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Continuing Education

Northeast Arizona Regional Center

Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard # 3

On behalf of the CCESA, this month’s NEARC Anchor Standard Challenge focuses on Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard # 3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

The College and Career Ready K-12 Anchor Standards, the “backbone” of the Standards, describe the literacy skills which all students need when they graduate. There are 10 anchor standards for reading and writing and 6 for speaking & listening.  On behalf of the CCESA, this month’s NEARC Anchor Standard Challenge focuses on Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard # 3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Questioners, Skeptics, Doubting Thomases,  and Freethinkers… This is your time to shine!

As we watch and listen to the presidential candidates, their endorsers and ads,  do we not question the speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric?  When we do,  we are practicing Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard #3. So the question is ……….“How do we teach our students to practice intelligent and productive skepticism? “

Back when many of us were very young, we started evaluating how believable others were. Our ability to evaluate the truth of another person’s claims got a little stronger that time we accused a classmate of not really spending his summer vacation on the moon, and during the Watergate Scandal news coverage.

At the end of each grade level, students should have a much firmer and more articulate grasp on what it means to evaluate someone else’s words. For instance, a student should be able to listen to a classmate’s claims and answer questions like:

  • Who is this person? Does she/he have any experience, education, or other qualities that suggest she/he knows what he/she is talking about? – Point of View
  • What is he/she trying to prove? What is his/her motivation? – Point of View
  • What perspectives does he/she represent?- Point of View
  • Does his/her train of thought from point A to point B make sense? If not, where does it derail?- Reasoning
  • What does the speaker not explain?  Why not? – Reasoning
  • What evidence does she use to support his/her claims? Are they good examples/evidence? - Evidence
  • Is  there other evidence that would also make this point, or that would blow it out of the water? – Evidence
  • Is the speaker citing evidence? (Think of the presidential debates) - Evidence
  • What parts of this story confuses me? What information would I need to clear up these parts, or to tell whether they are true or false?- Evidence
  • Is he/she successful in convincing me to agree with him/her? Do I “buy what is being sold,” either literally or figuratively?- Rhetoric
  • Is he/she trying to make me afraid, guilty, confused, sad, angry etc…?  Is he or she trying to appeal to something besides my logic? - Rhetoric

A Quick Note on Rhetoric: “Rhetoric” is the five-dollar synonym of “persuasiveness.” Make sure that students understand the difference between rhetoric and charisma. Rhetoric is a person’s ability to convince because his arguments are solid; charisma is a person’s ability to convince because of his magnetic personal qualities.

To learn more about the CCESA’s take on anchor standard #3 please click on this link

Over the last year, the CCESA Office of Innovation and Development has highlighted all ten of the Anchor Standards for Reading and Writing.   If you would like to review these 1 page newsletters please visit our  website.

What can you do? After examining the K-12 Anchor Standard of the week…  Investigate what that standard means at your students’ grade level/content area.  Why is it important that your grade level/content area teach the standard?  What does the standard look like at the grade level below and above? What does this standard mean for my instructional and assessment practices?

Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard # 3