It was difficult to find more than ten communication behaviours in my general days. Fortunately, I had a very busy day last week. This day was a common working day to me, but with many interpersonal communication behaviours. I recorded these behaviours in my logs. It included oral communication, non-verbal communication, literal communication, and mixed communication.
There are many communication models like perception, self-maintenance, self-disclosure, word use, effective expression, and paraphrasing. I am very interesting in other three models. They are “effective listening,” “non-verbal behaviour” and “directness vs. Indirectness.”
In my study, I am going to analyse the logs and the data I collected with Hymes’ Speaking theories in these three models. I expect to find whether I am directness or indirectness, my listening is effective or not. I also want to know how important the non-verbal behaviour is.
To go out my exercise, I had a three-step plan. Firstly, I was going to read the course readings and textbooks to review the interpersonal communication theories and prepared one day that many communication behaviours would happen. Secondly, I was going to use the classification system to record these behaviours as my logs. Finally, analyse the data with the structure given in the assignment requirements, discuss them, and try to find some reflections. In this way, I think I can understand the interpersonal communication theories much better than before and have some personal experience for my future.
Hymes (1974) defined the various factors that are involved in speaking. He uses the word Speaking as an acronym for the various factors he deems to be relevant (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). When I read the course readings and textbooks, I understood the classification system as follows.
“Setting and Scene”: Setting refers to the time and place. Scene refers to the abstract psychological setting, or the cultural definition of the occasion (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). In different places, like boss’ office and leagues’ offices, employees feel quite different when they speak. Even in same place, if the scene is different, like holding party in a hall and holding a funeral in the same hall, speakers must use different way to communicate with others.
“Participants” include various combinations of speaker-listener, addressor-addressee, or sender-receiver. They generally fill certain socially specified roles (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). In communication behaviour, there must be various roles (like listeners and speakers, sender-receiver and so on). Sometimes, the roles can be changed (like in conversations). Sometimes, the roles are constant (like in a political speech).
“Ends” refers to the conventionally recognized and expected outcomes of an exchange as well as to the personal goals that participants seek to accomplish on particular occasions (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). Communication behaviours all have certain or recognizable social end in view. Likewise, examinations consist of handing out the test papers, announcing the test rules, writing the answers, handing in the final papers, etc. However, the examiners and examinees have different personal goals obviously.
“Act sequence” refers to the actual form and content of what is said: the precise words used, how they are used, and the relationship of what is said to the actual topic at hand (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). Many linguists interest in how to use precise words to communicate, and what kind of words should be use in some particular occasions. The ways we use different words to describe the same thing lead different communication results.
“Key” refers to the tone, manner, or spirit in which a particular message is conveyed: light-hearted, serious, precise, pedantic, mocking, sarcastic, pompous, and so on (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). When people communicate each other, their “keys” are very important. If their ” keys” show some different things from what they are saying, their “key” might become to the main meaning of the communication. For example, people had rather believe you are laughing at them if you say “good” but with a mocking face.
“Instrumentalities” refer to the choice of channel, e.g., oral, written, or telegraphic, and to the actual forms of speech employed, such as the language dialect, code, or register that is chosen (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). Channels also influence people’s communication. Think about our experience, something we can’t speak out orally but can write them in a letter. On the other hand, different channels usually have different meanings. Letters are more formal than oral in business environment. When you want to persuade someone or make others trust you, oral is more effective.
“Norms of interaction and interpretation” refer to the specific behaviours and properties that attach to speaking and also to how these may be viewed by someone who does not share them (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). This factor often relates with different culture or different social groups. A typical example is that western people look at people’s eyes when they talking, but Asian people feel uncomfortable about it.
“Genre” refers to clearly demarcated types of utterance, such things as poems, proverbs, riddles, sermons, prayers, lectures, and editorials (Wardhaugh, R. 1992). Compared with casual speech, these are all in specific ways. They only happen on certain occasions and have their own particular characters. I have lectures every day, so I think it is important for students to understand “Genre.”
My classification system was based on these nine factors but edited in my point of view. In my communication experience, the factor “Gender” also influences the communication behaviours, so I added it into my classification system. My final classification system included ten factors. I was going to record my communication behaviours with them. In the table below, I described the relationship between my factors and Hymes’ Speaking factors.