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Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  23 reviews
All teachers at all grade levels in all subjects have speaking assignments for students, but many teachers believe they don’t know how to teach speaking, and many even fear public speaking themselves.
In his new book, Well Spoken, veteran teacher and education consultant Erik Palmer shares the art of teaching speaking in any classroom. Teachers will find thoughtful and eng
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Stenhouse Publishers (first published March 28th 2011)
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Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
A rather simple and straightforward approach to public speaking, but it seems that speaking skills, along with vocabulary, are getting shoved aside thanks to the onerous demands of reading and writing workshops PLUS (lest we forget) test-taking strategies and skills. If you've done little public speaking instruction, I think this book will serve well as it is short and sweet with all the basics. If you have experience already, it is less desirable, as you might be disappointed in the lack of new ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
True story: At a sophomore in high school, I delivered a speech on the life of Charlie Chaplin. Since this was back in the 20th century, I rented a VHS of one of his old silent movies and played it on the TV behind me while I gave the speech. My master plan was to get the eyes off of me and onto the video. It worked. I read my speech.

I never received any true instruction in giving a speech; therefore, I tend to struggle teaching speaking skills. This book broke down the elements of public speak
Thomas M.  Burby
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was a re-read for me and while it is not a book my students would be interested in , it does offer a variety of public speaking ideas for almost any class, along with a manner of assessment that focuses on the presentation itself, not the content. School have focused on reading, writing and math so heavily that the skill of speaking has been ignored. We write, we read, but we speak more than these combined! This book allows the teacher the freedom to find opportunities for public speak ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well developed book on a crucial topic in teaching, esp for Language Arts and Social Studies (who am I kidding, for any subject where you might ask students to provide an oral presentation, even informally). Doesn't skimp on the how or the why - offers practical instruction - concise and economical - no gaping holes in the coverage of the topic - positive approach.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great way to re-think or solidfy that which is already happening in the classroom when teaching kids to speak. I'm going to start - DAY ONE - practicing the art of speaking well with my students. By the end of the year, I hope to eliminate the go-to words and phrases "like," "you know" and "um yeah." It's a tall task, but it will happen one student at a time.
Mrs. Lapacka
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great professional development book. I've read bits and pieces of it over this semester, and worked on including some of the strategies into my oral presentations. I'll be referencing it in the future.
Katie Hjellum
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book -- not only because I can implement ideas presented in the book (re: oral communication) in the classroom, there are also some tactics presented that I hope to utilize myself. Palmer's writing style is not only informative, but very engaging.
Emily Cave
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great resource for teachers! This needs to be a mandatory read for every teacher.
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a valuable resource to help teach students invaluable speaking skills that benefit them inside the classroom, but most importantly, in the real world as well.
Christen Mamenko
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great, straight-forward book - can't wait to implement it this fall in my classroom!
Erika Reynolds
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
If I were a first year teacher, maybe this book would have been more useful. It’s pretty straight forward, common sense information that most people who have had to do any sort of public speaking already know. So it didn’t provide any new insights, but I did appreciate all of the activities included.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Emily by: Herder
This book is a great guide for learning how to teach speech to students from all ages in high school and middle school. I love all of the practical lesson plans and activities. Using PVLEGS makes teaching speech performance skills far easier. I am going to apply many of these principles myself that Palmer presents here.
Andrew Shipe
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I met Erik Palmer at a workshop last summer offered by my district and got this book for free. Palmer breaks down the process of giving a speech into "building" and "performing," with a set of traits that accompany each. There are good ideas for teaching those traits, as well as rubrics.
Rob Baker
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Useful for the novice teacher or the old pro. Great instructional and assessment ideas abound.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This text brought together many of the ideas I've considered or already do use in my public speaking class, but it offered me more ways to approach or handle them in class.
Mr Osowski
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
For a teacher without a communication degree, this is gold. I do have done differences with done things (like writing the speech out). I found a few nice things to tweak.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, tesol
This needs some adaptation for second language learners, but it is a clear and easily explained approach to speaking rubrics.
Joy Kirr
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional, own
I was introduced to this book through Sandy Otto's presentation at USMSparks in June. My take-away from her session was that we often require "eye contact," "poise," etc. in student speeches, but do we really teach those skills? Do we even have mini lessons?? I know at 7th grade at my school, we currently don't. Hopefully, now that I've read this easy-to-digest book, we will.

Some strategies Erik Palmer suggests are easy to implement and have already started in my own classes. I no longer repeat
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting book. He makes a great case for teaching public speaking and offers good advice on how to do that. Links speaking to reading and writing as well. Much of what he says can be fit into the regular classtime, but he often puts the speaking part first as if that will be the key to unlocking struggling readers and writers. Forgets that there is other kinds of talk as well. I have mixed feelings on this book. The first part was excellent; the second part only useful if you have the time to ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Well Spoken is a good book for teachers of upper elementary-high school who want to help prepare students for speaking with confidence in all sorts of situations. Even came away with a few tips I might be able to use with my younger students. Seems it would tie into writing as well...again for the older students. Worth the read if you have students in that age range especially.
Jovan Alvarez
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Fakharzadeh
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
A book full of information that I already knew. Good activities at the end of each chapter though.
Gregg Goers
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Nov 21, 2011
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Erik Palmer is an educational consultant from Denver, Colorado. He works with teachers, trainers, and managers showing practical ways to improve their own oral communication as well as the verbal skills of those they instruct. He is a frequent presenter at conferences, and he has given keynotes and led workshops for districts across the US and around the world.

Prior to becoming a consultant, he h

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