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Berlo’s model follows the SMCR model. This model is not specific to any particular communication.

Berlo’s model includes a number of factors under each of the elements:

Source: The source is situated where the message originates.

Communication skills – It is the skill of the individual to communicate. For example, the ability to read, write, speak, listen etc.

Attitudes – This includes attitudes towards the audience, subject and towards oneself. For example, for the student, the attitude is to learn more and for teachers, it is to help teach.

Knowledge– Communicating also means that the person needs to be knowledgeable about the subject or topic. For e.g. a teacher needs to know about the subject in detail that he or she teaches so that they can communicate properly such that the students understand here.

Note: It refers, not to the general knowledge, but to the knowledge of the subject that the person is communicating and their familiarity with it.

Social system – The social system includes the various aspects of society like values, beliefs, culture, religion and a general understanding of society. It is where the communication takes place.

For example, classrooms differ from country to country just like people’s behaviours and how they communicate, etc.

Note: We can communicate only to the extent that the social system allows. When we communicate, we take the social system into account.

Culture: Culture of a particular society also comes under the social system.

According to this model, people can communicate only if the above requirements are met in the proper or adequate proportion.

Encoder: The sender of the message, from where the message originates, is referred to as the encoder. So the source encodes the message here.


Content – The body of a message, from the beginning to the end, comprises its content. For example, whatever the class teacher teaches in the class, from beginning to end, is the content of the message.

Elements – It includes various things like language, gestures, body language, etc. They constitute all the elements of a particular message. Any content is accompanied by some elements.

Treatment – It refers to the packing of the message and the way in which the message is conveyed or the way in which it is passed on or delivered.

Note: When there is too much treatment, communication will not go smoothly.

Structure– The structure of the message refers to how it is arranged; the way people structure the message into various parts.

Note: Message is the same, but if the structure is not properly arranged then the receiver will not understand the message.

Code– The code of the message refers to the means through which it is sent and in what form. It could be, for example, language, body language, gestures, music, etc. Even culture is a code. Through this, people give and receive messages and communication takes place.

Note:  Only when the code is clear, the message will be clear. The wrong usage may lead to misinterpretation.

Channel–  It refers to the five sense organs. The following are the five senses:

  • Hearing
  • Seeing
  • Touching
  • Smelling
  • Tasting

Communication occurs through one or more of these channels.

Hearing: The use of ears to receive the message. For example, orally transmitted messages, interpersonal communication etc.

Seeing: Visual channels, for example, Watching television so the message is conveyed through the scene/film.

Touching: The sense of touch can be used as a channel to communicate. For example, we touch, buy food, hugging our loved ones,etc.

Smelling: Smell also can be a channel to communicate. For example, perfumes, food, fragrances etc. Charred smell communicates something is burning. People can deduct which food is being cooked by its smell etc.

Tasting : The tongue is a muscular organ used in the act of eat and taste food. For example, while a food is being shared, the communication can happen regarding its taste.

Note: Despite not mentioning a medium, we need to assume that as communication is taking place, channels can be any of the 5 senses or combination.

Decoder : The person who receives the message and decodes it is referred to a decoder.

Receiver: The receiver needs to think all the contents and elements of the source, so as to communicate/responds to sender effectively.;

Berlo’s model believes that for effective communication to take place, the source and the receiver need to be on the same level. Only then communication will happen or take place properly. Hence, the source and the receiver should be similar.

For example, if the communication skill of the source is good, then the receiver should have equally good listening skills.

It cannot be said that the receiver does not receive the whole message because even though he may receive it, but may not be able to interpret its meaning. For effective communication, the source and the receiver need to be on the same level.

Note: Self-image differs from person to person. For communication, the person should consider the receiver, speak accordingly and give them what they need.

Criticism of Berlo’s SMCR model of communication:

  1. There is a lack of feedback. The effects are practically unknown.
  2. It does not mention the barriers to communication.
  3. There is no room for noise.
  4. It is a rather complex model.
  5. It is a linear model of communication.
  6. It requires people to be on the same level for effective communication to happen. However, that rarely happens in everyday life.
  7. The main drawback of the model is that it omits the usage of sixth sense as a channel of communication, which is an asset to human beings (thinking, understanding, analyzing etc.)
{ 167 comments… add one }
  • Nurudeen Bashiru December 1, 2013, 8:00 pm

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  • mwampashi mateo December 9, 2013, 1:50 pm


  • Aarab Waqar December 14, 2013, 3:34 am

    Thanks too much!!! This made me completely clear that for what purpose communication is designed for and what are those imperative factors that makes it effective …..

  • GWENDOLYN C DYKES January 13, 2014, 6:46 am

    I did really enjoy the different modes of Berlo’s elements of communication.

  • arvind singh January 20, 2014, 4:32 pm

    there is so good detail about berlos”s model in this web. i so enjoyed and glad after read that

  • arvind singh January 20, 2014, 4:33 pm

    i did read carefully this method and i am enjoyed and glad after read this matter thanks

  • jerry January 21, 2014, 8:27 pm

    in fact i have grasped knowledge

  • ANASTAS MFILINGE January 24, 2014, 6:51 pm

    its very good but we dont have all student with the sane characteristics and ability simply because they come from dif culture

  • KISINA EMMANUEL January 25, 2014, 2:19 am

    following the berlo communication model it is diffucult to use this communication model to teach the children at the context of having the same attitude with the sender also the sender from different culture can send the message to some one else and message are well recieved.

  • sophy January 26, 2014, 2:53 pm

    he make me aware about communication in general,keep it up!

  • anita venu April 5, 2014, 9:37 pm

    berlo model is the best method of communication.

  • anita venu April 5, 2014, 9:38 pm

    berlo model is the best model of communication in the school and colleges.

  • Baballe haruna April 14, 2014, 2:55 pm

    The model is good but not for teaching at all.

  • giezel ann :) June 18, 2014, 8:19 am

    it is clear for me , now I know

  • vette Best August 19, 2014, 5:29 am

    I understood the message and can relate to the model but I do believe there is more responsibility on the decoder an his ability to comprehend the information and form being conveyed or communicated. Communication skills is a major component as listed in the model. All relies on the decoder or no message or response. Looking forward to reading the other links.

  • janna wilson August 25, 2014, 4:06 am

    Good but not for learning and teaching purposes!

  • otieno rodgers September 29, 2014, 2:03 pm

    what are the applications of the model in life today?

  • moumir November 11, 2014, 9:17 am

    now i get more things and i can say that i m clear my doubt…

  • stanslaus mwigane November 11, 2014, 3:09 pm

    good information to society hv fully detail

  • mwalimu elisha November 16, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Actually the model itself is good for the sake of communication, but in teaching am little bit skepticl due to one of the elements in Source so called culture.Its not necessary a teacher to be of the same culture with a class regarding that teaching is a profession and the application of pedagogy a teacher can teach any group of people despite their culture.

  • Moaz Saqib December 8, 2014, 8:22 pm

    Thanks too much!!!

  • vicent Augustino January 23, 2015, 9:48 pm

    good but too long.

  • MBOGO M.R January 25, 2015, 4:21 pm


  • yahya February 1, 2015, 11:36 am

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  • mafie allan February 2, 2015, 2:47 pm

    it is good and clear ,it improves my knowledge about communication..! Big up

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  • Umar Radiah March 8, 2015, 3:49 am

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  • Mh.Mnubi March 24, 2015, 7:22 pm

    now I’m able to explain it.thanks!

  • lisa Atkins April 7, 2015, 7:48 am

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  • dominic yingariba bukari May 1, 2015, 3:19 pm

    not well up to what l needed it

  • chuumba ackim August 10, 2015, 8:27 pm

    Thanks for this presentation. I didn’t know Berlo’s of communication had such information. It’s nice to understand that in order for me to communicate meaningfully I need to be at the same level with the message recipient.

  • chuumba ackim August 10, 2015, 8:59 pm

    Thanks. very educative.

  • lasertest October 25, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >BERLOS SMCR MODEL OF COMMUNICATION | Communication Theory <Loved it!

  • Palash Mondal January 2, 2016, 9:18 pm

    keep it in comms folder

  • Eddy March 4, 2016, 3:07 pm

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  • SAM March 11, 2016, 9:19 am


  • M.MAHDIR March 28, 2016, 12:42 am

    Thank you, this is very informative

  • M.MAHDIR March 28, 2016, 12:43 am

    Thank you

  • M.MAHDIR March 28, 2016, 12:45 am

    Some lacks of information

  • aremu saheed April 25, 2016, 3:29 am


  • kevin juma July 4, 2016, 9:16 pm

    Thanks a lot Berlo for crating all this…….be blessed++

  • Rito July 12, 2016, 10:56 am

    Thanks for the Lesson XD HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • RAFIKUL ISLAM July 18, 2016, 4:39 pm

    BERLO’S SMCR MODEL OF Communication is best for communicating with the same level community in same situation but there no feedback system. Without feedback, communication will not be completed. So it’s may be SMCRF. Thanks.

  • ELIKIMU July 25, 2016, 1:51 pm

    Thats nice but you have to show us where is the feedback

  • collins September 28, 2016, 6:47 pm

    very much educative

  • Ochieng Wyckliff November 2, 2016, 10:46 pm

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