“We take communication for granted because we do it so frequently, but it is actually a complex process.”
an American communication and presentation skill expert
The word “communication” is used as a multifaceted “umbrella” concept denoting various aspects of our life.
Taking a retrospective look at our evolution, we can find language at the roots of human development. Humanity has evolved into the present-day global community together with the emergence of linguistic semiotic systems, which, with time, were embodied in various modern languages. The numerous tongues known today (around 5000), though triggering some obstacles in multilingual communicative environments, make it possible for people to understand each other very well, often through mediation of professionals in two or more languages.
At the same time, while it would be true to say that people speaking one and the same language should interact without any comprehension problems, why are there so many misunderstandings and embarrassing situations which often bring a bitter flavor into conversations, or even sometimes cause irreversible disasters? The answer to this question has been very clearly worded by Anthony Robbins, an American author, public speaker and life coach: “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” This idea should urge us to remember that words can be both healing and wounding, and it is up to speakers to choose which ones should be said aloud.
Another indisputable idea implies that communication provides essential life skills. One can hardly point out any single aspect of our everyday activities which can be realized without this or that form of communication, be it lifelong personal or professional development, art admiration, or creation of technological innovations. The ability to express ourselves and understand the thoughts of those around us opens doors to the world of successful human interaction. One such absolutely significant discourse pattern is educational interaction. Everyone would agree that it is impossible to gain good knowledge without smooth and mutually enriching communication between teachers and students. This paramount idea has been discussed from various perspectives in the first three articles of the current issue.
Furthermore, communication has become closely related to information technologies (or IT, often referred to as information and communication technologies), which are enhancing human interaction more and more intensively changing the way people use language in their daily life. Younger generations are the most sensitive to such changes by being quick to accept and acquire all the novelties of ever more intriguing fancy gadgets. At the same time, both children and grown-up individuals often find it hard to recognize the negative impact of information communicated by means of the all the more accessible IT. The consequences of the interactions between these technologies and their users is the topic of research in two other papers of this volume.
Although technologies enhance communication, they are helpless in understanding the secrets of language and its emergence in the human brain. As a result, when brain disorders occur, the ability of a person to communicate becomes impaired, leading individuals to face disastrous obstacles in their daily routines and preventing them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. People with speech disabilities and related physiological problems need specific help and care, special pedagogical procedures. This is the domain which has received the most attention from the contributing authors to this volume.
I hope this broad range of thought-provoking papers will be of enormous interest to scholars searching for the best of knowledge and expertise in the realm of communication.