The Power of Language

Learning goals

During The Power of Language, you are going to learn to use the three rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos and logos, figures of speech and listen to debates from the show The Great Debate in order to participate in a live ~4-6 minutes debate. The main skills that you will improve are listening, adaptation, speaking and discussing.

You will learn by listening to others debating, learn how to use figures of speech and participate in discussion to improve your speaking skills.

Successful students will be able to:

  • Listen to and understand the contents from The Great Debate as well as theory.

  • Use figures of speech in order to improve rhetorical effect.

  • Speak with fluency, variation, correct vocabulary and grammar.

  • Discuss the topic by using rhetorical appeals and SEAL.

Purpose, contents and assessment for learning

Language is a powerful thing. When speaking with others, we can either influence or be influenced. The study of language, persuasion and effective speaking is known as rhetorics. Rhetorics can be used to motivate others, as seen during level 1, or as a means to discuss, debate or negotiate with others. Purpose of Level 4: rhetorics and conversational grammar make debates and negotiations more successful and fluent.

A. Debates and negotiations require two speaking parties that present arguments, ideas or thoughts with the intent to persuade the other party into either seeing their point, reaching an angreement or a new situation in order to achieve some kind of change.

B. Modes of persuasion helps us understand how to appeal to our audience when debating or negotiating. Rhetorical devices empowers our language by making it more idiomatic which increases fluency.

C. Conversational grammar such as discourse markers and question tags, our attitude and style improves the converational fluency of an interaction by inviting the other party to respond and easen the conversational flow.

D. Structuring, processing and using technology allows us to pratice for real-life debates and negotiations in social and working life situations. Knowing the rhetorical appeal, style, attitude and grammar makes us more successful and fluent.

Core contents:

  • Spoken language, also with different social and dialect features, and texts, including complex and formal texts which relate, discuss, argue, report, describe and investigate, also via film and other media.

  • Coherently spoken language and conversations of different kinds, such as debates, in-depth reports and lectures.

  • Strategies and modern technology to participate in, lead and document conversations and written communications in various media, such as in work processes and negotiation situations related to social and working life.

  • Use of basic stylistic and rhetorical concepts.

  • Processing of language and structure in their own and others' communications, in formal and complex contexts, and to create adaptation to genre, style and purpose

Knowledge requirements

  • Understanding of spoken and written English, and also the ability to interpret content.

  • The ability to express oneself and communicate in English in speech and writing.

  • The ability to use different language strategies in different contexts.

  • The ability to adapt language to different purposes, recipients and situations. (Skolverket, 2011)