Prof.Christopher Candlin talks about risk and strategy in professional communication

The Hellenic American Education Centre, in cooperation with Hellenic American University, hosted a lecture by Professor Christopher N. Candlin on Risk, Trust & Strategy in Professional Communication: What are the Key Drivers for Research and Practice?

Professor Candlin is Senior Research Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, and Senior Visiting Professor and External Advisor for the PhD programme at Hellenic American University.

The presentation, part of a series of lectures organized by the Hellenic American University PhD programme in Applied Linguistics, was held on October 11 in the Auditorium.

The lecture focused on the role of language in professional communication in various settings such as education (between teachers and students, between teachers and parents, between teachers and administrative staff), the financial markets, international security, science and technology, marketing and public relations, in the delivery of health and welfare services, in legal processes, and in the public and private arenas of political and religious institutions.

 Anastasia Spyropoulou (

 In our everyday life, communicative processes are relevant in almost all situations. It is important to know when you must say something which is adequate in the situation or when it is better to say nothing. A conversation is perceived as a cooperative activity with at least minimal levels of coordination.

Communicative competence is fundamental for a successful life in our society as it is of great importance for all areas of life. Therefore, it is not surprising that communicative competence is the subject of many theoretical and empirical approaches.

Prof.Candlin stated that professional communication allows multi- and interdisciplinary explorations on how workplace relationships and mechanisms are influenced by the use of certain linguistic patterns.

The way people communicate is unique and demonstrates a certain preference they have regarding how they elect to engage with others.

As any social behaviour, communication skills are not independent of functional and situational influences.

It often occurs that people manifest very different skill qualities in different situations, be it self-presentation, empathy or conflict management.

Communicative competence is based on a number of representations and knowledge structures underlying communication, which are used for both conveying and reading intentions.

To understand and produce messages, we rely not only on our knowledge of the language at several levels (or nonverbal means to express ideas), general knowledge about the world, cultural schemata and represented constraints, specific situation models, and representations of our own mental and physical states, goals and intentions, but also assumptions about the other person(s) involved in the communication and about their goals, intentions, feelings, attitudes, opinions and knowledge.

Prof Candlin concluded by saying that communicative competence is of central importance.

A certain amount and quality of communicative competence is needed not only in social interaction at the interpersonal level, but also at organizational and public levels, as well as for intercultural exchanges.

Many individual and social problems in our societies arise, however, because people are not sufficiently competent with respect to certain aspects of communication.

The consequences concern interpersonal relationships, academic and professional success, but also psychological and health problems. Higher levels of communicative proficiency facilitate a better social, psychological, and physical life.




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