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 covers Public Speaking and Debating in particular, while also providing resources for the general development of speaking ability. Listening Skills are also covered.
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, Resource Articles and a Schools Handbook for their Schools competition.
Calendar, competitions, resources, more from the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit.
- Debating and Public Speaking
Information about events and training for these from the Department of Education & Communities, New South Wales.
- 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’.
- Debating Skills [BBC -
‘It’s all very well having your say, but do you really know how to form an argument and debate an issue ? In just 6 easy steps we’ll show you how’.
- How to Improve Debating Skills
eHow.com. ‘It is hard to be perfect at debating, and very few people can honestly say that they are good debaters. There are certain tricks and tips that anyone can do to improve their debating skills, no matter what their skill level is’. You should also visit the Debating Skills for Children page, which also has links to related information and videos on debating.
- 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.
- 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.
Australian. Information, Free materials. Other training, professional development available but is Fee-based. Australian Debating links.
- Debating, Education & Resources
Some material is Fee-based, but there are Free resources, including Information Sheets for various aspects of debating.
- Debating Ideas
Includes a Five-minute Debate Planner as well as topics grouped in either themes or levels.
- 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. Worth consideration.
- Masters Academy
A Sydney based company that not only can provide training, but also has a range of resources [Free and paid] as well as other professional develpment.
- 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
‘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’.
- Basic Skills of Debating
Fundamentals to become a devastating debater.
- 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, more. US based information, but still relevant.
- Debating Guidelines
New Zealand site. Provides guidelines on all aspects of debating. Clearly presented, definite in its viewpoint.
- Debating in the World Schools Style : A Guide
‘A how-to guide to the most popular style of debating among school students across the world. The book is designed for all debaters - from those who have never debated before to those who have significant experience - as well as for coaches and supporters. Written by a former winner of the World Schools Championships, the guide covers all aspects of debating’. Previously available at no cost, it is now Fee-based, though the cost is quite reasonable.
‘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 other resources including Debatabase, a compilation great debates.
- World Debate Website
Tutorials, adjudication information, research topics, motions, other links, rule information, more.
Public Speaking Competitions
For links to these nationally, and in various states/territories, check the Competitions & Challenges page.
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Speech
Good advice from a blog by Gary Guwe called The Shy Speaker’s Guide to Success on Stage.
- 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’.
- Famous Speeches
Gain ideas to improve your skills. Includes historical as well as modern day speeches from famous people. Print format rather than audio.
- Painless Public Speaking
Overcome panic and poor presentation. Tips, courses, even speeches written for you.
- 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 has a series of links to related material.
- Public Speaking
‘Features links to over 20 sites containing a wide variety of helpful tutorials and tips to help students of all ages improve their public speaking skills’ as well as information on Preparing for your speech.
- Public Speaking Resources
‘Free tips and public speaking resources to help you improve your speaking, confidence and communication skills so you can excel in your business, careers and personal development’.
- 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’.
- Strictly Speaking
‘A guide specifically intended for students and teachers of public speaking’. NSW Department of Education, Teaching & Learning Exchange.
- Active Listening Skills
Several processes listed with examples.
- A Listening Skills Rubric
- Classroom Listening Skills
‘Are you an effective listener ? Then, use effective listening techniques. Here are the Top ten ways to listen to a lecture.’
- Good Listening in
‘Listening is a cognitive act that requires you to pay attention and think about and mentally process what you hear. Here are some things you should do to be a good listener in class’.
- Improving Listening Skills
Article. 3 types of effective listening, roadblocks, reasons to improve, feelings to listen for, role-play activity.
- Listening and Note
Taking in Lectures
Multiple sections covering both areas both during [and after] lectures. Deakin University.
- Listening Skills
‘These lesson plans and materials are appropriate for general English classes. Have a look ! There’s a huge assortment of listening activities’.
- Skillswise - Speaking &
From the BBC. Practise listening for specific information and different types of listening as well as a variety of speaking activities.
- Speaking & Listening Skills -
‘What does it really mean to listen ? Tips for being a good listener’.
- Teaching Children Listening Skills
‘Teaching children listening skills by reading to them will improve their listening skills and train them in the art of active listening’. For younger students.
- Teaching Listening
‘It is essential for language teachers to help their students become effective listeners. In the communicative approach to language teaching, this means modelling listening strategies and providing listening practice in authentic situations’. Goals, techniques, strategies, developing activities, textbook listening activities, assessing proficiency, resources.
is Listening ?
Lists good and poor listening habits. Links to Active Listening and other information.
- Australian Speak Easy Association
Self-help group aiding those who stutter and find speaking difficult.
- Art of Speaking in Public
Tips that help improve your public speaking.
- Improving English Listening
Annotated links to a range of resources both from the university and other sources. University of Western Australia.
- National Speaker’s Association
Join if a professional speaker. Events, newsletter. Fee-based.
‘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
The International body. Resources page has quality Free resources to assist with speech making. Available online, as PDF documents.
- The English Book
Find information on oral rather than graphic or written presentations.
- Toastmasters International Australia
‘Will help you overcome any fear of public speaking while learning skills that will allow you to become more successful in whatever path in life you have chosen’.