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Oral Language

Oral Language ranges from everyday speech, through asking and answering questions to formal activities such as debating and public speaking. It is possibly the most extensive activity in which humans are involved. It also involves the development of effective Listening Skills.

The following provides information about the more formal aspects of this. It includes Public Speaking and Debating, while also providing resources for the general development of speaking skill. Listening Skills are also included.

Debating

Commonwealth & State Information

Covers school level and general debating information.

For links to debating competitions in various states/territories, check the Competitions & Challenges page.

  • Australian Debating Federation
    ‘The peak body for schools debating in Australia. We oversee the provision of debating competitions for Australian school students from across the country’. All relevant information.
  • Debaters Association of Victoria
    Information for schools and adults, resources, events, Australian Debating Championships, Resources including a Schools Competition Resource Guide.
  • Debating
    Calendar, competitions, resources, more from the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit.
  • Debating SA
    ‘Operates across South Australia to allow students from schools and community organisations to participate in an education-based activity that promotes the development of communication, interpersonal and leadership skills’.
  • Queensland Debating Union
    Training Materials, a calendar of events for the coming year, resources, more.
  • Tasmanian Debating Union
    ‘Organises schools debating competitions in Tasmania and selects and trains Tasmanian teams to compete in the Australian Debating Championships’. Calendar, resources, links.
  • The New South Wales Debating Union
    ‘Seeks to promote and develop high school debating in New South Wales’.
  • Western Australian Debating League
    ‘Established a forum for competitive debate between Perth metropolitan schools’. Now has more. Schools Competition, National Championships, resources, links, the latest news, more.

Other Information

  • Debatabase : a world of great debates
    Hundred of debates in grouped topics. Each has a case study, points for and against, voting results before and after the debate, bibliography including links.
  • Debating Ideas
    Includes a Five-minute Debate Planner as well as topics grouped in either themes or levels.
  • How to Improve Debating Skills
    eHow.com. ‘There are certain tricks and tips that anyone can do to improve their debating skills, no matter what their skill level’. Also visit Debating Skills for Children and Rules for Classroom Debates.
  • I Beg to Differ : Debating
    New Zealand Site. Provides a full English Unit plan with all relevant resources for students in the senior secondary area.
  • Masters Academy
    A Sydney based company. It has free podcast and PDF debating resources as well as other fee-based offerings.
  • Speech and Debate Timekeeper
    ‘Open source, multi-platform timer for speech and debate competitions. It has speech order and time limits preset for Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Parliamentary, Public Forum, World Schools, Karl Popper, miscellaneous debate formats as well as individual events’.
  • Taking the Initiative
    ‘Students and teachers involved in debating and/or public speaking competitions organised by the NSW Department of Education and Training should be familiar with the most authoritative guide to the conduct and adjudication of these activities’.

Skills Development

  • Debate Central
    How to debate, textbooks, videos, news, world debating information, debate blogs, more.
  • Debate in the Classroom
    Mix of lessons, ideas, techniques, effective speaking skills, rubrics, audio, video, more. US, but still relevant.
  • idebate.org
    ‘IDEA is an international network with over ten years of experience in teaching debate to young people. We are dedicated to inspiring informed discussion around the world’. Links to resources.
  • Primary Debating Resource
    UK Parliament. ‘Resources packed with practical ideas to create engaging and lively opportunities for developing debating skills’.
  • Teacher’s Guide to Introducing Debate in the Classroom
    A Canadian document that goes through the process in great detail.
  • Teaching Resources [idebate.org]
    A how-to guide in 14 sections ranging from Introductory exercise and argument construction through to judging and logic and reasoning. Multiple components [annotated listings] are found within each section.
  • World Debate Website
    Now part of the idebate site. Tutorials, adjudication information, research topics, motions, other links, rule information, more.

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Public Speaking

Public Speaking Competitions

For links to these nationally and in various states/territories, check the Competitions & Challenges page.

Speech Making

  • 10 Tips for improving your Presentations & Speeches
    11 actually. Watch a 15 minute TedX video on the topic, plus read the points.
  • 4 000+ Speech Topics
    ‘Free speech topics with more than 4 000 persuasive, informative and other speech ideas, speech writing tips, how to guides, tutorials, information on outlining your speech topic for public speaking’.
  • Effective Speaking
    SkillsYouNeed. ‘This page can help you understand and utilise the full potential of your voice’.
  • Famous Speeches
    Gain ideas to improve your skills. Includes historical as well as modern day speeches from famous people.
  • Performing Speeches
    13 articles covering everything from performance techniques to Tips from the Stage.
  • Presentation Tips for Public Speaking
    Short article with a lot of common sense included. Also links to related material.
  • Public Speaking Resources
    ‘Free tips and public speaking resources to help you improve your speaking, confidence and communication skills’. Scroll down to these.
  • Public Speaking Tips
    ‘The following tips are taken from SPEAKING UP ©, MIT Freshman Advising Seminar. These tips provide you with advice on how to deliver your message clearly and strongly, with as little pain as possible for you - the speaker - and your audience’.
  • Public Speaking Tips [Toastmasters International]
    ‘These how-to articles will help you hone your skills’.
  • New ! Public Speaking Topics, Ideas and Tips - My Speech Class
    ‘Designed to help you with making a public speech: from selecting a topic, to writing and delivering - feel free to browse to find great ideas and tips’.
  • Strictly Speaking
    ‘A guide specifically intended for students and teachers of public speaking’. NSW Department of Education.

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Other Information

Listening Skills

Other Information

  • Australian Speak Easy Association
    Self-help group aiding those who stutter and find speaking difficult.
  • National Speaker’s Association
    Join if a professional speaker. Events, newsletter. Fee-based.
  • Rostrum
    ‘Australian organisation where members learn and practice public speaking skills in a friendly club atmosphere. Members help each other to increase confidence and improve speaking skills in a warm, friendly and co-operative environment’.
  • Toastmasters International Video Library
    Videos for different topics from Interview situations to Managing your Fear and many more. Select using different options.
  • Toastmasters International Australia
    ‘Will help you overcome any fear of public speaking while learning skills that will allow you to become more successful’.

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