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Building a Nation Essay

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This resource is specifically designed to help teachers prepare for the District Public Speaking Festival. A separate resource, entitled Informal and Formal Speaking Experiences, is available through Winslow Centre. It is our hope that a formal speech is only a part of the oral presentation work students will be given each year. Informal and Formal Speaking Experiences contains many ideas for providing a rich array of oral presentations for middle and secondary English and Humanities students.

Rationale for Public Speaking 3
Public Speaking/English Language Arts IRP Connections: Middle School 5 Public Speaking/English Language Arts IRP Connections: Secondary School 6 The District Public Speaking Festival 7

Expectations for Participants 8
Plagiarism 9
Preparing a Speech that Fully Meets or Exceeds Expectations 10 Using the Criteria at School12
Adjudication Form 13
Written Adjudication Form 15
Scorekeeper Form 16

Rationale for Public Speaking

Why Public Speaking?

Every year, students ask why they must endure moments of terror in front of their peers in the name of public speaking. Surveys show that public speaking is one of the activities that people fear most. Most teachers genuinely like their students. Why then does public speaking persist?

The “You never know when . . .” Argument

Most adults are called upon to speak to groups of people at least a few times in their lives. Members of wedding parties are often expected to deliver speeches. Many people have to testify in court (as witnesses, we hope). Employers sometimes ask veteran employees to speak to trainees. Students should recognize that there is no guarantee that they will get through adult life without having to speak to groups of people.

The “It’s in the Curriculum” Argument

A partial list of connections between public speaking and the prescribed learning outcomes for English Language Arts grades 6 to 12 is given on the next two pages.

The “Confront Your Fears” Argument

We all have activities that we avoid as much as possible. Proponents of this argument, though, believe that personal growth occurs when people are compelled to do those things they would never choose to do. For most people, public speaking falls nicely into this category. By compelling our students to face their peers and speak to them coherently, we are helping them develop a skill they would never otherwise acquire.

The Citizenship Argument

This is the most compelling argument. If we understand the purpose of education to be preparing students for worthwhile lives as citizens in a democracy, then public speaking is a critical component of that preparation.
The dialogue that is an essential part of the democratic process depends upon the willingness and ability of people to express themselves clearly in public venues. As this is not an innate attribute for most of us, it must be cultivated, and public speaking is one of the most effective tools for such cultivation.

The case for public speaking is a strong one, and the case against it rests mainly on the observation that public speaking makes many speakers uncomfortable. Public speaking prepares students for adult obligations and for citizenship, and it provides opportunity for personal growth.

Public Speaking/English Language Arts IRP Connections: Middle School

| |It is expected that students will | |Grade 6 |adjust their degree of language formality as required by the form and purpose of their presentations. | | |demonstrate their knowledge of the basic conventions of public speaking. | | |identify the purpose, audience, and form for each of their communications. | | |create a variety of oral and written communications to express their feelings and concerns. | |Grade 7 |adjust the degree of formality in their language to suit the form and purpose of their presentations. | | |demonstrate their knowledge of the conventions of public speaking and informal oral presentations. | | |apply the rules and conventions of formal presentations, including speeches, news reporting, and dramatic monologues. | | |create a variety of written and oral communications to record their views, opinions, values, and beliefs. | |Grade 8 |compose or create works of communication for specific audiences and purposes, including to entertain, persuade, or | | |inform. | | |practice, assess, and offer feedback on oral presentations—including
informal speeches and debates—focussing on such | | |features as the inclusion of appropriate introductions and conclusions, eye contact, and pacing. | | |create a variety of academic, technical, and personal communications, including poems, stories, personal essays, oral | | |and written reports, group presentations, and informal dramatizations. |

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Sources: English Language Arts K to 7 – Integrated Resource Package 1996
English Language Arts 8 to 10 – Integrated Resource Pacakage 1996

Public Speaking/English Language Arts IRP Connections: Secondary School

| |It is expected that students will | |Grade 9 |locate and assess the effectiveness of a variety of persuasive techniques in relation to purpose, audience, and medium. | | |create a variety of communications designed to persuade, inform, and entertain classroom and other audiences. | | |create a variety of personal, literary, technical, and academic communications, including poems, stories, and personal | | |essays; oral and visual presentations; written explanations, summaries, and arguments; letters; and bibliographies. | |Grade 10 |demonstrate their awareness of how the artful use of language can affect and influence others. | | |create communications for an increasing range of audiences and purposes including pleasure and entertainment. | | |create a variety of academic, technical, and personal communications, including debates, research and technical reports,| | |oral and multimedia presentations, poetry, and personal essays. | |Grade 11 |manipulate the conventions of language for stylistic effect. | | |adapt their oral
presentations and discussions to best suit audiences and styles. | | |demonstrate confidence in their abilities to communicate effectively in a variety of formal and informal contexts. | |Grade 12 |adapt their use of language register and the sophistication of grammatical constructs for specific audiences and | | |purposes. | | |create presentations in forms that are appropriate to a variety of subjects, audiences, and purposes, including | | |informing, persuading, and entertaining. | | |demonstrate confidence in their abilities to communicate effectively in a variety of school, community, and work | | |contexts. |

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Sources: English Language Arts 8 to 10 – Integrated Resource Pacakage 1996 English Language Arts 11 and 12 – Integrated Resource Package 1996

The District Public Speaking Festival

Every year, the school district hosts public speaking festivals at the grade 4/5, middle school, and secondary levels. These festivals occur each spring (secondary festivals occur twice a year, due to their semestered organization). This year’s festivals will feature a new format. The following comments pertain to the middle school and secondary festivals; a separate document is available from Winslow Centre for the elementary festivals.

Background

Middle and secondary school English Language Arts teachers were surveyed earlier this year, and while the majority of respondents favoured keeping the existing competitive model, many expressed the wish for a change. The
specific model being adopted was recommended by several respondents, and it is also in accordance with the large number of teachers who wanted an enhanced adjudication component to the event.

Rationale

Given that all the English Language Arts IRPs advocate criterion-referenced evaluation, in which “a student’s performance is compared to established criteria rather than to the performance of other students,” the contest organizers have decided to fully incorporate criterion-referenced evaluation for the contest.

Under the new format, students will not compete against each other, but will instead compete against standards of public speaking excellence. Those who meet the highest standard will receive gold medals. Silver and bronze medals will likewise be given to speakers who meet those standards. Each participant will also receive a certificate.

Students should understand that the application of the standards will be consistent. While a group of especially strong speakers in a particular grade may earn two or three gold medals among themselves, it is also conceivable that no one in a given grade may be awarded a gold medal.

Details

Four adjudicators will be on hand for each festival. Three of these adjudicators will evaluate the speeches and speakers according to the criteria on the following pages. At the end of each grade’s speeches, one of the three adjudicators will take that grade’s speakers to a separate room, where each speaker will receive a one-to-one adjudication. These adjudications will occur while the fourth adjudicator rotates in and the next grade’s speeches proceed. The adjudications will provide feedback on strengths of the performance as well as suggestions for future improvement. Each student will receive a written adjudication form, in addition to the oral adjudication.

The new model should still provide ample incentive for students to excel, but it should also reduce the resentment and doubt that sometimes cloud competitions. This model will also ensure that the standards are applied consistently, regardless of the number of students speaking in a particular grade level (the pressure to identify a “winner” is removed).

Expectations for Participants

In addition to observing the expectations made explicit in the scoring rubric, speakers are also expected to honour and be aware of the following:

• The microphone will remain fixed in its stand
• There will be no podium
• Speakers will not wear costumes or use props
• The use of cue cards and written notes is encouraged • Students must choose one of the following categories for their speech: ➢ Narrative (the speech tells a story)
➢ Reporting (the speech gives information)
➢ Convincing (the speech attempts to persuade)
• The following expectations for speech length will be in place: ➢ Grades 6 to 8 – 3 to 4 minutes
➢ Grades 9 to 12 – 4 to 6 minutes
• Each speaker will receive an oral and a written adjudication by one of the three adjudicators who heard the speeches • Appropriate audience behaviour is expected from all participants throughout the festival; students should remember they are representing their school

Plagiarism

Teachers and schools must make every reasonable effort to ensure that speeches delivered at the district level are the original works of the students who deliver them. Remind students that using the words of others is acceptable, and often desirable, but that those words must be attributed to their creator explicitly within the speech. If a student feels that the
attribution impedes the speech, encourage him/her to find an original way to express the same thought.

In the unfortunate event that a speech should prove to have been fully or partially plagiarized after a medal has been awarded, the plagiarizing student will be stripped of the medal, and his/her school’s administration will be informed, as will his/her English/Humanities teacher. The offending speech will be edited out of the district public speaking video. The organizers hope there would be further school-level consequences for this serious academic crime.

Preparing a Speech that Fully Meets or Exceeds
Expectations

1. Understand Your Task

Please note that the chart below makes the differences between what public speaking is and isn’t appear far more black and white than they actually are. In the past, students have used a few seconds of either stand-up comedy or dramatic monologue as an opening “grabber”; this practice does not disqualify such speeches from the competition. However, the overall impression of the speech should sit on the left side of the chart below rather than on the right, and judges will be more particular about this as the age of participating students increases.

|Public Speaking is |Public Speaking is not | |disciplined. |stand-up comedy. | |animated. |dramatic monologue. | |formal. |about speaking on informal topics that are inappropriate for a| |about speaking on topics that are appropriate for a large audience |large audience of relative or total strangers. | |of relative or total strangers. |about active audience
participation or involvement. | |about speaking in public to a non-interactive audience. |theatre sports or performance art. | | |preaching. | | |acting. |

2. Choose Your Topic

Use the following guidelines in selecting a topic for your speech: 1. choose a topic about which you really care
2. make sure it’s one you can “personalize”
3. use your imagination: judges like to hear a speech on an original topic or an original approach to a familiar topic 4. make sure your work is original; plagiarism in any form is not acceptable 5. decide on a topic that is appropriate for a formal event (check with your teacher if you aren’t sure)

3. Prepare Your Speech

Choose one of the three types of speech that are permitted in the festival: 1. Narrative – use lots of expression and gestures in telling your story. 2. Reporting – ensure you include your own ideas and opinions on the topic as well as researched facts. 3. Convincing – while you must present your side of the argument clearly, you should also include comments about why you believe the others side of the issue is not correct; researched facts are also appropriate for this type of speech. At the district level, you will be asked to identify the type of speech you’ll be giving, and part of your evaluation will depend on your speech being of the identified type. Recognize that many fine speeches are actually a combination of two or more of the categories above; it is enough to identify the type that best describes the bulk of your speech.

Here is some more speech preparation advice:
6. avoid wandering from the subject; stay on topic
7. choose what to emphasize; don’t include too much information 8. begin your speech with something to grab the audience’s attention 9. finish your speech by summarizing briefly and trying to leave an impact 10. make sure all your plans fit with the Festival Expectations

4. Practice Your Speech

Talent is no substitute for practice. Please heed the following: 11. practice first in front of small, friendly audiences
12. self-assess using the adjudication form
13. memorize the key ideas in your speech rather than memorizing every word and sentence 14. write out everything you want to say, then transfer the ideas to numbered note cards and throw out the original written-out speech 15. use hand gestures only to stress points

16. speak clearly and distinctly
17. vary your voice pace and volume; emphasize important words 18. use “the pause” effectively
19. develop a smooth delivery
20. don’t use “ah,” and “eh,” and “um”
21. don’t talk through your teeth or let your voice become monotonous 22. avoid slang-like delivery as in “cuz,” “gonna,” and “gotta”; enunciate clearly 23. don’t swear
5. Deliver Your Speech

Success requires both practice and careful planning. Here are some tips: 24. dress appropriately
25. stand tall but try to be relaxed: you must look and sound as if you are enjoying yourself 26. speak slowly enough to be heard clearly
27. use appropriate expression but not a “phoney” voice 28. plan and use appropriate gestures in a natural way
29. it’s okay to make a mistake; just carry on
30. wear a pleasant expression (as if you are facing friends) 31. look around; establish visual contact with your audience 32. don’t walk during your speech
33. don’t fidget with your hands or use the same gesture repeatedly 34. don’t talk to the ceiling or floor

Using the Criteria at School

Teachers are not obliged to use the criteria in this booklet in their own classrooms or at the school level, though they are welcome to do so. If a teacher/school is using a different set of criteria, students who are going to the district festival should be given the district criteria in advance, so that they may better prepare.

If a teacher/school is using the district criteria at the classroom or school level, the strict application of the criteria might create the following problem. If two, three, or more students in a particular grade or class achieve the gold medal standing, how should the teacher/school choose a representative from among them? Here are some suggestions (the suggestions are framed for the classroom context, but they can easily be adapted at the school level): • Have the gold medallists leave the room while the class discusses the merits of each speech. Ask the students to vote for the speech they feel will best represent the class at the next level (school or district). It may be that, all else being equal, students may feel more proud to be associated with one speech topic than with another. • Have the gold medallists decide among themselves which student/speech would best represent the class. • Choose one of the gold medallists at random (the assumption being that, having achieved the same level, each speaker would represent the class equally well). • Ask the gold medallists if any of them are not interested in continuing to the next level. If only one student is interested in continuing, the problem is solved. Adjudication Form

Speaker Narrative
Reporting
Title/Topic TimeConvincing (circle one)

| |Does Not Yet Meet |Minimally Meets Expectations |Fully Meets |Exceeds |
| | |Expectations* |(score 2) |Expectations |Expectations |Score | | |(score 1) | |(score 3) |(score 4) |(1-4) | |Organization |Introduction, body, and |Introduction, body, and |Introduction, body, and |An engaging introduction | | | |conclusion not readily |conclusion are identifiable, |conclusion are identifiable |that leads naturally to a | | | |recognizable |but generally not engaging |and generally, but not |fully-explored topic, | | | |Apparent purpose may |Speech begins with statement |consistently, engaging |building to a clear | | | |unintentionally differ from |of purpose, stated in |Clear statement of purpose |conclusion | | | |stated purpose, or there may |predictable manner |Appropriate speech length |Purpose presented in | | | |be no statement of purpose |Speech may wander from stated| |sophisticated manner – may | | | |Speech is too short for |purpose | |be implicit | | | |format or subject matter |Speech length is appropriate | |Appropriate speech length | | | | |or excessive | | | | |Content |Absence of detail, or larger |Either detail or larger |Sufficient detail and larger |Effective blend of detail | | | |context, or both |context is insufficient |context both evident |and larger context | | | |Limited or no support |Obvious oversights in support|Sufficient support |Ample support | | |Appropriateness |Speech offended some audience|Speaker seemed to |No foreseeable chance of |No foreseeable chance of | | | |members, adjudicator, or |deliberately
“walk the line” |offending audience |offending audience | | | |both** |of appropriate content |A few slips in |Delivery consistently | | | |There may be a mismatch |Several slips in |appropriateness of delivery |appropriate to tone of | | | |between tone of speech and |appropriateness of delivery | |speech | | | |tone of delivery | | | | | |Voice and Language |Use of voice encourages |Inconsistent use of voice may|Use of voice complements |Use of voice increases | | | |audience disengagement |detract from effectiveness of|effectiveness of the content |effectiveness of the content| | | |Limited vocabulary, numerous |the content |Sufficient vocabulary, no |Effective vocabulary, no | | | |pronunciation errors, little |Adequate vocabulary, one or |pronunciation errors, some |pronunciation errors, | | | |variety in sentence |two pronunciation errors, |variety in sentence |variety of sentence | | | |structures |limited variety in sentence |structures |structures used | | | | |structures | | | | |Eye Contact/ |Almost non-existent eye |Time spent making eye contact|More time spent making eye |Almost continuous eye | | |Body Language |contact with audience, body |with audience and looking |contact with audience than |contact with audience, | | | |language and mannerisms |down about equal, limited use|looking down, some use of |effective use of body | | | |detract from content and |of body language, one or two |body language, no distracting|language, no distracting | | | |distract audience |distracting mannerisms |mannerisms |mannerisms | | |
| | | | | | | | | | |TOTAL | |

Speakers receive a score from 1 to 4 in each of the five criteria, for a total score out of 20. Adjudicators are encouraged to avoid using half marks.
| | Standards | |Gold |19 or 20 (five 4s or four 4s and a 3) | |Silver |17 or 18 (at least two 4s) | |Bronze |15 or 16 (more 3s and 4s than 2s) |

*Speakers scoring a scale point 1 in any category
will not qualify for a medal, regardless of total score.

**Adjudicators must understand the difference between
a speaker who challenges or upsets the audience to achieve a rhetorical purpose, and a speaker who offends the audience. The former is a hallmark of many excellent speakers; the latter is not.

(to be printed as a legal sized document separate form the booklet format)

Scorekeeper Form

Speaker Narrative
Reporting
Title/Topic Convincing (circle one)

| |Adjudicator 1 |Adjudicator 2 |Adjudicator 3 | |Organization | | | | |Content | | | | |Appropriateness |
| | | |Voice and Language | | | | |Eye Contact/ | | | | |Body Language | | | | | | | | | |TOTAL | | | | |MEDAL (circle one) |G S B NM |G S B NM |G S B NM | |(NM = No Medal) | | | |

| | Standards | |Gold |19 or 20 (five 4s or four 4s and a 3) | |Silver |17 or 18 (at least two 4s) | |Bronze |15 or 16 (more 3s and 4s than 2s) |

NOTE: Speakers scoring a scale point 1 in any category from any adjudicator will not qualify for a district medal, regardless of total score.

|District Gold Medal |District Silver Medal |District Bronze Medal | |Awarded if adjudicators scored: |Awarded if adjudicators scored: |Awarded if adjudicators scored: | |Gold / Gold / Gold |Gold / Gold / Bronze |Silver / Bronze / Bronze | |Gold / Gold / Silver |Gold / Silver / Silver |Bronze / Bronze / Bronze | | |Gold / Silver / Bronze | | | |Silver / Silver / Silver | | |
|Silver / Silver / Bronze | |

NOTE: Other combinations are possible, but at the district level they are unlikely. For the record, Gold / Gold / NM would receive a silver medal, unless the NM was the result of a scale point 1; Bronze / NM / NM would receive no medal; NM / NM / NM would receive no medal; any other combination would receive a bronze medal, unless the NM(s) was the result of a scale point 1.

Written Adjudication Form

Speaker Narrative
Reporting
Title/Topic Convincing (circle one)

The adjudicator responsible for one-to-one adjudications should put at least one appropriate comment in each box below.

Speakers must understand that, at the district level, this form represents the observations made by one of three adjudicators. Therefore, the comments on this form may appear to be in conflict with the overall medal level achieved.

Strength of speaker or speech

Strength of speaker or speech

Suggestion for improvement

———————–

|Compiled and edited by: |[pic] | |Liz Orme | | |Gloria Gustafson | | |Norm Olding
| | |Winslow Centre | |


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