Analysing Articles

Examining Opposing Viewpoints

Interpreting Folk Songs in History

Interpreting Cartoons

Responding Personally to Historical Information

Preparing to Conduct an Interview

Listening with Discrimination

Generalizing from Historical Data

Analysing Cause and Effect

Listening with Discrimination

In 1942 the British government began to think about what should be done about the political status of Newfoundland and Labrador at the end of the Second World War. Should Britain continue direct control through the Commission of Government? Should it restore the colony to its former status an independent country with responsible government? Or would confederation with Canada be the best solution? Newfoundland did not have large reserves to go it alone, and Britain could not afford to allocate scarce dollars to Newfoundland after the end of a costly war.

Britain decided to find out how the Newfoundland people felt about the issue. To do this, 45 representatives were elected from 38 districts to recommend to the British government what form of government should be put on the ballot in a referendum. The National Convention, began its proceedings on September 11, 1946.

Some of the National Convention debates were quite heated. Tracks 5, 7, and 8 in the Confederation Debates in the Resource Room contain some of the more dramatic speeches involving J. R. Smallwood, G. F. Higgins, and F. G. Bradley. The purpose of this lesson is to listen to these speeches, analyse them, and examine how the speakers attempt to make their speeches effective.

To do this, use these exercises to focus on the speakers' use of tone to connect effectively with the audience. Effective tone involves the use of rational qualities, emotional appeals, and delivery.

Suggestions and Exercises:

  1. Carefully listen to sound tracks 5, 7, and 8 in the Confederation Debates section of the Resource Room. Select a speaker whose speech you wish to analyse.

  2. The following chart lists the qualities that help to make a speech a highly rational one. Identify which ones the speaker uses, and give an example of each.

    Quality Example
    1. Uses facts  
    2. Uses statistics  
    3. Refers to authorities  
    4. Cites examples/illustrations  
    5. Gives brief narratives  
    6. Gives descriptions  
    7. Is coherent  
    8. Crafts questions which have obvious answers  

  3. The following chart lists the emotional appeals a speaker may use. Identify which ones the speaker uses and give an example of each.

    Appeal Example
    1. Uses connotative meaning  
    2. Employs figures of speech  
    3. Uses alliteration  
    4. Repeats key words or phrases  
    5. Connects with the feelings and needs of the audience  

  4. A speaker's tone is also affected by manner of delivery. Select two of the following elements of delivery and explain how the speaker you selected uses each to make his speech an effective one.
    use of high and low pitch loudness of voice
    stress on certain words or syllables pauses between words or sentences


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