Glossary (Version 8.4)

Process visual or tactile symbols (for example, braille), words or actions in order to derive and/or construct meaning. Reading includes elements of decoding (of sounds and symbols), interpreting, critically analysing and reflecting upon meaning in a wide range of written, visual, print and non-print texts.

One of the two components of communication through language (see productive language): the ‘receiving’ aspect of language input, the gathering of information and making of meaning via listening, reading, viewing processes.

An integrating element of intercultural communication that involves movement and relationship, interpreting and creating meaning, and understanding the process of doing so. It involves not only the exchange of words but also an exchange of understanding between the people involved. It comes into play when the learner ‘self’ encounters and interacts with the ‘other’ (the target language speaker, the target language itself as text or experience); when the existing language code and cultural frame encounters a different code and frame. This experience impacts on the learner’s perspective and sense of identity and on their usual ways of communicating. Reciprocating involves conscious attention to the process: attention to the self (intraculturality) and to the likely impact of the self on the other person involved (interculturality). Things previously taken for granted are noticed in reference to new or different ways. Key elements of reciprocating include conscious attention, comparison, reflection and analysis:

  • recognition that both partners in an exchange are involved in the ‘effort of meaning’
  • willingness to work out what the other person means, the cultural and social context they are speaking from and the perspectives, which frame what they are saying
  • making necessary adjustments to own and each other’s input, orientation and stance that will help the exchange to be successful.

A variety of language used for a particular purpose or in a particular situation, the variation being defined by use as well as user. For example, informal register or academic register.

A transcription from a differently scripted language, such as Chinese or Japanese, into the Latin alphabet.

A word/word element that cannot be reduced to a smaller unit and from which other words are formed. For example, plant in replanting.