The Five Contexts of Communication

The Five Contexts of Communication

Communication is one of the simplest, yet most complicated topics in the lives of humans. The understanding of this concept shows that it is indeed a whole art. It is divided into various aspects of writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The deal is that for the process of communication to be effectively achieved, there have to be at least two parties involved. Going further, we would be exploring the different forms of communication.

What are the 5 contexts of communication?


This is the act of communicating with one’s self. (Lewison, 2020) Yes, you got that right, you can communicate with yourself. This may seem like counter-stating what was mentioned earlier about two parties being involved in the process of communicating. In this case, the two parties would be you and your mind. You would agree that there are times you find yourself muttering words or probably having an inner argument with yourself about that tweet you saw or the post on Instagram. That right there is intrapersonal communication.

For example, you are in the midst of a conversation and unconsciously your mind begins to wander to work you have to attend to or some unfinished business you have.


This is defined as communication between two people (Lewison, 2020). Communication in this instance is not limited to speaking alone, it includes gestures, facial expressions, writing, reading, chatting, and even the use of emojis. 

Examples include you confiding in a friend, asking a stranger for a little help, or a simple business transaction. It is the back and forth of exchanging information between two people.


A vast majority of people may not be big fans of group communication and this is because it involves more than two people and as such, it requires some level of maturity to effectively achieve true communication. An example, in this case, is several students coming together to achieve the same goal, maybe for a class tutorial or a group of friends having a discussion trying to catch up on how their day went.


More often than not, public communication is mistaken for group communication. Public communication occurs when a party does most of the talking and the other party just listens actively (McLean, S., 2010). 

Examples may include conferences and religious or political gatherings. For instance, in a church or mosque, you have a Pastor or Imam preaching to the congregation. That’s one form of public communication.


This is a form of communication that does not discriminate. However, to be exact, this is the type of communication where the primary aim is to pass across vital information to a community of people (McLean, S., 2010). A typical example is the use of media to disseminate information to the public in terms of news, adverts, music etc. making use of social media, print media (newspapers), or visual media (television).

Communication is one of the inevitable aspects of life and like every form of learning, progress can be made on it. We believe you now have a clearer picture of this concept and that this information is equally helpful in your everyday living.

Check the following to read more about The Five Contexts of Communication:
  1. Lewison, K. (2020, May 11). Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal: Keys To Communicate. University of the People. Retrieved from (URL)
  2. McLean, S. (2010). Business Communication for Success. The Saylor Foundation. Retrieved from (URL)
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