Speaking and Listening Across the Curriculum

Speaking and Listening Across the Curriculum

0.50 USBE Credit
Speaking and listening are essential literacy skills. Educators in all content areas are responsible to support students in learning how to participate in the discourse of the disciplines they teach. Effective educators support their students in learning speaking and listening skills by providing opportunities for student-led instruction, collaborative discussion, and active listening.


To earn this microcredential you will submit two different pieces/types of evidence from the list below to demonstrate your proficiency in speaking and listening instruction. You will also complete a short written or video reflective analysis.


You will be charged $25 by the badge provider. You'll be charged at the point you submit your badge for final review.


Effective speaking and listening instruction is more than requiring yearly five-minute presentations from each student. Instead, these learning opportunities take teacher planning along with student preparation and active participation.


Student-Led Instruction: Teachers will instruct students how to prepare and deliver information to another student, a group of students, or the whole class. This could be a demonstration, a presentation, a role-play, an explanation, a description, etc.

Collaborative Discussion: Teachers will instruct students how to participate in a discussion by observing norms for civil discussions, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively, and evaluating information presented.

Active Listening: Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Teachers will explicitly instruct students on strategies, such as minimizing their own distractions, maintaining eye contact, taking notes when useful, and asking appropriate questions.


Mr. Malone teaches P.E. at Stockton High School. He's taught his class of 64 students the importance of warming up before engaging in physical activities, and he wants his students to create warm up stretches and activities. Mr. Malone numbers the students 1 through 8 and creates 8 teams. All the 1s become team 1, all of the 2s team 2, etc. He assigns each team a muscle group to create an innovative warm-up stretch for (team 1 gets hamstrings, team 2 gets calves, etc.).
After each team spends time collaborating and sharing ideas, Mr. Malone reorganizes the teams, so that each new team contains one member from the original teams. The new teams have eight students, but they now have an "expert" on each of the stretches.
Mr. Malone asks the experts on hamstrings to demonstrate and teach the hamstring stretch to the other seven members of the new team. When they are finished, Mr. Malone asks the experts to switch, and the calves' expert will teach the next stretch. Mr. Malone will continue in this manner until every student has taught a stretch, and all students have learned all eight stretches.


Video: Submit a 5-8-minute segment of your learners engaging student-led instruction or collaborative work as a part of your instruction. The video segment should include active listening as well. The video should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction in speaking and listening as part of teaching your content standards. Follow your district/charter guidelines for student privacy. Video submissions should follow all relevant LEA (district/charter) and FERPA guidelines.

Lesson Plan: Submit a lesson plan of your creation which includes explicit instruction in speaking and listening skills. The lesson plan should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction in speaking and listening as part of teaching your content standards.

Unit Plan: Submit a unit plan of your creation which includes systematic instruction in speaking and listening skills. The unit plan should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction in speaking and listening as part of teaching your content standards.

Candidate's Choice: Submit another type of evidence demonstrating your effective and consistent instruction in speaking and listening as part of teaching your content standards.

Candidates are required to make 2 evidence submission(s).

Review Criteria

Speaking and Listening: Evidence Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates that the students can prepare and deliver information successfully to other students.
Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates that the students can participate in a civil discussion in which they build on others' ideas and express their own clearly.
Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates that students can listen and respond to others in a way that improves mutual understanding.


  1. Describe how you use student-led discussion, collaboration, and active listening as instructional tools to help students learn the content standards of your discipline.

  2. Give specific examples of the types of speaking and listening opportunities students have in your classroom and how you select them.

  3. Explain how your students benefit from your speaking and listening instruction.

Review Criteria

Speaking and Listening: Reflection Criterion 1: Reflection explains how the teacher decided on the types of speaking and listening students would do and how those experiences apply to the content area.
Criterion 2: Reflection explains how the teacher uses student speaking and listening as an instructional tool to teach content standards.


"Speaking and Listening in Content-Area Learning." Fisher, D. and Frey, N. Reading Rockets.
Scroll through the article to the heading that says "Instructional Ideas for Speaking and Listening" to get different ideas for classroom use. This resource includes a rubric.

Active Listening: Student Production
An excellent clip, produced by students on identifying and eliminating obstacles to effective listening, as well as tips on how to listen effectively.

Active/Reflective Listening Skills
This is a website contains guided activities, notes, and activities to reinforce skills.

Content-Area Conversations: How to Plan Discussion-Based Lessons for Diverse Language Learners. Fisher, D.; Frey, N.; and Rothenberg, C. (2008). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Find it on Amazon.com
A practical, hands-on guide to creating and managing environments that spur sophisticated levels of student communication. While this book pays special attention to the needs of English language learners, teachers at any grade level in any content area will find a wide range of strategies to help students.

Fishbowl Strategy Website
This website describes what the Fishbowl strategy is and how to implement it.

PDPro Course – Unlocking the Power Classroom Discussion: MIDAS Course # 40013
Description: Effective classroom discussions deepen understanding of content knowledge and help students develop problem-solving and communication skills. Learn how to take your discussions to the next level!

Reading and Writing in Science: Tools to Develop Disciplinary Literacy
Find it on Amazon.com
The real strength of the book is the almost equal weighting given to the four strands of literacy; speaking, listening, reading and writing. This provides a useful prompt for the reader to go beyond the obvious when incorporating a greater literacy focus into their curriculum.

This website is a searchable database of literacy strategies for any educator at any grade level. ReadWriteThink is a collaboration between the International Literacy Association (ILA) and National Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts (NCTE/LA).

Socratic Circles: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Middle and High Schools." Copeland, Matt. (2005). Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Find it on Amazon.com
This book is filled with detailed instructional strategies, anticipating questions or problems teachers may encounter with this method.

Speaking and Listening: UEN Core Standards
This UEN website includes all the standards for K-12 and CTE courses, including the standards for speaking and listening within each discipline.

Teaching Dwight Schrute Active Listening Skills (Humorous Non-Example)
This is a clip from the television show "The Office" in which Dwight learns valuable active listening skills while providing a humorous non-example.

The Jigsaw Classroom
This website describes what the Jigsaw strategy is and how to implement it.

Thumbs Up! Teaching Strategy to Encourage Active Listening
Short video to demonstrate a method of teaching active listening skills.

Using TED to Develop Presentation Skills. Petty, Kate. (2013).
This resource includes strategies to help students analyse and emulate the techniques used by TED presenters.

Utah Core Standards for Literacy
The Utah Core Standards for grades 6-12 include standards for literacy in every content area. They are on pages 69-81 of the linked document.


Marty Davis
Marty Davis
Matthew Dimick
Matthew Dimick
Angela Dunn
Angela Dunn
Marianne Evans
Marianne Evans
Colleen Gallagher
Colleen Gallagher
Daron Kennett
Daron Kennett
Lindsey Lush
Lindsey Lush
Brenda McFarland
Brenda McFarland
Diana McFarland
Diana McFarland
Steven Reed
Steven Reed
Jamie Titensor
Jamie Titensor
Li Wang
Li Wang


Comment By Timestamp  

No records have been added yet.

© copyright 2017 Utah State Board of Education