send tend to be processed by a predetermined mental filter. This mindset or mental-filter is forged by friends, family, school, neighborhood and society, and is what makes individuals discern each other better.

Albeit communication exist among certain species of birds, animals and insects, it is mostly limited to some movements or noises such as crying and chirping and is connected to their instinctive needs of preying, hunting and mating. Human communication has various objectives and is more intricate and varied compared to animal communication. This can be attributed to the utilization of language, as well as, written and oral codes (Communication Theory, 2019). Moreover, communication ranges from simple facial expressions or gestures to advanced technologies, reiterating the need for studying communication theory in an education core course.

Communicative Competence as it applies to education-why do we communicate?

Communicative language teaching entails developing language proficiency via interactions embedded in meaningful contexts. According to Johnson (2008), this approach to teaching avails authentic opportunities for learning that go beyond memorization and repetition of grammatical patterns in isolation. Based on this understanding, a core idea of the communicative approach to language teaching is communicative competence; which refers to the learner’s ability to discern and utilize language effectively to communicate in authentic school and social environments. There are four components of communicative competence including:

  • Linguistic: relates to fathoming and utilizing language conventions, vocabulary and syntax.
  • Discourse: accounts for the ability of people to connect sentences to formulate a coherent discourse into a meaningful whole (Brown, 2007).
  • Strategic: relates to the nonverbal and verbal communication strategies used to compensate for breakdowns in communication.
  • Socio-linguistic: relates to Hymes’ social rules of language use.Why do we communicate?









Brown, H. (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching (5th ed.). New York: Pearson


Communication Theory. (2019). Why do we communicate?. Retrieved from

Why do we communicate?

Johnson, M. (2008). Philosophy of Second Language Acquisition. Yale University Press.