Category A3 and/or A4 Speaking Instruction Course Guidelines

1.     Students' speaking is a significant focus of instructional time. That focus is reflected in the items below.

2.     Students should compose three or four major presentations, totaling 15-20 minutes among the presentations. This speaking time is determined using the final presentations only; revisions do not count towards the total. For example, students may present a 2-minute, 5-minute, 6-minute, and 7-minute presentation (20 total minutes) or a 3-minute, 6- minute and 6-minute presentation (15 total minutes). While there may seem a small number of speaking opportunities, this reduction allows for more drafts and time in class dedicated to discussing revisions. Students may be speaking in class in addition to these major presentations.

3.     Presentations should include at least one speaking workshop or practice session and a final presentation, for two opportunities to speak and refine performance for at least two assignments. The practice sessions should be discussed in some combination of class workshops or peer reviews.

4.     Instructional time should be spent on considerations of audiences, purposes, and stylistic choices for the presentations the students prepare. That is, students consider the expectations of their audiences in concert with the tools (presentation aids, language, stylistic devices, and organizational patterns) that will help them achieve their purposes.

5.     Professors may provide discipline specific themes or issues about which students may develop presentations. For example, informative, persuasive, or celebratory content.

6.     Students will focus on ethical and credibility issues.

7.     Students should be listening to examples of good and bad presentations similar to the presentations they are being asked to produce.

8.     As much as possible, grammar, organization, and nonverbal characteristics should be addressed in the context of students' practice sessions. The cultural, discipline-specific, and contextual nature of standards should be acknowledged, discussed, and applied as appropriate.  

Other Speaking Courses

Other courses can be submitted for inclusion as a speaking elective in category A. These courses must emphasize oral communication skills in interpersonal, small group, multicultural, and performance contexts and provide opportunities for students to practice and present their skills to an audience. The guidelines above should be incorporated to varying degrees depending on the context.