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Judith Field

Judith Field

Judith Field has taught English and drama in the private and state systems of Victoria for over thirty years, as well as helping found the King David School. She has three degrees in education in addition to a drama qualification. A passionate and talented teacher, some of her students get in touch with her 20 years after she has taught them.

Judith introduced some interesting curriculum changes when she was Head of English at Mount Scopus College, one being ‘Oral skills for reluctant speakers’, a semester elective at Year 9 during which she developed some amazing techniques to help teenagers who were afraid to speak. One of her pupils moved from shy to being a remarkably competent speaker, another won the school’s public speaking event a few years later. Judith has a love of words and she brings this passion into all of her teaching.

In 2004 Judith left teaching to set up Direct Speech. Her company is now active in over 120 schools around Victoria, from Grade 5 up, in private, state, metropolitan and rural schools, teaching public speaking to students. Many schools invite her back year after year, because her methods empower students to find their voices quickly and effectively. Her practical and humorous methods appeal to students, and they come to see public speaking as fun and challenging. Many teachers have remarked on the rapid transformation from shy to shining in just three sessions. One of her secrets is that Judith has become a Master of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and she incorporates some of those techniques into her workshops.

Together Judith and Marissa have written Speech Matters to bring those ideas to the many schools around the globe that cannot have Judith in the classroom with them.

Marissa Pinkas

Marissa Pinkas

Marissa Pinkas is an experienced educator with 20 years of dedication in varied educational environments in South Africa, Western Australia and Victoria. Currently she is completing her Masters in Education at the University of Melbourne, specialising in Collaborative Learning.

Formerly, the Director of Education at the Jewish Museum of Australia for nearly three years, she is now a VCE English and Literature tutor as well as a marker of external VCE English examinations for various schools. Some of Marissa’s students have special needs such as Autism, and therefore require specialised help to complete VCE. She presents at VATE on various VCE texts and contexts. Not only that, she also talks about those texts and developing English skills, such as analysing persuasive language, on the Sunday School Program presented by Libbi Gorr on ABC 774. And when most people have gotten tired just reading all the ways she helps students, she also writes questions for the VATE Year 12 Mock exam. Phew!

About the book

Speech Matters

Speech Matters

Speech Matters is $25.95 plus shipping & handling.

Australian buyers purchase below
For up to 30 copies

International buyers purchase below
For up to 30 copies

If tracking is required please contact the publisher

For buyers wanting more than 30 copies please click here to email Aly.


Does a student you know have trouble presenting their ideas to their class? Never fear! There’s a new resource available for pupils in years 7 and 8 that will greatly boost their confidence and have them orating with the best of them!

Speech Matters is a practical lesson-based resource for teachers, directed at students, in which all aspects of public speaking are explicitly explained and illustrated, each one with one or more engaging activities. The teaching of oral skills is broken down into logical and clear chapters, making it very easy to teach important aspects of planning, writing and presenting speeches.

The textbooks include the three Cross-curriculum Priorities and seven General Capabilities as required by the emerging Australian Curriculum. These are represented in the speech topics, quotes, examples and extracts used throughout the books. Some of the activities also use collaborative teaching methodologies. The books are appropriate for use in State, Catholic and Independent schools. These workshops have proven the effectiveness of the activities and structures that constitute the text.

Features of the text

  • These books meet a need that is not met by any other text.
  • Combines theory (quick and clear) and practice (lots)
  • Broken down into manageable bites and chapters
  • Concepts and language are accessible, and the meta-language of oral skills is gradually introduced
  •  Activities are appropriate and differentiated according to age levels
  •  The activities are ready to go and easy for teachers to copy and use
  •  All chapters follow a structure, which naturally and logically builds the skills of public speaking
  • Both students and teachers will find the book easy to use
  • The book does not make assumptions about teachers’ knowledge and experience of public speaking
  • The book covers a huge range of topics and types of speeches, from basics at Years 7/8 to the curriculum demands of Year 9 and 10
  • Some activities are directed at specific audiences both inside and outside a school context
  • There is a whole section on purpose and audience, and the concepts are built into every activity
  • Assessment criteria and rubrics are included at the end of each book
  • Every book has a chapter on Listening Skills
  • Suitable to be used as a class set