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Communication Skills

Ideas and experiences must be communicated if they are to be shared, scrutinized, and transformed into effective knowledge. Toward these ends, the faculty expects each student to develop skills in oral communication and second language.

Oral Communication

Oral communication is another skill that is essential for education and life. Students should be able to speak so that their ideas are expressed logically, lucidly, and effectively, and they should be able to provide relevant evidence whenever appropriate. In addition, students should be able to analyze the spoken discourse of others. The general education curriculum at the University of Richmond assists students in these regards by immediately immersing them into frequent and intensive oral exchanges and presentations in the First Year Core Course, and by offering relevant courses, such as Rhetoric and Communication Studies 101, through the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies. In addition, many faculty and departments have been increasing the oral communication components in their courses and seminars, with the goal of enhancing this fundamental skill. Their efforts are assisted by the University's Speech Center. There is no required course that students must take to fulfill this portion of their general education.

Second Language (COM2)

Second language has become more and more important as the world for which students are preparing themselves has placed increasing demands upon them to understand the national and cultural perspectives of other language groups. The knowledge of a second language is critical for achieving such understanding as well as for exposing the learner to other cultures, in ancient or contemporary guise, that he or she may encounter after graduation. For these reasons, the faculty expects all students to demonstrate functional ability in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a modern second language; in reading and writing in a classical language; or in American Sign Language. These abilities are appraised either at entrance or through introductory and intermediate courses.