Should Speaking Be A Core Requirement for College Freshmen?

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Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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Should Speaking Be A Core Requirement for College Freshmen?

How much more would young students gain from and enjoy their four years of college if they started out by pulling their speaking skills up to a new level? How much more respect and engagement would they win from their professors if they spoke not "like" Britney Spears, but as serious young professionals?

And, if students were first trained to bring new discipline to their speech, would they not thereby demand that their professors themselves become better speakers and teachers? In the first weeks of my Speaking classes, we learn to eliminate "like," "um," "y'know," and the Question-Tone? from our diction. At first students curse me for interrupting until they re-phrase old habits---and then in a few weeks they come to class complaining that Professor Nurtz, the giant of studies in Economics, is an unbearably bad speaker to whom they can no longer listen!

Or perhaps, like too many college faculty, you really don't think Freshman students (or Sophomores either) should be heard from much at all...that students are supposed to acquire your amazingly brilliant speaking habits by sheer osmosis and imitation, and that later, they'll likewise just pick up the stronger intellectual skills that fuel bold speaking, which they'll desperately need in the future professional world?

The way you speak is the way you think, and vice-versa. What say you?