SPEECH COMMUNICATIONS A Necessary Skill for Life Mrs. Brown How well do you communicate? Do you possess proper decorum? Are you a good listener? Do you understand formal interactions for the workplace? Are you employing proper grammar and syntax when you communicate? How can you communicate more effectively? We are constantly exposed to words. We hear them, write them, read them, and speak them. We constantly send messages with our words, our written documents, our body language, and our expressions. We constantly engage in information sharing exchanges in everyday society, but are we skilled at this task? The process of sending and receiving messages from one source to another is called communication. Unfortunately, many teens and young adults fail to speak correctly and articulate clearly. Consequently, that lack of formality can impede communication from occurring. Course Overview: In this course you will be exposed to the various elements and types of communication. You will learn how to speak properly and how to listen attentively. Besides “performing” or constantly presenting speeches, you will be responsible for acquiring and enhancing a variety of communication skills. Not only will you learn how to prepare and present a speech, but you will review the origins of our language, examine regional dialects, and pursue your quest for great grammar. Your peers will also expose you to various aspects of communication. You will learn more by doing and observing than by reading and writing. In addition, you will participate in practice drills which focus on pronunciation and delivery to enhance your speaking skills. Knowing your audience in every situation will enable you to become a better speaker. Additionally, research and practice will improve the quality of your speeches. Employing the corrections and critiques provided will enhance your delivery. Maintaining decorum, displaying manners, and behaving appropriately will help you become a more effective listener and will subsequently improve the social graces you possess. Communication is not only what you say. Effective communication relies on how you say it. Primary Text: A Speaker’s Guidebook – text and reference – third edition (National Textbook Company, 2007) Materials: Textbook, speech notebook, pen/pencil, note cards, journal/composition book, access to a computer (either at home or in school), and a resource for finding short anecdotal daily readings. Requirements: The main objective of this course is to allow you improve as a communicator. The requirements to help you achieve this goal are: 1. informal introduction/interview 2. the daily opening reading (a perpetual assignment) 3. the inspirational speech 4. the informative speech 5. the persuasive speech 6. the demonstrative speech 7. the farewell address 8. peer and self-evaluations 9. periodic tests on the vocabulary and general course content information (notes, handouts, lectures, etc) which promote proper – and formal – communication and social skills. We will attempt to scratch the surface of all of these components of the course as time permits during the semester. The workload will be compressed, and students should definitely explore topics independently in order to appreciate all aspects of the course. Attendance: The importance of consistent class attendance cannot be stressed enough! Attendance is crucial since portions of class time are designated to learning speech techniques, researching topics, and performing actual speeches. All students have a responsibility to learn from and support their peers. In addition, the schedule must be maintained, and regular class attendance by all students is necessary for that to occur. STUDENTS MUST TURN IN ANY ASSIGNMENTS DUE ON THEIR ABSENCE (provided that it was excused) BY THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY ON WHICH THEY RETURN TO SCHOOL. The day of return is defined as the actual day on which the student returns to school, even if his/her Speech class does not meet on that day. Students must contact me (via phone, email, mailbox message, or in person) ON THE DAY OF RETURN (an “off” Speech day) to turn in any assignments which were collected and to confirm due dates for make up work and/or tests from the date of the absence. Participation in daily class activities: Each session in Speech class will provide an opportunity to exchange information and develop a rapport among the group. This will be crucial to feel a sense of comfort and security. Every class session is valuable for that positive atmosphere to evolve. Remember that this is a group of your peers; you should allow yourself to become a part of the dynamic in an attempt to foster a supportive and positive audience situation. Interactions and observations are intended to teach by example. A critique of a speech is never a personal attack. It is a learning opportunity. Grading Policy: The marking period grade will be derived from the percentage of points earned from the total number of points possible. Grades will be based upon speeches, tests, homework assignments, cooperative learning opportunities, classroom activities, and demonstrating proper oral speaking capability at all times. Speech Performance Requirements: Each speech will have a series of due dates. Due to the time constraints of a semester course that meets only every other day, each due date is imperative. Therefore, no extensions will be granted except due to legal (excused) absences. Furthermore, students must advocate for themselves when they encounter a problem. All speeches will have at least three due dates, as follows: Topic Card: The first due date involves selecting a topic. For each speech, students must submit a speech topic to be pre-approved for substance and appropriateness. All topics must be printed on an index card and must be dropped into the basket at the door before the second bell rings. Students who do not submit a topic for approval by the designated due date will NOT receive any points for the topic card; however, they will still be required to submit a topic card no later than the end (2:35 p.m.) of the NEXT school day. A topic card must be submitted to move onto the next step in the speech-preparation process. Rough Draft: The second due date involves the rough draft of the speech. All students must turn in written rough drafts on the submission due date. Once again, the basket system will be employed. If the rough draft is not submitted to the instructor upon arrival to class on the due date, the student will earn no credit for the rough draft; however, he/she will still be required to submit a rough draft of the speech no later than the end (2:35 p.m.) of the NEXT school day. If a student does not submit a rough draft by the end of the next school day, he/she will not be permitted to advance to the final draft stage and will consequently receive a zero for the final grade of that speech. Final Draft: The final due date involves the actual performance of the speech. All students must be prepared to perform the assigned speech on the date the final draft of the written speech is due. Speech order will be selected randomly. Speech performances often require at least three class days, and students should be prepared to be called to perform on any one of the presentation days. If the final draft is not submitted to the instructor upon arrival to class on the due date, the student will have the opportunity to submit the draft and perform the speech for HALF-CREDIT provided that he/she submits the final draft of the speech no later than the end (2:35 p.m.) of the NEXT school day. Failure to submit the final draft of the speech by the end of the next school day will result in the student EARNING NO CREDIT FOR THE SPEECH! Once a specific unit/speech type is completed, the student may not present that speech at a later time during the semester. Delivering a speech is a culmination of an intense process of planning and preparation. Due dates are imperative (they are a part of life) and responsibility is vital to the student’s success! Homework: Homework assignments will be stamped at the beginning of class on the day that they are due. Late homework will not be accepted. Appointments, early dismissals, late arrivals, field trips, and athletic dismissals: If students miss class due to an absence of any portion of the day, including an early dismissal, an appointment, a late arrival, or any field trip or athletic event, students MUST submit all assignments – major or minor – that are due on that day. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the action. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of deadlines. The teacher will not “track down” the student to remind him/her of work that is due. Additionally, students must secure any assignments which are due the following day. Failure to comply with this rule will result in earning zero credit on all missed assignments, including major speeches. Academic Integrity: Academic dishonesty of any type will not be tolerated. If students cheat, they will receive a zero for the assignment and will be referred to administration for disciplinary action as is stated in the student handbook. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, copying responses from another student, copying another student’s work, passing off someone else’s work as your own, downloading speeches from the internet (or buying them elsewhere) and turning them in for a grade, and fabricating sources or research evidence. Please be aware that the Derry Township School District has purchased site licenses to check for plagiarism. Speeches may be checked at random or when suspect.