Both class sessions this week were consumed by student speeches. I hate grading students for doing something that is so difficult for most people. I know I hate standing in front of strangers, trying to sound articulate.
I end up grading mainly for research skills and an ability to reflect on personal performance.
Honestly, I don't know what anyone can teach about speaking in 15 weeks. I'm left hoping that practice is enough to help some students relax even a little bit more by the end of the semester. I'm also hoping the "actors" learn to turn down the performances a few notches to speak more conversationally. Other than practicing in a somewhat safe environment, not much else can be done.
It's back to hoping they learn to listen well, if nothing else.