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Listen Up and Speak Out: Helping Learners Develop Oral Skills

Good oral communication is essential for daily life and ministry. But how do learners develop strong listening and speaking skills in their new language? What do they need to learn and how can they best learn it?

In 15 sessions over five weeks, this online non-credit course

  • equips language coaches with a basic understanding of the processes involved in learning the listening and speaking skills
  • offers practical guidance for helping learners gain proficiency in listening comprehension, conversation, and speaking to groups
  • presents a wide range of learning activities that are most useful at each proficiency leve


This is the second in a series of online courses for language coaches and is available only to those who have taken our online ICCT Foundations of Language Coaching class. (Printable pdf version of this page. Printable pdf version of course descriptions for the three online courses for language coaches.)

2018 dates

  • February 12 - March 16
  • May 14 - June 15
  • September 10 - October 12




This course consists of 15 sessions of approximately 2 hours each, to be completed over 5 weeks. In each session there will be one or more videos (usually narrated PowerPoint presentations), short readings, forums and/or applications questions to be submitted for feedback, and resources for further exploration. Participants interact frequently with the instructors and with each other.


Week 1

  • How are listening and speaking different from reading and writing?
  • The contribution of listening comprehension to language acquisition
  • The contribution of speaking to language acquisition

Week 2

  • What do learners and coaches need to know about listening comprehension?
  • Listening activities for novice, intermediate, advanced learners
  • Preparing your learners to use effective listening strategies

Week 3

  • What do learners and coaches need to know about conversation?
  • Conversation activities for novice, intermediate, advanced learners
  • Preparing your learners to use effective conversation strategies

Week 4

  • What do learners and coaches need to know about speech acts (knowing how to be appropriate in oral interaction)?
  • Activities for speech acts at different levels
  • Coaching learners in being appropriate in oral interaction

Week 5

  • What do learners and coaches need to know about telling stories and giving speeches?
  • Speaking activities for novice, intermediate, advanced learners
  • Preparing your learners to tell a story or give a speech


Registration form for Listen Up and Speak Out (docx); registration form for the three coach courses (docx).


Q: Will I have to be online at a specific time each day?

A: The work can be done anytime that is convenient for you.

Q: Will I have to work on the course every day or can I devote one day per week to my course work?

A: The course content is divided into segments, three per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). However, you may work on the course less frequently if you need to do so. We strongly suggest that you give time to the course on at least one day each week.

Q: Will I need to be online the whole time I'm doing my work for this class?

A: You will not need to be online for everything you do, but the exact amount of time will vary from day to day. If Internet access is a problem, we can probably give you the videos by another means, such as via Dropbox.

Q: Will I need extremely fast and reliable Internet access?

A: Although it’s very helpful to have good Internet access, we realize this is not always possible. If you think this may be a problem, please email us so that we can discuss your situation.

Q: You say there is a lot of interaction with other participants and the instructors. How does that work?

A: In each of the 15 sessions there is a forum, which is an opportunity to discuss the topic for that day. This is done by writing your thoughts, which are shared with everyone in the class. You can ask questions and you can respond to questions or comments from others in very much the same way you would hold a discussion with a small group of people. One our of instructors also jumps into each daily forum multiple times to write comments on issues you bring up. In addition, at the end of each week you will respond to an applications question in which you apply what you are learning to some aspect of your individual coaching situation, and an instructor will give personal feedback on your response.

A: There is some overlap between the workshop and this course, but much of the material for this course is new.

Q: How frequently do you plan to offer this course?

A: We plan to offer this course two or three times each year, or as needed. 

Q: In addition to courses for langauge coaches, what other online couses do you offer?

A: Six times each year we offer Second Language Acquisition courses which equip language learners with the essential knowledge and skills they need to become more efficient and effective learners. Visit  www.wheaton.edu/icct for more information about dates, costs, and course content. Be sure to take a look at our FAQs document that will tell you more about the courses.

Please email us with your questions.