Public Speaking Preparation Stage: Critical Thinking and Organization Skills in South Korea

Ian Done Duran Ramos


Public Speaking involves the creation and delivery of a formally organized communication process in front of audiences coming from different cultural, political, religious, economic, educational, and social orientations. Public speeches follow the same principle of what content should be included (like in the essay), and in effect, students are encouraged to use certain strategies. In this study, the focus was to examine how critical thinking and the organization of speech writing was implemented in a Public Speaking course in South Korea. Data were collected over 3 semesters with a total of 47 Korean national undergraduate English majors. The following questions provided the base of this study: 1) what role does critical thinking play in the creation and organization of written speeches by Korean university students? and 2) how do students perceive the usefulness of critical thinking in a Korean university public speaking course. Furthermore, this study collected both quantitative and qualitative data; therefore, the participants’ responses are recorded with percentages, and further reasons are provided by students. Data were then triangulated by examining students' actual written speeches with the prescribed rubrics. The findings suggest that engaging students in critical reflection, genre reading, and attention to speech discourse can lead to the overall improvement of both critical thinking and organization of student speeches. From these findings, a pilot public speaking training program matrix is presented to help prepare English majors in South Korea (if they may pursue teaching) or similar contexts for teaching courses related to public speaking.

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