Learning Outcome #1: Learners will speak for a variety of purposes and audiences.
1.1) In Level 2 Communications, the emphasis is on speaking about familiar topics in comfortable settings. Level 3 builds on that foundation and emphasises more structured presentations. However, not all learners will come to Level 3 from Level 2; they may need to start with tasks that they perceive to be less threatening (e.g. “give-a-talks,” where speakers present small segments of information, such as: my favourite holiday, my family, my work environment, etc.).
1.2) Present examples of various forms of speaking in a visual manner (e.g. a collage of photos, video clips, etc.), so that learners can see that there are many different types of speaking, for many different purposes.
1.3) Before starting specific speaking tasks (and later, listening tasks) with learners, instructors may want to assess and address cultural differences in communication within the classroom. Effective intercultural communication skills are important to support learning and to foster understanding. Allowances for individual and small group communication differences should be made. Refer to Part Four: Curriculum Applications, Intercultural Communication Skills of this curriculum guide for an explanation of and useful tools for effective intercultural communication.
1.4) Present different types of interview questions to the learners, and have them choose those that they would like to answer (e.g. questions on the following topics: first ten years of life, likes and dislikes, favourite people or role models, significant times in your life, etc.). This classroom practise helps to prepare learners for interviews outside of the classroom.
1.5) Before learners begin speaking to a group, address the issues and feelings surrounding “fear of speaking.” Suggest tips to calm nervousness (e.g. physical exercises, mental exercises, practising speech, thinking about what to do with hands and feet, breathing slowly, deeply, and regularly, etc.). Remind learners that everyone gets nervous before they speak, and that they are not alone. A speaker always looks far less nervous than she feels; people cannot see most natural nervous reactions. Provide opportunities and time for speakers to calm nerves before presentations.
1.6) It is recommended that these and other skills in the learning outcomes for Speaking be integrated with some of the learning outcomes from the new Social Sciences or Life/Work Studies curricula. These tasks can also be integrated with some of the learning outcomes for Writing, or used in conjunction with a new writing task.
1.7) Create a safe environment where learners can respectfully share their disagreement, emotion, doubt, uncertainty, insecurity, or where they can change their views without penalty. Provide many opportunities for peer discussion, group discussion, class discussion, etc. so that learners become comfortable with sharing thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
1.8) Self-assessment tools (rating scales or checklists) can be used to assess criteria such as effort, progress, and achievement.
1.9) Learners and instructor decide how relationship building will be verified. Create a verification system and a self-assessment/self-reflection tool for this purpose.
Learning Outcome #2: Learners will recognize that speaking is a process as well as a tool for communicating, thinking, and learning.
2.1) Discrete elements of speaking may include, but are not limited to: eye contact, gestures, expression/tone, volume, pace, questioning, turn-taking, rephrasing, providing feedback, expressing opinions, politically-correct and incorrect expressions and terminology, avoidance of complicated words, jargon, euphemism, cliché, abbreviations, knowledge of local slang, idiom, or colloquial expressions, and a variety of speaking practices amongst different cultures.
2.2) Fitting in with a particular discourse may involve shifting to another language, vocabulary, or tone (e.g. my work discourse is different from my home discourse because my work discourse includes the specific technical language associated with my trade; my First Nation discourse is different from my urban classroom discourse because my First Nation discourse has differences in tone, vocabulary, and language; my friend discourse is different from my grandparent discourse because my friend discourse has differences in tone and vocabulary). Stress that cultural practices regarding voice patterns, voicing differences of opinion, etc. can vary, and that there is no one correct way.
2.3) Nurture an accepting environment where learners will feel free to express themselves without fear of censure by you or by fellow learners.
2.4) Learners identify strengths and areas for improvement in their speaking. Encourage learners to focus on one or two areas to improve at a time, rather than trying to improve all aspects at once (e.g. speakers present a mini-talk where only one aspect is assessed). Self-assessment tools (rubrics, rating scales, checklists, etc.) can be used to assess criteria such as effort, progress, and achievement. Learners should help to create these tools for effectiveness and relevance.
2.5) Regularly scheduled meetings between instructor and learner allow the learner to reflect upon learning, assess progress towards learning goals, and adjust his goals as required. These meetings are also opportunities for the instructor to provide feedback on progress.
Learning Outcome #3: Learners will practise appropriate behaviours of effective speakers and complete a variety of speaking activities.
3.1) Provide speakers with various methods of preparing for a variety of speaking occasions.
3.2) This can be integrated with a skill in the learning outcomes in the Social Sciences or the Life/Work Studies curricula. Learners and instructor decide how interviews outside the classroom will be verified. Create a verification system and a self-assessment/self-reflection tool for this purpose.
3.3) This can be integrated with a skill in the learning outcomes for Writing, or in the learning outcomes in the Social Sciences or Life/Work Studies curricula. Look for opportunities for learners to gain credit for achieving these skills outside of the classroom setting.
3.4) Provide opportunities for learners to complete “mini-presentations” in class.
3.5) Learners can assess the clarity and quality of the message, language use, use of voice (tone, volume, rate), use of media, use of body and eye contact, and response to audience messages through the use of self-assessment tools.