Thursday, November 14, 2013

proud of my kids

We've been doing presentations in my speaking classes. After a slew of fairly uninspired speeches and slide shows—all of them centering on food—the final team of intermediate-level students did something very different: they chose to talk about jobs, and they crafted a presentation that took the form of a vocabulary lesson.

It was very well put-together. The students covered most of the jobs featured in our textbook: pilot, architect, model, designer, teacher, police officer, etc. First, they displayed pictures of a given job and asked the audience (their fellow students) what they thought each job was before revealing the vocabulary word. The presenters then took turns explaining the various jobs. After all the jobs had been explained, there were two reinforcement activities: first, there was a listen-and-repeat section. Second, at the very end, there was a "fill in the blanks"-style quiz in which audience members were encouraged to shout out the vocab. The audience participated with gusto; everyone enjoyed themselves.

It was obvious that my kids had internalized the lessons they had learned from a semester of teaching each other: they understood how to introduce their target concepts, how to lift the audience out of a passive role and get people engaged in the learning, how to convey information via more than one of the five senses (they used PowerPoint visuals), and how to review and reinforce the concepts covered. Their presentation was easily the best of the day, and I was proud of them.

POSTSCRIPT: The kids weren't modest about their achievement, either. When I asked them why they had chosen jobs as their topic, and why they had chosen to format their presentation as a classroom lesson, they cheerfully declared that everyone else was talking about food, so they wanted to do something unique.


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