Esoma Online Revision Resources

Listening and Speaking - English Form 4

Watch the following animations


A wise old owl

Sat in an oak.

The more he saw,

The less he spoke.

The less he spoke,

The more he heard.

Why can't we be like

That wise old bird?

Listening helps us to receive, attend, evaluate and assign meaning to sound.

It is a conscious process which requires concentration and effort.

The listening process involves receiving sounds, interpreting, evaluating and responding to them.

Therefore, good listeners must pay close attention and make sense of what they hear.

They should also have proper coordination between their brains and their ears in order to decode the speaker's message.

Listening differs from hearing since the latter is a passive physical act that is concerned primarily with the perception of sound waves by the ear whereas listening is an active process and a deliberate act.



An oral report is a presentation to a target audience which can either be planned or impromptu.

A planned report requires preparation while an impromptu speech is a situational planned report.

Welcome to the Form 4 English interactive series. In this series, we have 18 topics covering the four skills of English language learning and grammar.

You are expected to navigate through this English learning resource and interact with the content.

You will find many activities and exercises which will help you grasp the concepts addressed in the CD.

As you take this exploratory journey through the selected topics in English, it is hoped that you will acquire new information and find the series enjoyable.Welcome!

Introduction to listening and speaking

Watch the following video

How does the motivational speaker capture the attention of the audience?

Is the speaker a good orator? Discuss your answer with your classmates.

Does the speaker succeed in motivating the audience and what is the topic being discussed? Is the topic relevant to the context?

Listening and speaking are the most basic language skills.

The two skills are referred to as aural and oral skills respectively.

The word aural describes language as we hear it while the word oral refers to what we say.

The two words are homophones.

Homophones are words with the same pronunciation but different spellings. Other examples of homophones are right and write.

Although listening and speaking cannot be separated they should be developed differently.

In order to be proficient in a language we ought to listen more than we speak.

Watch the following animation

Watch the following animations

The listening process involves receiving sounds, interpreting, evaluating and responding to them.

Therefore, good listeners must pay close attention and make sense of what they hear.

They should also have proper coordination between their brains and their ears in order to decode the speaker's message.

Listening differs from hearing since the latter is a passive physical act that is concerned primarily with the perception of sound

waves by the ear whereas listening is an active process and a deliberate act.

Watch the following animations


Watch the following video clip



The performance you have just watched is an example of oral poetry.

To appreciate this lesson, knowledge and appreciation of music will be important.

We all listen to and appreciate music be it secular or sacred.

When listening to the music, we may dance to it or simply nod along to show appreciation.

There must be an aspect of the music that captivates you.


By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

i. Define what oral poetry is

ii. Identify forms of oral poetry

iii. Identify the features of oral poetry.


Oral poetry is a verbal expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings as

experienced by an artist in a given environment.

The oral artist utilises verbal and non verbal cues to give an

impressionable performance to an active audience.

Tone and pitch are key in the delivery of the oral poetry.

Watch the following video clip.



An epic is a long poem sung about the deeds of a hero.

For example, 'Shaka Zulu' or 'Sundiata.'


These are narrative poems that tell a story that focuses on a particular episode.

Watch a video clip of the song 'Taxi driver' by Daudi Kabaka.

In your opinion, what do you think is the theme of the song?

Lyric poetry

Lyrics are a type of poems in which the poet expresses personal feelings. Watch a video clip of the song malaika.

Having listened to the lyric poem, can you identify the stylistic features used by the singer to intensify his feelings?


Panegyrics are poems whose main purpose is to praise heroes or rulers.

Watch a video clip of the following praise song.

Who is the hero or heroine?

What heroic exploits make him or her stand out?


Watch the following recitation of the poem

'I Shall Return'

I shall return

I shall return again. I shall return

To laugh and love and watch with wonder- eyes

At golden noon the forest fires burn,

Wafting their blue-black smoke to sapphire skies

I shall return to loiter by the streams

That bathe the brown blades of the bending grasses,

And realize once more my thousand dreams

Of waters rushing down the mountain passes.

I shall return to hear delicious tunes

That stir the hidden depths of native life,

Stray melodies of dim remembered tunes.

I shall return. I shall return again

To ease my mind of long, long years of pain.

Claude Mckay


Repetition is the recurrence of a word or a line, for example, I shall return Long long.

These sound patterns create rhythm in oral poetry thus making it musical and interesting.

Another feature of oral poetry is that it is topical.

This means that it relates to the contemporary issues of the immediate environment from which it is drawn.

Oral poetry also engages the audience on a one on one basis and makes them identify with the feelings of the artist.

Now watch the following video clips.

Having watched the video clips, which one do you find most captivating and why?

Write down your answers.

The answers you arrived at were based on some or all of the following aspects of oral poetry:

i. Arrangement of the words, that is, the use of rhyme, repetition and alliteration which make the oral poem musical.

ii. Choice of words.

iii. Use of symbolism and imagery.

iii. How current (topical) the song is.

iv. How actively the lead artist interacted with the audience.

v. Musical accompaniment.


For you to fully appreciate this lesson, it is important to have prior knowledge of oral literature, its importance to society and its different genres.

These genres include: narratives, songs, riddles, tongue twisters and proverbs. To underscore the importance of proverbs in communication, Chinua Achebe in 'Things Fall Apart' says: Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten. Proverbs enhance the quality of one's speech.

In many societies, people especially those who have a mastery of their language usually infuse proverbs into their speech.

Such people are normally highly respected because of their ability to capture the attention of their audience.

Let us now listen to a video recording of a speaker who usually infuses his speech with proverbs.


By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

Identify oral proverbs.

Demonstrate the ability to use proverbs in conversations.


People who aptly use proverbs are greatly admired for their eloquence. Consider the hidden meaning in each of the following proverbs.

Observe the animation below

Characteristics of proverbs

1. They are brief.

2. They use figurative language.

3. They are fixed in their wording.

Examples of proverbs and their meanings

a) Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

A clear understanding of the context could be important to unravel what the eggs and basket imply.

This proverb means that it is not safe to invest in one given area or have hope in only one line.

Always diversify because if you invest in one particular venture and everything goes wrong, then you will lose everything.

At the same time, the proverb cautions people against investing unwisely.

From this example, we can deduce that proverbs have hidden meanings.

b)One finger alone cannot even kill a louse.

It is common knowledge that killing a louse requires more than one finger.

However, this proverb should not be interpreted literally.

Indeed, the proverb means that people should work together in order to cope with the challenges of life.

Note that proverbs may be used to say something in a veiled manner.

In addition, they are used to give weight in discussions, enliven conversations and are a mark of being a good orator.

Proverbs may also perform the following functions:

1. They educate and inform on norms, values and ethics.
2. They entertain.
3. They warn, caution, advise, ridicule or mock socially unacceptable behaviour.
4. They help in settling disputes.


Proverbs have the following features.

Observe the following animation

a)Alliteration, for example, forgive and forget.

b)Parallelism, for example, no pain no gain; Nothing ventures nothing gained.
3.Rhyme, for example,when the cat is away the rat will play.

c)Ellipsis, for example, once bitten twice shy; One is odd, two is even, and three is one odd many.

d)Puns, for example, The more things change, the more they stay the same and What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

6.Repetition, for example, where there is a will, there is a way.

7.Hyperbole, for example, all is fair in love and war.

8.Paradox, for example, for there to be peace, there must be war.

9.Personification, for example, hunger is the best cook.

10.Metaphor, for example,do not carry all your eggs in one basket.

11.Allusion, for example, The leopald cannot change its spots.

Background information

In order to present a good oral report, one ought to have his or her senses alert.

Secondly, the presenter should use appropriate language.

Finally, correct verbal and non- verbal cues should be employed depending on the audience.


By the end of the lesson you should be able to:

(i) Present an oral report on literary and non- literary issues.

(ii) Use verbal and non-verbal cues to present an oral report.

An oral report is a presentation to a target audience which can either be planned or impromptu.

A planned report requires preparation while an impromptu speech is determined by the situation.

Preparation of an oral report

Watch the following video attentively

What characteristics of a good report can you identify?

Discuss with your friends.

Preparing for an oral presentation

The following guidelines should be followed when preparing for an oral presentation:

Identify the topic you are going to make the presentation on.

Know your subject well in order to be confident.

Think about the composition of the audience because this will determine the kind of language to use as well as the depth of content.

Plan the visual aids you are going to use.

These could be photographs, live specimens or powerpoint presentations.

Prepare short notes or flash cards.

Components of an oral report.

Watch the following video attentively.


In this section, issues are highlighted and presented sequentially.

Each point is given adequate but relevant information which includes description and/or illustration.

In this section, visual aids should be used appropriately to enhance the presentation.


This is a brief summary or a voiced opinion which signals that the report is being wound up.

No new ideas should be introduced here.

A brief report on a charity walk for cancer awareness

Have you ever had a moment to reflect on what would happen if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness?

If not, then, that is food for thought.

One day, our class visited Bingi Hospital to participate in a charity walk to raise funds for breast cancer awareness.

We had time and opportunity to listen to cancer patients' experiences on how they have positively coped with their state.

We helped clean the hospital compound, unblocked the drainage system, cooked for the patients and presented a skit.

Later, we participated in a two kilometre walk to raise one million shillings for cancer patients.

Finally, the Hospital thanked and urged us to regularly visit them in order to create further awareness.

We returned to school feeling enlightened.

Provide answers to the following questions.

Confirm the answers by making meaningful consultations.

a)What preparations did the students make before presenting this report?

b)Was the report delivered effectively?

c)What other cues could the student have used to deliver this report.

Impromptu report

Watch the following video clip which features a dialogue between Malia and an officer. Do you think Malia's report to the police officer is convincing?

Observe the verbal and non verbal communication of both Malia and the officer.

List down all the non verbal cues of commuication that Malia uses.

Do they make her report more effective?



According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, etiquette is the formal rules of correct or polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession.

In this lesson, you will see how etiquette is used in different situations such as when agreeing or disagreeing, during negation, turn taking and listening.

Words which convey politeness

Watch the following video clip of a conversation involving students. The Setting is a classroom in a mixed school.

For communication to take place, there must be two participants: the speaker and listener.

The language used by the speaker will determine the response of the listener.

It is, therefore, necessary for participants to be aware of the basic conventions, in ordinary language use, which convey good manners in social discourse.

There are several words and phrases of common courtesy and politeness that you should be familiar with.

These include, 'thank you, may I, please, excuse me, pardon me, yes sir/ 'madam' among others.

The usage of polite expressions is not limited to the classroom situation.

On the contrary, it extends to all social settings.

Interrupting and disagreeing politely

The video clip you watched first depicts a conversation involving Ashitiva and members of his class.

You notice that Florence one of the characters interrupted Ashitiva's conversation impolitely.

She does not excuse herself. If one compares Florence's behaviour and that of Angeline, the observation made is that:

Angeline uses polite words such as 'excuse me' and 'maybe'. This shows that as much as Angeline may not have been supporting what Ashitiva was telling the class, her language was acceptable to the everyone, hence, their positive response,

There you are! Up with Angeline!

Good manners dictates that when interrupting another speaker, one should do so with courtesy.


Let us now watch a video clip of Ashitiva at the principal's office

Take note of the principles of negotiation that both Ashitiva and the Principal use.

To negotiate is to come to an understanding on how to get the best out of a situation.

The people involved should understand that negotiation is a matter of give and take.


1. Negotiations are a matter of give and take.
2. They emphasize what is common between the groups involved.
3. They always take into account the feelings, attitudes, beliefs and values of the people you are negotiating with.
4. Successful negotiation takes place on the basis of trust.
5. In good (proper) negotiations, both parties ought to come out with something, thus creating a win win situation.

In the second video you realize that Ashitiva convinces the principal to have the school subsidise the amount the students are to contribute by offering suggestions on how it can be done.

He tells the principal that the stuents are willing to forego a meal and also paticipate in a charity walk.

This shows what the students are willing to offer and it makes it easy for the principal to be persuaded.


Paying attention to a talk demands that there should be a deliberate effort to understand what is being said.

Paying attention is more active and more demanding than just hearing.

For one to pay attention as expected, they ought to listen effectively. Consequently, they should ensure the following things are done :


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