the principle argument of Chapter 5 is that attending only to the choice of words does not constitute a secure grounding for effective oral communication. In live situations the audience of any utterance is receiving a plethora of other signals that may help or hinder the interpretation of what is being said. Although written in relation specifically to drama, J. L. Styan’s words hold true for all speakers and audiences: ‘Dramatic meaning cannot lie in words alone, but in voices and the tone of voices, in the pace of speaking and the silences between the gesture and expression of the actor, physical distinctions between him and others’ (Styan 1975: 26). Any attempt to codify exactly how these signifiers work into a comprehensive grammar of oral communication is doomed to failure. As John O’Toole (1992: 199) has noted: ‘The trouble which semiotics has found … is that language in drama is so polyfunctional that analysis quickly becomes incomprehensibly obscure to anyone but the analyst, or turns into counting sand – endless and useless.’ Nevertheless, in the teaching of speaking and listening it is useful to help young people to understand the range and nature of the signifiers that accompany the spoken word. Discussing these factors and reflecting on them in practical exercises heightens children’s awareness of their importance. The classification in Table 6.1, adapted from the work of Kowzan (1968: 73), can usefully serve as a framework for analysing any type of spoken communication, be it an everyday occurrence, improvised or rehearsed. A classification for analysing spoken communication 1 Choice of words Spoken text Auditive signs Temporal 2 Intonation 3 Facial expressions Physical text Visual signs Temporal and spatial 4 Gestures 5 Movement 6 Position in space 7 Physical appearance Physical text Visual signs Spatial 8 Costume 9 Setting Visual text Visual signs Temporal and spatial 10 Lighting 11 Use of objects 12 Sound Aural text Auditive signs Temporal Source: adapted from Kowzan (1968:73)