Thursday, October 1, 2015

Show and Tell and Hot Seat

Show and Tell has been one of my favorites because students get to introduce whatever they like in English, like their favorite comic books, novels and even video games. To do this right, students have to develop a draft for their oral presentation first, so writing skills are also involved. Next, during presentations, they need to pay attention in order to answer my questions about what just has been said. Thus, listening comprehension is incorporated as well. Prior to that, teacher’s demonstration is necessary because students will have a model to follow in terms of eye contact, volume, organization and so on. On top of that, I also showed my students how to use rubrics to examine each other’s performances so that they can do a better job next time.

Hot Seat was also used today to better prepare my students for being able to talk about their school life. I first asked each one of them questions regarding a typical school day, such as “When did you get up today?”, “What did you have for breakfast?”, “What was your first class today?” and so on. The idea is not only for my students to answer questions like these but they have to learn to ask a proper question regarding this topic on their own. When talking to a stranger, being able to ask suitable questions to carry on a meaningful conversation is a must. Of course, I’m not that naïve to actually believe that my students will be able to speak the language fluently with only those interesting speaking activities. It does take time and effort to make it happen.

Not only will we do group presentations about the topic, Identity and Belonging, for the video conferencing project but also conduct real-time conversations online. However, with students’ very limited speaking ability, it is quite challenging for them to express themselves in English, especially in such a test-driven setting here in Taiwan. To cope with this challenge, I’ve conducted several activities mainly targeting spoken English in the hope that they can feel more relaxed and confident when speaking the language. 

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