Oral Communication

Course Syllabus –M11_Oral Communication

Class Contacts: Weekly (3 hours: 16 Ws.)

Professor: Abdeslam Badre


Course Overview

The goals of this course are to increase oral fluency and to improve listening comprehension in both academic and everyday conversation, by helping students to:

  1. Master the fundamental principles of interpersonal communication ;
  2. Improve their listening skills;
  3. Use and process verbal and nonverbal messages effectively;
  4. Improve their interpersonal relationships;
  5. Manage conflict and power in interpersonal communication.

Additionally, students will work on improving their recognition and use of idiomatic English while participating in class discussions, as well as express opinions, debate, and negotiate conversation. Content information will be provided through lecture, readings, discussion, role-play, interviews and observations for the purpose of learning oral communication skills that include both speaking and listening.


By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Utilize listening comprehension of both native and non-native spoken English in a wide variety of activities in different academic, social, and personal settings.
  2. Speak with sufficient accuracy and fluency to facilitate comprehension in professional and academic situations.
  3. Deliver presentations in classroom settings, and participate in formal and informal discussions by explaining and supporting their opinions.
  4. Take notes during instructor lectures and presentations and summarize the content.
  5. Demonstrate interaction skills such as negotiating, repairing, opening and closing conversations.
  6. Analyze common cultural, social and linguistic differences.
  7. Build and utilize formal and informal vocabulary, including figurative language and idiomatic usage of English.


Course Material: public speaking and presentations DeMYSTiFieD. The McGraw-Hill Companies. 2010. ISBN: 978-0-07-160122-1
. Additionally, various video lectures and extra material will be provided in class.


Course Requirements


To ensure inclusive, fair, and continuous assessments of students’ progress and class performance, continuous assessment through various means will be applied, as shown below:


Attendance & Participation 

  • For a satisfactorily successful completion of this course, students must attend classes and come prepared to participate fully in class activities. Class participation is vital, not only because it affects grades, but also it helps students develop English language accuracy.
  • Students are highly encouraged to engage with their classmates and instructor in the target language, and seek help from the instructor and peers whenever needed.
  • Attendance with preparation and active participation in all classes.
  • Successful completion of all assignments by the due dates.
  • You can expect to spend three hours outside of class for each in-class hour.
  • Important Note: Absences will not be tolerated. If a student has a medical, legal or otherwise valid excuse for missing class (the validity of the excuse is at the discretion of the instructor), then this student is not excused for the homework due during the missed period, and must turn it in when they come back. Students are also responsible for material covered in class while they are away. THREE UNEXCUSED ABSENCES will result in an Attendance & Participation grade of “0” (30% of your evaluation!).


  • Homework will be assigned on weekly basis. All assigned homework will be corrected collectively at the beginning of each and every class contact. Therefore, students are expected to come to class having done their assigned homework. Late submission of homework assignments may be checked but will not be given any credit. 
  • Completion of the homework and its submission on time will guarantee the homework grade. My feedback will be in the form of comments rather than grades, as my concern here will be the process and progress of students’ learning.
  • Students are encouraged to study and work on homework with peers as much as possible, since that will optimize learning.  It is important to follow up on my comments on the homework, and it is students’ responsibility to seek the instructor’s further assistance.
  • Presentations: You are required to deliver two short presentations (each about 10 to 15 minutes long). The first presentation will be a chapter from the assigned course textbook. Each student will be assigned a chapter from the textbook during the first week of the semester. The second presentation will be on a theme that the student chooses. Each student is encouraged to pick a topic that is interesting to them and to their classmates. I will give you examples in class of sample presentations and visual aids that you can use.
  • Debates: Students in groups will engage in two debates on topics chosen by students.
  • Listening Logs: Keep a Listening Log of TV, radio programs, academic lectures, out of class conversation, etc, you have watched or listened to. Please write one entry per week.
  • Late Assignments: If you are unable to attend class on a day of your presentation, you are expected to inform me before class time that day. In-class work cannot be made up.

Final Exam:

There will be a session final exam that comprises all parts covered during the whole semester. Students will be notified about the date and format of the midterm exam ahead of time.


Classroom Policy


Each student must fulfill the following requirements of the course:

  • Spend at least 3 hours per week on self-study. Self-study includes all assignments given by the instructor.
  • Conduct Internet and library research, review class notes and handouts, study the textbook, and perform all other activities as requested.
  • Please deactivate your cell phones before class and keep them off during class time. No phone calls and no text messaging are allowed during class. If cell phone use becomes a distraction in class the offending student will be penalized.
  •  Laptops are only allowed when needed for occasional class work. However, when that happens, be informed that e-mail check and web-surf are strictly prohibited
  • You are responsible of bringing all the necessary text-book materials. Students without textbook will not be allowed to the class.
  • Tardiness: Late arrivals are a distraction and interfere with the learning that is taking place in the class as a whole. Students who are more than ten minutes late for class will be counted as absent for that class.

Useful Links & References



  • Wide range of podcasts: http://www.businessenglishpod.com/category/business-english/
  • Two short (3 to 5 minute) podcasts available every week, in clearly spoken English: http://www.listen-to-english.com
  • “6-Minute English”. Podcasts for learners of English. Excellent ressource. Transcrits avalable : http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/index.shtml
  • A wide range of BBC podcasts (advanced level): http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts
  • Podcasts on subjects as varied as peace symbols, pilgrimages and twins. Consult the archive online (click on the topic), or subscribe free of charge to receive a monthly podcast: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/topics
  • Interviews with famous writers, painters, filmmakers, musicians, scientists, sports personalities, etc. from the BBC archives. Advanced level: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/audiointerviews/professions/



Semester’s Calendar

Week 1

Course & Syllabus Introduction + Chp. 1: What Do I Do First?


Week 2

Chp2: Audience Analysis - Culture and Interpersonal Communication

Week 3

 Chp3. Finding Information to support your ideas - The Self in Interpersonal Communication

Week 4

 Chp4. Putting the pieces together - Perception in Interpersonal Communication

Week 5

 Chp5. Creating an outline - Listening in Interpersonal Communication

Week 6

 Chp6. Creating an introduction - Verbal Messages

Week 7

Chp7. Creating a powerful conclusion - Midterm Exam

Week 8

Chp8. Using note- Nonverbal Messages

Week 9

Chp9. Creating great slides - Universals of Interpersonal Relationships

Week 10

 Chp10. Dealing with anxiety- Interpersonal Relationships: Friendship, Family, and Workplace Relationships

Week 11

 Chp11. Are you listening - Conflict in Interpersonal Communication

Week 12

 Chp12. Using your voice - Power in Interpersonal Communication

Week 13

Chp13. Non-verbal communication

Week 14

Chp14. Are there any question

Week 15

Final Exam