How do you establish the communication and language needs wishes and preferences of individuals?


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Iris Phillips Profile
Iris Phillips answered
Communication can be difficult, especially when you are in a situation where you are unsure of the language and abilities of those who you are associating with. For example, in a resort abroad you are likely to be unsure of the language which people who you become acquainted with speak. On the other hand, you may be in a place where you are unsure if someone is deaf/mute or suffers from other disabilities which may impair their language and communication skills. It takes a degree of sensitivity and intuition to establish communication in these situations, but it can be overcome quite quickly where you make an effort to establish the needs or the individual.

It is always best when you meet someone to begin communication upon your own terms; if you speak English greet them as such, although ensure that you are speaking slowly and clearly. The person who you are addressing will then either respond, meaning that you both have the same needs/ preferences in language, or they will make it clear if they cannot understand what you are saying. This is when you must then go on to establish their wishes of communication.

It should be fairly easy to work out whether they have not understood due to communication impairments or language differences based upon their reaction to your initial introduction. If they have disabilities, try to communicate through body language or they may even be able to lipread; perhaps try both to see which they are receptive to, and continue from there. If they seem to be speaking a different language, you can either try speaking in a different tongue (should you know another) or again try body language. You may even know someone nearby who may be able to help you out.

If communication appears too difficult, and you are unable to meet the needs, wishes and preferences of the person with whom you are trying to interact, you may need to give up. However, providing you have made amble effort to overcome the difficulties, you should not feel so bad; there is only so much you can do to aid communication with the abilities that you yourself have.

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