28 Introduction to Module 3

Man in suit giving thumbs up.Overview

This module comprises three chapters of your textbook. In chapter 4, we discuss the nature and functions of language, and how language and speech communities influence interpretation. We explain how message meanings are derived from the words themselves (semantics), the conversational context (pragmatics), and social and cultural contexts (sociolinguistics). Also, specific guidelines for improving skills in construction and interpreting verbal messages are offered.

Chapter 5 is devoted to nonverbal messages, which are essentially all messages that transcend written or spoken words. We discuss the characteristics and types of nonverbal messages and the ways then may compliment, contradict, or substitute for verbal messages, as well as the accuracy of our interpretations of the nonverbal messages sent by others.

Chapter 6 focuses on the listening process. It describes how listening style, listening apprehension and dual approaches to listening affect how well we understand what is being said. The chapter proposes active listening as a way to overcome these challenges.

Learning Objectives

  1. How verbal communication differs from nonverbal communication
  2. The nature of language and characteristics of symbols
  3. The important functions of verbal messages
  4. The codes of nonverbal communication
  5. The impact of nonverbal communication in a variety of situations
  6. Strategies for improvement of nonverbal & verbal communication skills
  7. Difference between hearing and listening
  8. Common problems associated with listening
  9. Different types of listening
  10. Steps to become a better listener



Chapters 3, 4, & 5 from Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies.

Discussion Question 3

Instructions: Please post your answer to this question, using this link. Do not use attachments. Please write in complete sentences. Be sure to edit, spell check and answer all parts of the question with details, explanations, and examples highlighting the course material and your own insights. Remember – this is your chance to show that you have read, understand, and can apply the course material. Your answer should be at least 200 words in length.

DQ 3: Edward Sapir, a linguist, once said, “People who speak different languages live in different worlds, not the same world with different labels.” How do you explain this statement? Does you textbook agree or disagree with this statement? Please provide at least two examples for the textbook to support your answer.

Journal 3: Nonverbal Rules

Choose a cultural space that you are interested in studying (e.g., club, gym, concert, church, etc.) Visit this space on 2-3 occasions to observe how people interact there. Focus on one aspect of nonverbal communication (e.g., eye-contact, touch, proximity, etc.). List some rules that seem to govern this aspect of nonverbal communication. For example, if you are focusing on proximity, you might describe, among other things, how far apart people tend to stand when conversing. Based on your observations, list some prescriptions about proper/expected nonverbal behavior in this cultural space. Write a 500-750-word report summarizing your findings and recommendations.

Submit your paper in the Assignments tool. You will attach the file to the assignment and submit. All papers should be in either Word .doc or .docx format. If you are using another word processor save it as an .rtf file. If you use a Mac, please add the 3-character extension (.doc, .docx).


Take the Module 3 quiz. This quiz covers Chapters 3, 4, & 5 of your textbook. There are 10 multiple choice and 10  true and false questions based on your assigned text readings. You will have 45 minutes to complete the quiz, and you may take the quiz twice. The higher of your two scores will be recorded as your grade.


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