5 Things You Need To Know This Week #1

9 February 2021

I've been wanting to start a new series that is a reflection of what I study for quite some time, particularly about language, linguistics and communication. Despite years of studying from Foundation right up till my masters, I've never posted much about what my study area is about (or none at all). 

It is a shame because in my opinion, you don't have to study about linguistics or communication just to know about how amazing language can be that allows us to interact, bond and understand with others, to know how language shapes the very foundation of our society. Language is a story of us through verbal and non-verbal communication, among many others.

I also figured that if I do this on a bi-monthly/weekly basis, it can help me to stay in tune to new research, issues, etc. about the topic. This series is inspired by Suraya's weekly Link Roundup series that I've never missed to read. It's concise and packed with finance knowledge that even layman persons like myself can learn from.

5 Latest Buzz | Language & Communication Series

I might relabel this series once my creativity hits me because as of now, it does sound a little rigid. If you have any suggestions, do leave a comment below or email me personally (syazwanizzati@gmail.com). For the time being, I'll leave it as it is.

My plan is to post at least 5 updates about language/linguistics/communication that would generally appeal to you and these would come from the latest research findings, published news articles, blogs, etc. I'll be sure to leave the links to the original posts as well for you to read the full version. 

1. Joe Biden’s inaugural address gives hope to the millions who stutter - The Conversation

Image by janeb13 from Pixabay 
For many, myself included, there is nothing as frightening as having to give a speech or presentation in front of a crowd. Sometimes, it gets the better of us when we give away our nervousness through stutter but in certain cases, it also affects those who are perfectly emotionally fine.

Seeing a world leader such as the newly elected President of America address and admit to stuttering himself was a surprise for me. You would think powerful political leaders would be immune to something so many of us have to dauntingly endure. I stutter a lot even when conversing in normal conversations although through time, I think I have improved by a mile compared to how I was before. However, I'll never get over how frustrating and embarrassing it is to struggle to say a couple of "easy, everyday words" to people I'm comfortable with. 

Biden is a great speaker and his openness to accept stuttering gives us hope that we can be the best communicators out there and STILL stutter, which is completely okay. 

2.  Zoom work relationships are a lot harder to build – unless you can pick up on colleagues’ nonverbal cues - The Conversation

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay 

A new study shows that workers involved in remote work have a difficult time to build more effective and meaningful relationships with their colleagues, especially when they have to rely on videoconferencing to communicate with one another. 

According to the researchers, two of the main factors for this challenge are due to lack of understanding of non-verbal cues (for example: facial expressions, ways of talking, head and hand movements, etc.) and the ability to listen more intently. To address the problem of building relationships with video meetings, the researchers identified two techniques some employees stated helped them to maintain quality interactions with their colleagues. 

You can read on in the full article for more! 

3. Almost 900,000 podcasts were launched in 2020 - Free Malaysia Today

Image by Csaba Nagy from Pixabay 

Since pre-COVID in 2019, podcast shows have surged in numbers by approximately 885,262 shows worldwide as more people adapt to the new routines of being in lockdown. 
  • Educational podcasts (133,107) exceeded other genres 
  • Culture and society (121,556) 
  • Arts (94,360)

4. Body Language Tips To Help You Ace The Job Interview - Forbes

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay 

Conversations comprised of mostly non-verbal cues than verbal (spoken words) when in face-to-face communications. Sometimes, these non-verbal cues can go missing when we're sitting down for a virtual interview because of the new setting. Here are some tips that I learned from this article:
  1. Pay attention to your body posture
  2. Avoid fidgeting (yes, even in virtual interviews)
  3. Maintain eye contact by practicing to look at your camera
  4. Smile
  5. Practice active listening

5. Language left behind on social media exposes the emotional and cognitive costs of a romantic breakup - PNAS

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

A new study that examined texts shared about breakups by users on Reddit found language evidence that foretells a breakup months before it happens. This also includes the psychological effects 6 months after breakups occur. Some of the evidence in this study includes:
  • Higher use of words such as I and we
  • Increase use of cognitive processing words (e.g., want, realise, guess, feel) that indicates depression attributes
  • More personal and informal language 

I hope you liked my first five weekly updates about these interesting issues. I enjoyed reading them up and loved sharing them with you. If you have anything interesting you'd like me to include in my next post, do let me know!


  1. Ah, I can totally relate with the first one - though, me myself read English Linguistics and Literature (to which we are expected to have excellent fluency when it comes to public speaking and striking everyday conversation) I find myself stuttering despite knowing what to talk :')

    This is a great series, will surely look forward for more!