LENG 1161 English 10a Speaking 2 for Academic Purposes
Each course in the English Academic Support Program focuses on a particular topic. This course is the last course in the skills cycle and its topic focuses on applying the two central principles of the PAL program (English for Academic Purposes and Student Autonomy) towards improving student abilities in oral communication. The course allows students to both develop and present on content related to linguistic aspects relevant to learners of English as a second language as well as professional language specifically related to students’ future professional goals related and possibly unrelated to their fields of study.
Prior to this course, students received specific instruction on the language learning process, phonetics, organization of ideas and autonomy; thus, this course extends prior learning about pronunciation and autonomy by teaching students prosodic features (such as intonation, thought groups and emphasis) through a blended learning approach. This will permit them to make their speech more natural, meaningful, interesting and comprehensible in a professional setting.
English 10a also focuses on several key aspects of public speaking and spontaneous discourse through speaking tasks and assignments in different genres (storytelling, group discussions, formal presentations, one-on-one interviews). Special emphasis is placed on communicative strategies, preparing for speaking, developing confidence and fluency, establishing connection with the audience, as well as the importance of organization and concision with respect to expressing ideas. The course is also based on the idea that being a strong speaker, whether it be as a public speaker or in spontaneous professional discourse with a specific aim, requires focused practice, so ‘learning by doing’ is emphasized.
In sum, students completing this 48-hour course display improved clarity, fluency and precision in prepared talks as well as spontaneous / improvisational speaking situations. Public speaking skills are enhanced due to improvements in organization, concision and confidence, leading students to realize that it is not only what one says, but how one says it. This concept is emphasized not only with respect to the aforementioned techniques but through related academic readings on linguistics and critical discussion about sociocultural themes surrounding language learning and use.
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