Where can I find information about communication?
Entry last updated: 26/05/22
Historically people have been communicating with each other in many different ways. There is verbal communication, which uses sounds and spoken language, non-verbal communication such as sign language and body language, written communication in the form of signs, written text, signals, and visual communication likeart, photography and painting.
Today telecommunications is an essential part of daily life. It includes, television, telephones and the internet.
Types of communication
Here is a list to get you familiar with some examples of communication.
Body language: a form of nonverbal communication that uses hand gestures, facial expression, and posture to show a message.
Braille : is a writing system used by people who are blind or visually impaired. It uses raised dots that people can read by running their fingers over the patterns.
Hieroglyphics : was the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt that used pictures instead of words.
Morse code: uses codes of dots and dashes to make up letters, numbers and punctuation. The codes are transmitted by telegraph, radio communication or even by flickering lights.
Sign language: is one of the non-verbal ways that deaf or hard of hearing people use to communicate. Different countries have their own versions of sign language. New Zealand Sign Language is one of the official languages in New Zealand.
Smoke signals : are one of the oldest forms of non-verbal, long distance communication. It was used in Ancient China, Greece and among indigenous peoples in North America. It is still useful in some situations today.
The websites below will help you find information about types of communication, examples of communication and how it is useful.
Britannica School is part of EPIC , a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
- Choose Middle to start your search.
- Enter the word 'communication' into the search box at the top of the page.
- Select the article communication (social behavior) to read about why people communicate, and forms and types of communication like the use of symbols, verbal, non-verbal and digital communication.
- You can select to read an easier level from Article Reading Level found at the top of the page.
- Try using keywords from the list like 'Braille' or 'Morse code' to learn more about this topic.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [communication]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This website is from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in Australia. It has a range of information and has some easy to read information on communication.
- Go to the tab called Topics, then select the topic called Your Feelings.
- Find the link called Lets's communicate to understand what communication is, types of communication such as verbal, written, non-verbal and how animals communicate.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
This Dorling Kindersley online encyclopedia has information, diagrams and interactives on lots of topics.
- Enter 'communication' into the search box.
- You will find some interesting articles on how dolphins, ants and dogs communicate.
- Or search for 'braille' to read how this method helps blind people read and write.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
HowStuffWorks is a good website for finding out how all sorts of things work.
- Type in words like 'telephones' or 'internet' or any other form of communication.
- You will find articles like 'How Telephones work' and 'How does the internet work'.
- At the top of the page you will find the words Next page — this means there are more pages to read on this topic.
- Each article has the name of the writer below the title. Select the name of the writer to read about their education and qualifications.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.
New Zealand sites
Have a look at these sites to find out about the history of communication in New Zealand, and te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language as official languages of New Zealand.
Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- From the homepage, select Daily Life, Sport and Recreation, then choose Social custom and language.
- There are several stories here that could be useful, for example Te reo Māori - the Māori language, and English language in New Zealand.
- Or you could use the search word 'communication' to read an article on the history of communications in New Zealand.
NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. This website also belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage.
- The keyword 'communication' will bring up history of the First trans-global radio transmission to London.
- Under Images and media on the results page, you will find historical images and information on the Post and Telegraph guards at Cable Bay and Long-distance wireless stations.
The Māori Language Commission was set up under the Māori Language Act 1987, in order to support and promote the use of Māori as a living language.
- The tabs Learn and Online resources are the best places to go to if you want to learn how to speak and pronounce Māori.
- This website is bilingual, which means you can read the information in Māori or English.
Tips: We like sites like Te Ara, NZHistory and the Māori Language Commission because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
Learn NZSL (New Zealand Sign Language)
This website has videos, resources and exercises to help you learn New Zealand Sign Language. The websites is supported by Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Sign Language Association.
- If you scroll down the page, you will be able to watch, learn and practise how to use sign language in day to day situations like Meet and greet or Needs and wants.
- Using these pages will also help you learn how to use sign language for words, phrases and conversation around each topic.
Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the About link on the website for more information.
Here are a few suggestions of books to get you started. Check with your local librarian for more!
- You talking to me? : discover the world of words, codes, emojis, signs, slang, smoke signals, barks, babbles, growls, gestures, hieroglyphics & more by Catherine Ham
- Children's visual communication dictionary : New Zealand Sign Language - Māori - English = Te reo Rotarota, he papakupu mā te hunga tamariki by Lee Bilby, Voice Thru Your Hands, and He Kupenga Hao i te Reo
- Alpha, Bravo, Charlie : the complete book of nautical codes by Sara Gillingham
- Incredible inventions. Let's communicate : from the first written word to the internetby Matt Turner
- Smoke signals to smartphones : a timeline of long-distance communication by World Book Inc.
SCIS no: 1971778
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