“DELT Speech Star” is an annual oratorical competition organized by the Department of English Language Teaching (DELT) which aims at developing public speaking skills (English) of the first-year students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS). During the first and the second semesters of the academic year 2019/2020, the DELT conducted all the lectures by using online platforms due to COVID-19 crisis-based restrictions. And it was noticed by most of the lecturers that the speaking skills of the students could be developed by providing more and more online opportunities to use English. Prepared speeches and impromptu speeches were often used in order to develop the public speaking skills of students. Further, it was also felt that encouraging public speaking skills would motivate the students to communicate effectively. As a result, the department agreed unanimously to conduct an annual oratorical competition by the name “DELT Speech Star” this year it was named as “DELT Speech Star 2021”, and to continue the event annually thereafter.
One of the prime objectives of this competition is to provide opportunities to all the students in the first year to participate in the competition even though all can’t be winners of it. Thus, it was decided that the competition should have three rounds: namely, the round one is held at lass level. At this level, all the first year second semester students are given an opportunity to participate in the competition within their respective English language classes and the best three speakers from each class are selected to represent in the second round. At this point, the selected speakers are further trained by public speaking experts in the university or industry depending on the availability of such resource persons. This training aims at developing effective delivery skills in impromptu and prepared speeches. Once the quality of speeches of the selected students is improved, the orators will face the second-round competition out of which the best 12 speakers are selected for the final round and they will also be trained by distinguished public speakers such as toastmasters or public speaking trainers. Finally, at the end of the second semester the round three of the competition will be held and the best three speakers are selected as the winners. It has been agreed that the winners will be awarded with certificates and the best speaker will be awarded with “DELT Speech Star” challenge trophy. Dr. Saroja Ardihetty, a former senior lecturer of the DELT has sponsored for this trophy. Further, It has also been agreed that if there is a considerable number of students representing the Department of English and Linguistics, a separate competition should be organized for them and certificates and the best speaker- trophy will be awarded accordingly.
Department of English Language Teaching
University of Sri Jayewardenepura