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CCR Anchor Standards in Speaking and Listening: An Overview

By Dave Stuart Jr.
Genuine Rocna Anchor

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once you page through the writing strand of anchor standards, you’ll find the anchor standards in speaking and listening. In the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ELA document, these are first found on page 22. The question these anchor standards seek to answer is, “What should a college- and career-ready (CCR) person be able to do as a speaker and listener?”

How are the Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening Organized?

Unlike the anchor standards in reading and writing, there are six speaking and listening standards, and they are broken up into two groups.

  1. Comprehension and Collaboration (SL.CCR.1-3*)
  2. Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas (SL.CCR.4-6)

Or, in everyday human terms, these anchor standards are dedicated to answering these questions:

  1. How do you prepare for and effectively participate in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners? How do you build on others’ ideas and express your own clearly and persuasively? Can you integrate and evaluate information from a variety of sources? Can you evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric?
  2. Are you able to present information, findings, and supporting evidence in a way that allows your listeners to follow your line of reasoning? Are you strategic when you make visual displays to complement your speaking? Can you use formal English when appropriate?

All in all, the speaking and listening standards usually get ignored, but they are critical. Students need and love ample opportunity to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations. They need practice doing this in pairs, in small groups, and as a whole class. We need to find ways to ensure that they are productive members of the conversations we ask them to take part in, and methods holding them accountable and giving descriptive feedback range from wandering around the classroom during small group discussions to using a rubric to assess student speaking skills in a whole class debate.

*The CCSS use the following format for notating anchor standards: [Strand, e.g., Reading or Writing or Speaking and Listening or Language].[College and Career Ready, i.e., this is what kids should be able to do when they graduate; see my post on anchor standards].[Number of the standard]. So, the fifth anchor standard in the Speaking and Listening strand would be SL.CCR.5, and the ninth anchor standard in the Writing strand would be W.CCR.9.

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