Speak Up! Scholarship and Practice in Oral Communication Across the Curriculum

Guest editor: Deanna Dannels, Campus Writing and Speaking Program, North Carolina State University

Communication across the curriculum (CAC) programs have, for quite some time, provided instructional support for teaching oral communication practices in non-communication classrooms. Recently, though, CAC programs have also become central in many national conversations. For example, one of the key recommendations in the 1998 Boyer Commission Report "Reinventing Undergraduate Education" was to "link communication skills and course work." Additionally, the March 26, 1999 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education identifies the importance of "taking aim at student incoherence" and explores the extent to which communication across the curriculum programs address this issue. Also in 1999, the LA Times and the Boston Globe both issued articles claiming the horror of "mallspeak" in university settings and suggested that speaking across the curriculum programs play a central role in reducing inarticulate speech. In short, our public and educational discourse has placed the issue of oral communication skills at center stage. Consequently, cross-curricular scholars in communication, composition, and other disciplines must be familiar with and prepared to address the role of oral communication in the disciplines. To this end, this special issue will focus on scholarship emerging out of the communication across the curriculum movement.

Theoretical or empirical papers dealing with, but not limited to the following topics are invited: orality in disciplinary discourse, assessment of oral competence, teaching and learning of oral communication in particular disciplines, theoretical complexities and outcomes of integrating writing and speaking, and the nature of interdisciplinary partnerships in CAC work.

Project Publication Date: Fall 2003