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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 – in English. 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

  • Hands-on experience of giving a short oral presentation in English;

  • Introductory knowledge of classical and modern theories on rhetoric, argumentation and public speaking; and

  • The ability to apply this knowledge to one’s 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 45-minute lecture per week until the Reading Week.

  • One 45-minute seminar per week.

  • Research.

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 19;

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 96 hours;

  • Time to prepare for presentations and the exam (including reading / research): 25 hours.

Assessment method

  • Written examination with closed questions and short-answer questions in the Reading Week: 50%

  • Presentations: 50%

If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s).

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Leith, S. (2012). You talkin’ to me? Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama. London: Profile

  • Public speaking in theory and practice: Texts and assignments [Reader on Blackboard].


Enrollement trough uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact details

English Language and Culture student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.