Speaking and listening standards require students to develop a range of oral communication and interpersonal skills that facilitate various types of discussion and oral exchange. Students must learn to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, and integrate information from various sources, (e.g., oral, visual, quantitative, and media). Students must also gain skills in evaluating what they hear, use various sources to support what they are communicating, and adapt their speech to the content and the task at hand.
Besides having intrinsic value as modes of communication, speaking and listening skills are necessary prerequisites for reading and writing. Oral language development precedes and is the foundation for writing. A student’s listening and speaking vocabulary sets boundaries on what that student can read and understand no matter how well they decode. In addition, new technologies have expanded the role speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing ideas, tightening their link with other forms of communication.