Skip to main content Skip to navigation



  • Attends to the choice of working language(s)
  • Chooses modes of communication that suit the particular communicative purpose
  • Establishes suitable communication networks
  • Establishes and agrees communication protocols
  • Takes steps to deal with communication problems
  • Motivated to learn and use other languages, and willing to invest time and effort in this
  • Confident in ability to pick up and use foreign languages
  • Tries out words and expressions in unfamiliar languages
  • Adapts use of language to the proficiency level of the recipient(s) so as to maximise comprehensibility
  • Pays attention to, and adapts where necessary, aspects such as:
    •  Speed
    •  Frequency and length of pausing
    •  Complexity of sentence structure
    •  Complexity of vocabulary
    •  Use of idioms and colloquialisms
    •  Use of local accents and dialects
  • Listens attentively
  • Signals that listening is taking place
  • Regularly checks and clarifies the meaning of important words and phrases, to ensure that all participants attach the same meaning to them, even when they are well known
  • Notices potential misunderstandings and seeks clarification/negotiates meaning until common understanding is reached
  • Adept at observing indirect signals of meaning, such as intonation, eye contact and body language, and at picking up meaning from them
  • Pro-actively studies indirect signals of meaning, asking about them in order to deepen their knowledge at a conscious level
  • Learns to interpret indirect signals appropriately in different cultural and communicative contexts
  • Discloses and elicits background information that is needed for mutual understanding and meaningful negotiation
  • Structures and highlights information by using discourse markers to ‘label’ language, by using visual or written aids, and by paying attention to the sequencing of information
  • Exposes own intentions by explaining not only ‘what’ s/he wants, but also ‘why’ s/he wants it
Stylistic flexibility
  • Pays attention to the different styles of communication (e.g. formal/informal; expressive/restrained) that people may use
  • Builds a repertoire of styles to suit different purposes, contexts and audiences
  • Uses different language styles flexibly to suit different purposes, contexts and audiences