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Speech Communication

English 121

Books and Libraries

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2004

Dine' College

Frances K. Vitali, Ph.D. Adjunct Faculty

cheering fans

Speech Communications Course Syllabus

Semester | Instructor |
Text | Description |
Objectives | Opportunities |
Your Choices | Technology Opportunities |
Field Trips | Grading Criteria |
Schedule | Make-up |
Speaking Plan Format | Speaking Plan Example
Speech Example

"If you want to share a vision or tell the truth, you pick up your pen and take your chances". --Nikki Giovanni--

SPRING Semester 2001

Thursdays 6-9PM

Office Hours by appointment on Thursdays

Course Instructor

Frances Vitali

Instructor's Promise

Mailing Address: Box 3528 Farmington, NM 87499

Residence: Lake Valley, NM

Phone Number: 505.324.0894

E-mail Address:

Frances Vitali

Course Text

Required Text: Foss, S. K. & Foss, K. A. (1994). Inviting transformation: Presentational speaking for a changing world. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Optional Text:DeVito, J. The elements of public speaking.New York: Longman. (2000).

Course Description

Speech Communications is a public speaking course. It is intended to prepare you to speak thoughtfully, understandably, sensitively, and sometimes persuasively to small or large audiences. To do this well, speakers learn how to understand their audiences; how to choose a topic; how to select, research, and organize material for optimal understanding; and how to present this material in an interesting, thought-provoking, and engaging manner. The goal of the course is for you to achieve this competency through classroom activities and discussion; assignments inside and outside of class; and lots of practice.

Course Objectives

At the end of this class, students will be able to:

Analyze an audience with cultural sensitivity.

Gather information into major ideas, appropriate to the interactional goals and audience needs

Create and use technology supports

Create a comprehensive speaking plan

Prepare and deliver a research multi-member (group) presentation

Present materials effectively both visually and orally, as outlined in Chapter 8 "Making Plans"

Prepare speeches using MLA style citations, references, and bibliography

Course Opportunities

Assignments will center on delivering speeches--the preparation, delivery, and evaluation. Some of this work will be done in class. Other elements--gathering information, rehearsal, preparing technology supports, will be on your own time outside of class. For each speech you deliver, you will prepare a speaking plan, and if necessary, a bibliography using MLA style.

Choices You Make

Respect is always given; however, trust must be earned. As a student in this class, you have academic priorities. As your instructor, your learning and education are my priority. Please read and sign My Promise as your commitment to this class.

Participation in our class makes you eligible members of the Gavel Club, as affiliate of Toastmasters International. As time goes on, our class will incorporate the club meeting into our class sessions.

Attendance is expected at classes. Grades will be based upon attendance. Others in the class will appreciate your attendance when they speak, and we all can learn a great deal from the presentations of others.

Students with excessive absences will be dropped from the class.

Each unexcused absence will result in the lowering of one grade point.

Speaking plans must be turned in on the day that you speak. Without a speaking plan, you cannot deliver your speech.

Students must speak on the scheduled days. If you are ill, late, or can't make it, call the instructor before the class begins. Failure to speak on your scheduled days will result in two grades lower than what is deserved.

If you miss a class, you are responsible for all missed work; getting the assignment to the instructor; and completing a make-up assignment from the speech communications website at

Assigned work must be turned in for the assigned class. NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. I may under special circumstances, read a late assignment and make comments, but the assignment itself earns a zero.

Students may be asked to rewrite and redeliver their speeches. Grading of the speech will be withheld until the rewritten speech is satisfactory to both student and instructor. The rewritten speech is due the following week. If not returned the following week, no grade will be given for the speech.

Students are responsible for maintaining academic integrity and honesty in their work. Penalties may include the following: grade reduction, failing course grade, dismissal from the class, suspension or academic probation. (See Dine' College 1999-2000 Catalog, p. 16.)

With the exception of the impromptu speeches, all of the presentations given in class should be delivered extemporaneously--not memorized or read from a manuscript but spoken conversationally, using notes.

By standing in front of the class audience, we assume you are prepared and practiced. Please show respect for yourself and others by being prepared when delivering your speeches.

According to Dine' College attendance policy, if you miss three consecutive absences, you will be dropped from the class.

Allow extra time to get to class. If you are habitually late, your overall grade will suffer. More than 15 minutes late will be considered half an unexcused absence.

You must do all the assigned speeches with rewrites, assignments, class participation depending on the quality of your work in order to earn higher than a C Grade.

Feel free to approach any faculty member about research questions or concerns.

Teaching and learning are synonymous, so our dual role will be learning from each other throughout the course.

Technology Opportunities

Students will become familiar with the following communications technologies:

  • home page design
  • E-mail correspondence--a class e-mail address list will be made for communication purposes
  • Power Point presentation
  • Internet research

Field Trips

Students will have the opportunity to experience speakers and speaking organizations outside the classroom setting.

  • CITs Cultural Programming, coordinated by Lupita Chicag, features a variety of Navajo speakers.
  • Local Toastmasters Clubs, which are speaking organizations, are located in Gallup and Farmington.
  • Midterms will be presented at one of the local Toastmasters Clubs or at Crownpoint Institute of Technology.
  • Final presentations will be performed at local schools/community centers, or local Toastmasters Clubs.
  • The Speech Communications class will take advantage of the local and neighboring resources and events in local and surrounding areas, including Lake Valley, Crownpoint, Farmington, Gallup, and Albuquerque.

Grading Criteria

Assignments: Each assignment carries equal weight in grading.

  • Impromptu Speeches
  • 5 Speeches
  • Oral Delivery of a Story
  • Class Participation
  • Class Assignments
  • Quizzes


A GRADE – completes all course assignments and projects with a high level of academic excellence.

B GRADE – completes all course assignments and projects with an above average level of academic excellence.

C GRADE – completes all course assignments and projects with a satisfactory level of academic excellence.

F GRADE - fails to show competency in course work and content.

No incomplete grades will be given.


Attendance is mandatory during the 16-week course. Notify the instructor in advance of lateness or absences (excused absence). In accordance with Dine’ College policy, three consecutive absences will result in dropping the course.

Each unexcused absences will result in lowering by one letter grade. Being tardy by more than 15 minutes will count as one-half an absence (unexcused).

This course is a participatory, accumulative course where attendance is required to complete the course material. Students are responsible for consulting with instructor about missed work and getting assignments to the instructor. Make-up Assignments are to be completed and turned in the following week to the instructor. No late Make-up Asignments will not be accepted. The instructor has the responsibility to recommend that a student take a prerequisite course level, if necessary.

Tentative Schedule

Speech Communication Course Syllabus

Semester | Instructor |
Text | Description |
Objectives | Opportunities |
Class Policies | Technology Opportunities |
Field Trips | Grading Criteria |
Schedule | Make-up |
Speaking Plan Format | Speaking Plan Example
Speech Example

cheering fans

Created August 22, 1999 by the author,

Frances Vitali

Last Updated 24 August 2004 by the author

copyright August 1999

All rights reserved