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Active Listening

The most general form of listening, involving four steps: listening carefully, paraphrasing, checking for understanding (with questions and clarification), and providing feedback.


Computer games used to advertise or promote a product, organization, or viewpoint.


To resort to logic, ethics, or emotion to arouse a favorable response.


Something taken as true without evidence.

Attending Behaviors

Culturally appropriate behaviors that demonstrate respect for a person and interest in what he/she has to say (which may include looking at the speaker, nodding, leaning forward).

Belief System

Conclusions drawn from one's experience with regard to issues (e.g., divorce, poverty, religion, television, social customs). These conclusions often are developed through interaction with others, such as parents, peers, mentors, educational materials, or societal institutions.


A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.

Classical Logical Argumentation

A formal form of argumentation that is deductive in form (e.g., syllogism). It may be used to describe mathematical logic and often is used by mathematicians and philosophers to describe the study of logic.


A systematic arrangement of symbols used to create meanings in the mind of another person or persons.

Communication Style

The way in which people communicate with others (e.g., assertive, relaxed, dramatic, direct, friendly).

Communication Tools

Skills that the student learns to engage in communication. The tool metaphor is used because it implies that a student can accumulate a set of tools for communicating and use them appropriately (e.g., critical listening, empathetic listening).

Contemporary Logical Argumentation

An informal form of logic used in everyday exchanges, such as personal or political. Informal logical forms may resemble syllogistic or other formal logical forms. Informal logic argument also includes other forms of argument, such as causal arguments, arguments by analogy, narrative arguments, and arguments based on values such as justice.

Critical Listening

Listening to make a critical judgment about the speaker’s message, involving three steps: listening carefully, evaluating the argument and sources of information, and developing one’s own judgment on the topic.

Cultural Principles

Beliefs and values specific to certain cultures or groups.

Cultural Sensitivity

The ability to recognize and respect cultural differences.


A socially constructed system of symbols, meanings, premises, and rules that are shared by a group of people.


The use of details, facts, reasons, or examples to support a particular point.

Empathetic Listening

A type of active listening in which one's purpose is to understand the other and is achieved through listening carefully, engaging in the moment, empathizing, and providing feedback.

Enjoyment Listening

Listening for pleasure or relaxation; includes listening carefully and describing the source and feelings about the source.


An appeal to an audience based on the perception of the speaker's character or credibility.


Speaking with an outline or notes containing the main points and/or key quotations. It is the middle ground between a scripted speech (word-for-word, prepared ahead of time) and an impromptu speech.


Faulty reasoning (e.g., glittering generalities, card stacking, bandwagon appeal).

False Causality

A logical fallacy where a relationship between cause and effect is oversimplified through a lack of context, incorrect assumptions based on timing, or invalid "necessary" connections.

Formal Communication

A presentation or written piece that strictly adheres to rules, conventions, and ceremony and is free of colloquial expressions.

Individualism (Orientation)

The broad value tendencies of a culture to emphasize the importance of individual identity over group identity, individual rights over group rights, and individual needs over group needs.


The reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of indirect evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation.


An alteration in pitch or tone of voice.

Informal Communication

A casual discussion or verbal exchange that may adhere less strictly to rules and conventions than formal communication.

Intercultural Communication

Communication that occurs when the sender of a message is a member of one culture and the receiver of the message is from another culture.

Language Register

The systematic differences of language use determined by regional, social, or situational changes (e.g., a child may say "yup" at home but would be expected to say "yes" at school).


An appeal made by a speaker to the rationality of an audience.

Mass Media

Communication mediated, via a transmission system, between a source and a large number of unseen receivers such as radio, television, Internet, etc.

Meanings Of Communication

Culture affects the connotative and denotative meanings of words; therefore, a shared meaning cannot be assumed.

Media Text

A text that is mediated through television, newspaper, radio broadcast, or the Internet.


The sensory mode through which the communication occurs or is received, such as textual (visual), speech, aural, nonverbal (visual), or touch. Communication often is multimodal.


Relating to or including several cultures.


A stylistic device where ideas are paired (or in a longer series) and linked by repeated grammatical structures.


Restating the meaning in own words, retaining all of the ideas without making an interpretation or evaluation.


An appeal made by a speaker to the emotions of an audience that arouses pity, sorrow, and compassion.


The point of view of the speaker or receiver.

Persuasive Device/Technique

A technique used to move the audience to a certain point of view (e.g., bias, overgeneralization, association).

Pop-Up Ads

A form of on-line advertising on the World Wide Web, intended to increase Web traffic or capture e-mail addresses.


The systemic, widespread dissemination or promotion of particular ideas, doctrines, or practices aimed at serving an agenda.


The way in which people use space in their interpersonal communication, involving both the distance between people engaged in conversation and their physical orientation.


The distance between speaker and listener or between two people in conversation.


Probing into an issue/problem to achieve understanding or clarify meaning.


The art of effective persuasive argument in speaking or writing; it also can refer to eloquence or the skillful use of language to persuade.

Rhetorical Question

A question for which no answer is expected.


A three-part process of deductive reasoning consisting of (1) a major premise (usually a general rule), (2) a minor premise (usually an individual case employing one term appearing in the major premise as true), and (3) a conclusion. (e.g., major premise: All dogs are animals; minor premise: Sophie is a dog; conclusion: Sophie is an animal.).


The way in which words, phrases, and clauses are combined to form sentence order.


The application of tools, machines, materials, and processes that help facilitate understanding in student presentations.


A means by which a message is transmitted. Texts can be visual, spoken, or written.