ERIC Number: ED337829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Oral Mind: Implications for Speech Education.
Cocetti, Robert A.
The primary goal of the basic course in speech should be to investigate oral communication rather than public speaking. Fundamental to understanding oral communication is some understanding of the oral mind, that operates when orality is the primary means of expression. Since narrative invites action rather than leisurely analysis, the oral mind responds best to narrative structure. Educators can learn much about modern (electronic) communication by isolating the oral mind, that part of the intellect which was responsible for cultural developments before the literate era. Examining research with illiterate peasants suggests that the oral mind functions very well throughout life, and probably is the primary means of learning until its experiential mode is replaced with a metaphorical one through education. The oral mind, however, in spite of this mode shift, is alive and well, and is surviving in spite of literacy. Furthermore, the fact that narrative not only entertains, but instructs and persuades, demonstrates that stories function at multiple levels, and that the public speaker is a poet who doesn't know it. Finally, because all humans and their communication can be regarded as deserving of respect, oral communication must address the whole person. Basic speech pedagogy should incorporate narrative structure as a major means of organizing a speech. Another reason to incorporate stories into an oral communication class is that stories involve memorable language. An investigation of stories reveals much about the functioning of the oral mind and about what is engaging and memorable in public speaking. (Fifteen references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Chicago, IL, April 11-14, 1991). "Filled" type throughout document.