Listening and speaking sometimes are rather "soft" academic content areas, which makes teachers cut corners around these things. But students need to listen everyday, and hopefully have at least one formal speaking assignment per week.
Here's what 5th graders are supposed to know/show by the end of the school year in this area:
* ask questions not already discussed
* interpret speeches - verbal AND nonverbal
* make inferences based on oral reports.
* make oral presentations that have a focus (topic sentence), supporting evidence, and engage the audience with voice and posture
* identify, analyze, and critique persuasive techniques
* analyze media sources for entertainment, information, persuasiveness, etc
Listening and speaking really should be infused into everyday lessons. Asking questions is really something that should occur in every single lesson, not just language arts. I really like how my CT makes our students speak as a group in front of the class - while everyone listens respectfully. I would like to bring that up a level and have the audience write questions to ask of the speakers. With some careful guidance, we can get a decent debate going.