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The Difference Between Speaking and Writing
Published By varron on 2011-03-21 1045 Views


The ability to speak well and to write well provides and edge to an individual’s personal career, especially in the field of work. Speaking and writing are two different things but they have in common in some aspects.


The ability to speak well and to write well provides and edge to an individual’s personal career, especially in the field of work. Speaking and writing are two different things but they have in common in some aspects.

The skills of speaking and writing are similar in some manner. Both are governed by the rules of semantics and syntax. They use language in order to express ideas and feelings. They are expected to achieve a certain purpose; that is to communicate in order to establish a degree of understanding a common knowledge as well as shared expectations.

There are certain things that made difference between speaking and writing; these are the psychological factors, the linguistic factors and the cognitive factors.

Psychological Factor

Speaking has a situational context, in the process; the speaker must have a direct contact with the audience as well as receives feedback either in verbal or in nonverbal forms.

In speaking, the audience serves as a teacher to the speaker as the speaker learns from the audience responses as he or she can be able to change the direction of his or her remarks.

Writing serves as a solitary act. In the process the communication if formed in isolation and the chances of giving meaning to a piece of written work are slim. Writing activity needs a sustained act of imagination and the task of the writer are more complicated.

Linguistic Factors

In speaking, the speaker is allowed the use of informal and formal construction. He/she is not always concerned with precision in expression and the statement could be repeated with regards to the reactions of the audience that are listening. There is a high tolerance in the repetition of a phrases or sentences that are being used.

In writing, the statements are carefully, concisely and coherently constructed and clear meaning must be ensured. The writing employs a longer structure and the composition should be expanded, illustrated and explained.

Cognitive Factors

Speaking is rapidly acquired and produced. This acquisition of speech is called as ego-building activity. Writing on the other hand is formed through the formal instruction. This requires extensive preview in learning. The writing process also requires mental effort as the writer to concentrate in the production of meaning and ideas.

Although speaking and writing have differences in different factors, it is important to consider that these two mediums of communication play an important role in the field communication processes.

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