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Language Acquisition 3: Public Speaking in Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

A pass for Language Acquisition 2 or a similar pronunciation course at first-year level.


Speaking in public is not a skill that comes naturally to most people. Language Acquisition 3: Public Speaking in Practice and Theory focuses on public speaking – it will teach you how to give effective, i.e. persuasive presentations on topics in your field. To this end, you are introduced to classical rhetoric (the discovery, structuring, presentation and assessment of arguments) as well as modern theories on argumentation and public speaking. You practise presentation skills in short presentations and debates. Furthermore, you analyze presentations by others (including your fellow students) and learn how to give constructive feedback. Finally, you learn how to assess recordings of your own presentations through your audience’s eyes.

Course objectives

At the end of this course students

  • have hands-on experience of giving a short oral presentation in English on their area of specialization;

  • have introductory knowledge of classical and modern theories on rhetoric, argumentation and public speaking and are be able to apply this knowledge to their own written and oral presentations and to the analysis of other people’s presentations.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

One weekly lecture until the study week and one forty-five minute tutorial per week.

Assessment method

  1. Written multiple-choice test on the course reading and the lectures (50%); 2. oral presentations (50%).


A Blackboard site is available for this course. See Blackboard

Reading list

Public speaking in theory and practice: Texts and assignments (2012). [Reader, available from Blackboard]


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.