Lesson 1: Defining Communication

Models of Communication

Another way of distinguishing communication from oral practice is in terms of their different cognitive processes and requirements.

Have you ever experienced a communication problem that made you aware of the cognitive processes and demands of communication? Have you ever had a word in mind but didn't know how to pronounce it? Try to recall such a situation in as much detail as possible.

Levelt's Psycholinguistic Model

One of the most influential psycholinguistic models of oral production comes from Levelt (1989). This model breaks speech production into four separate cognitive processes:

  1. conceptualization;
  2. utterance formulation;
  3. speech articulation and
  4. self-monitoring.

Speaking as a communicative activity requires all four processes. However, much oral practice in the classroom merely requires the repetition of prefabricated phrases that does not entail the first two cognitive processes.


The important components of Levelt's psycholinguistic model.

Duration: 01:32

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Lee's Classroom Model

In the book Tasks and Communicating in the Language Classroom (2000), Lee outlines criteria for operationalizing communication, that is, creating a workable pedagogical activity based on real communication. These criteria make a handy checklist for distinguishing real from apparent communication.


The important components of Lee's classroom model.

Duration: 01:01

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