I've been asked (told) by my school to teach a 1 hour 40 minute lesson on speech/public speaking. The rationale, I'm told, is that the director would like to be able to have the school represented in competitions.
Class sizes will be roughly 20, and ages around M4 and M5. The level of English ranges between students, but generally isn't bad.
I don't mind taking the class, another string to my bow so to speak. I am, however, a new teacher and have no experience with this. I know that some US citizens seem to have been involved in these types of things when they were at school but in my school/uni life I was never exposed to it. So I don't have even past experience as a student in these lessons as a reference!
Anyway, any thoughts or advice would be most welcome!
Sounds like a real good thread you made.
Same for me - never experienced "public speaking" when I was a kid at school - could've done with that later in life, as I was rather 'shy' about opening my mouth in front of (many) people.
Mind you, that was then - now it doesn't bother me.....
Looking forward to reading any helpful replies, too.....
Oh my, no experience in public speaking.
First; go to google and find some sites that deal with this, preferably with videos. Try youtube also.
Did public speaking in the states and 6 years worth here, but to try and explain/teach/coach someone new to it is very difficult.
Body language, facial expressions, mannerisms, and types of hand gestures along with a confidence gained by knowing your subject, all add up to a good showing and show.
A native speaker must also pace the speed with which one speaks; slower without being obvious about it. Articulating is doubly important along with fairly straightforward vocabulary.
Frederick Douglass: Find out just what any people will quietly submit to
and you have found out the exact measure of injustice
and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both.
ďDonít believe them, donít fear them, donít ask
anything of them.Ē
The brief you have been given is ridiculous. This will not be a feather in you bow more almost certainly an impossible and waste of time task. Please refuse to do things when the brief is so vague. Do they want you to prepare kids for competitions and if so what are the kids expected to do at them. Without basic info you are going to make yourself look foolish. Sorry to be harsh but it sounds like the school is looking for a scapegoat.
What kind of public speaking? There are different sorts.
Sounds like you're being asked to prepare students for inter-school public speaking competitions. Nothing wrong with that in itself, I've done it a couple of times. The problem is that you're being asked to prepare lessons for classes of 20. In my case, I get asked to choose one or two students to coach in my freetime.
Once we have prepared the speech, I concentrate on helping students with their pronunciation, diction, and delivery.
I enjoy doing it.
THX 1133 gives some good advice.
It wasn't me............I wasn't even there.
^ Yeah, that's what it is. Coaching the student's is something I did for all of my teaching years. Got our school from nowhere to the top 5 in our province in 4 years of coaching; but then we had some exceptional students. It's really fun and rewarding, IMO.
Thanks for the advice guys! Youtube was a great resource and I've got a few ideas and a rough structure of how the 'course' will shape up.
I don't think it's a ridiculous detail. If the ambition is to make competition winning public speakers then, probably, too many students, too little time. However, the vast majority of the boys do military activities in these periods so I'm being asked to occupy the remaining students' time. They are all in classes of mine, so it'll give me a bit of time to work with them on structuring a short piece and speaking well in front of people. I see it as a bit of a pressure free thing. They won't have to stick to what we need to cover during regular class. I can get them to work up to a short speech about something they're interested in and get them to focus on the speaking:-)
I was thinking roughly of:
some game as an ice breaker that gets them up in front and speaking english
few short clips of good and bad public speakers - see what they like and dislike about them
some key aspects of a good speech/presentation
a short gap fill template speech, they fill in gaps of whatever they want and present it to class (practice in front of group again.
giving them rough structure of a speech - think about what they'd like to do for their own speech
next class start with quick charades - to show how body language can convey meaning. Do's and dont's of body language.
importance of facial expressions - cant see if reading all the time so need to make notes, prompts, and know the speech inside out
time to prepare speeches and work with individuals.
prep time and then present to the class
In the short time available I'm really hoping to just give them more confidence, some tips, some practice speaking and a bit of exposure to the whole thing! Will see how it goes!
At the schools I have worked the students have to memorise their speeches. It seems they have little idea about the meaning of the speeches they memorise and then deliver at the competitions. I've asked the students questions about the stuff they are memorising and they don't understand the material.
The speeches are also prepared by the Thai staff - written in a strange kind of 'double-dutch' Thai/English. It's not unusual for them to be complete nonsense. The script is given to the student to memorise and recite.
I've known the Thai staff to ask the native English teachers to review them before they are given to students. But when the speeches were being completely re-written so they made sense the Thai's decided to stop asking. They were losing too much face. Also the Thai staff like to get any credit in the event that a trophy is won at one of these competitions - and it's easier to claim the credit if you haven't involved the farangs.
Often when there is a speech reciting/memorising competition there is also a crossword competition running alongside it. At least at the crossword competitions the students use real English words - not made up ones that you won't find in the dictionary in a month of Sundays (cough cough).
Anyway - good luck with this project Noal. It sounds like you've got an exciting project on your hands, you've done some prep work there and have some good ideas of the things to cover. I like your ideas. Your students also sound like a clever bunch if they can understand and cope with all that stuff you intend to cover. Maybe you're at a good international school and this kind of stuff will be bread and butter to your students.
There are a lot of complex ideas to get across in your lesson outline, and I know my lot would have a lot of difficulty getting to grips with them in English. For example, explaining to them how to use body language to add meaning to a speech (which I reckon would be especially difficult to put into practice when you do not understand the meaning of the speech you are reciting).
I hope your lesson is a success and you get the satisfaction of seeing the results at the next speech competition with a few first places for your school.
But good international schools don't do this sort of nonsense.
The students study, for example, the UK national curriculum.
For actual qualifications.
Not this sort of nonsense which maybe 2 percent of them might find useful in about 15 years time....
And my point also wasn't that students at international schools do this sort of nonsense (I don't know if they do or don't but am happy to agree with your view that they don't) - my point was that you may need a fairly exceptional bunch of students to be able to follow, understand and put into practice all the stuff that Noal proposes to cover. My opinion is that you might be more likely to find an exceptional bunch of students at an international school than at say, a Thai provincial government school. I wish him every success with it.