COMS 100 is a basic course in speech communication required of all undergraduates at Northern Illinois University. We believe that proficiency in oral communication is essential to meet the educational, professional and societal needs of all students.
This course is distinctive because we give as great an emphasis on listening skills in oral communication as to speaking skills. We value cultural diversity as a source for alternative perspectives from which communicators can benefit one another. You will learn a variety of rhetorical skills that are applicable to the tasks of both the speaker and the listener. Why is there such an emphasis on listening? College success, as it is related to communication skills, relies more heavily on listening than speaking.
Our culture already provides ubiquitous training, adages, commentary and explicit instruction about how to talk sensibly and clearly. It does not provide such explicit instructions about listening. Therefore, students have little or no experience in thinking and practicing listening skills consciously and systematically. Direct listening instruction complements the development of speech skills.