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Speech pedagogy beyond the basics: a study of instructional methods in the advanced public speaking course

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Although the class in advanced public speaking is a mainstay of communication instruction, little scholarship has addressed the nature of expertise in public speaking or the instructional techniques by which it is imparted. The present study conducted in-depth interviews with 23 active college teachers of advanced public speaking, inquiring specifically about their goals, curriculum, and classroom activities for the class and the ways in which these were distinguished from the basic speech class. Qualitative thematic analysis yielded six distinctive themes: (1) extensive speaking performance and individualized critique, (2) learning additional genres, (3) learning additional theory, (4) intensive study of models, (5) extensive self-analysis, and (6) sophisticated processes for analyzing speaking situations. Two broad pedagogical tensions, both with classical roots, attend these issues: (1) the tension between teaching theory and facilitating practice and (2) the tension between teaching forms of speaking and teaching rhetorical processes.

Keywords: advanced public speaking; higher education curriculum; public speaking instruction; speech expertise

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2004


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