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Communication Skills: How Important Is It For Students

Communication Skills: How Important Is It For Students

Assistant Editor

19 Mar, 2019

When we speak about communication we generally refer to imparting or exchanging information by either, speaking, writing or through some other effective medium of communication. However, that sure makes one think about how the ancient humans communicated with each other before the more formal language took over. Sure our ancestors must have communicated by gesturing, and with a variety of sound that might not have been technically "words”. When we speak of pre-language time’s humans, they communicated more through body languages and were much better at it than we are. The tonality of grunts and other sounds were accompanied by gestures and facial expressions helped them accomplish much of all their communication needs within the group. Making different sounds such as grunting or guttural sounds either at a low pitch or high pitch would differentiate between and indicate either social communication or a warning sign. Body language was also very important way of communication at this time. Much later written communication came about when humans started to realize the need to record their daily life activities. This was indeed a great way of not just recording but also passing on the information to others. Further down the line this process of drawing symbols and murals progressed to meeting the needs of bartering and exchanging of goods. It has been discovered that the ancient Egyptians were amongst the first people to use symbols as a form of written communication which later developed into the alphabet system that we know today. Cave drawings and murals that ancient humans painted onto the walls of their caves and canyons were used to pass on the information, tell the story of their culture, of battles that they had fought, of their hunts. These murals were also used as info graphics for storytelling, a great way of passing information before there were books. The ancient humans also used different other sounds to communicate, such as using animal horns, flutes made of animal bones. Ones humans learnt to make fire they also used smoke to signal apart from using drums or different types of whistling.

The connection between these cave drawings and writing has been proven by linguists who studied the Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek concept of drawing and writing which were almost the same. With every passing year the communication methods got more advanced, for example the Petro glyphs or the carvings into rock surface were the next step after the cave drawings. It took approximately 20, 000 years for the humans to move from the first cave paintings to petro glyphs. After the cave drawings came in the pictograms, which were widely used by various cultures throughout the world since around 9000 BC. The significant difference between pictograms and petro glyphs is while the petro glyph simply depicts an event but the pictogram tells the entire event through the pictures and could be ordered chronologically.

The invention of first writing system started in the late Neolithic age of the late 4000 BC and the beginning of the Bronze Age. The first writing system is believed to be Sumerian followed by Egyptian Hieroglyphs, the undeciphered Proto-Elamite writing system. The Indus valley script also dates to this era.

The first pure Alphabets emerged around 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt. By 2700 BC Egyptian writings had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, along with a vowel. Sanskrit which is a 4000 year old used to be the language of the classics in India. Though Sanskrit still remains an official language in India despite its very limited uses as a everyday language. Sanskrit first appeared sometime during 2000 BC and was also known as God’s language.

With each passing century the means and methods of communication only got more and more advanced. The signs and symbols changed to proper alphabets and humans started documenting more information. Then came paper and printing press, followed by other modern devices like the telephone, radio television etc. Now we are at a stage where communication is at our finger tips. However, do we conclude that this is all that is about communication? Actually no, though all these new technologies help us to a great deal however, the most effective communication happens only when one is able to impart or exchange information or knowledge in a manner that the others can easily absorb the information and understand the concept or the subject.

At times we come across students complaining about certain teachers. Students say they don’t seem to understand what the teacher explains in the class; mostly this is a common complaint against teachers who teach math or science. It is not that the teacher is less qualified, many a times the teachers are highly qualified and yet they seem to fail to make the subject comfortable and easy for the student to grasp. The main reason is effective communication. Effective communication is a great life skill and it is a skill that benefits one in every walk of life. It is important to hone this skill right from school days. Those with effective communication skills and good interpersonal skills are considered to be people’s person and have a very successful career. To be an effective communicator one also needs to have good understanding of the subject that he/she is dealing with. Good understanding of the subject gives one great confidence. Secondly an effective communicator should have the ability to break things down so that it becomes easy for the audience to understand. As students it is the best time to enhance this life skill. Communication is the heart of every organization. Whatever gets done in an office environment is a result of communication and hence good reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are essential if the tasks are to be completed and goals be met. In career it is crucial to communicate effectively while negotiating to ensure that the goals can be reached. It also helps foster good relation not just with the clients but among peer working groups and makes work easily deliverable. Effective communication helps in proper Planning, Organizing, Motivating and Controlling not just in student life but also in career as well.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena