The Basics of Speech: Learning to be a Competent Communicator

Grade Levels: 6-12

The Basics of Speech teaches students to be more competent communicators by helping them understand the communication process, appreciate their own communication skills, and develop greater strengths in communication. The text is based on five communication functions identified by the National Communication Association: controlling, feeling, informing, ritualizing, and imagining, and is ideal for both middle and high school.

The Basics of Speech: Learning to be a Competent Communicator

In the Program Highlights section of the Teacher's Resource Book, the authors write: "Young adolescents are concerned about building relationships with their peers, becoming more adept at socializing, formulating reasons for their actions and beliefs, evaluating the messages of others, and becoming more skilled at speaking in front of others." Young adolescents are deciding "who they are and how they fit in." The educational experiences in The Basics of Speech are designed to help students build confidence in their communication abilities as they make these decisions.


Unit 1: The Basics of Communication

  • Chapter 1 - The Communication Process
  • Chapter 2 - Elements of Communication
  • Chapter 3 - The Work of Speaking and Listening
  • Chapter 4 - The Competent Communicator

Unit 2: Communication with Self and Others

  • Chapter 5 - Communication and Yourself
  • Chapter 6 - Communication with Others

Unit 3: Group Communication

  • Chapter 7 - Communication in Groups
  • Chapter 8 - Forms of Group Discussion

Unit 4: Public Communication

  • Chapter 9 - Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Chapter 10 - Finding and Using Information
  • Chapter 11 - Constructing the Speech
  • Chapter 12 - Delivering the Speech
  • Chapter 13 - Creating the Informative Speech
  • Chapter 14 - Creating the Persuasive Speech
  • Chapter 15 - Learning about Debate

Unit 5: Interpretive Communication

  • Chapter 16 - Preparing for Oral Interpretation
  • Chapter 17 - Performing Oral Interpretation
  • Chapter 18 - Group Interpretation