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Getting there


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I would like to just revisit last week, if I can. I handed back marked vocabulary sheets with personal comments as students moved into the new ones, and asked students to return marked peer essays at some point during class. Two late comers worked together, and I let them carry on checking vocabulary as I explained the mini-test and handed out the papers. Then they all got going.

Another student came after the mini-test, so they took it in the break.

Ok, great, thank you, I said, wonderful, and so I explained how well they had done in the first presentation, and that we would build on that for the second. I had a nice wee bump diagram and then built a larger bump around it with delivery and surveys, explaining that we were going to build on the foundation of definition, example, dis/advantages and message with clear structure to add survey and delivery as our extra targets. Then I did a rather more detailed explanation of survey monkey, (everyone listening well, so it flows) and asked students to begin to think about survey questions to go with their topics which were up in the centre of the board for homework. I asked a couple of times if anyone needed the info again in japanese, and although there were only some very tiny body movements indicating the need, i decided it was necessary, so I reviewed again in Japanese. By this time it was nearly break time, so I explained the common ground exercise and then handed out the group formations, saying we would work on shared likes and the presentation topic after the break.

After the break everyone kind of got into groups, I was helping a couple of people but mainly everyone found everyone else, and got on with finding things in common. I walked round groups giving examples from Tuesday, like the contact lenses one, and soon we had three topics taken, all doubled, Bankruptcy, Central Banking and International Trade, I think. So a different spectrum of interest.

Ok, I said, thanks, great, and now we'll work on the delivery worksheet I made to focus on improved delivery skills this presentation. Whipped through reading the first four items and after asking students to check answers with their new group, gave them myself and moved right into asking students to brainstorm/think in groups about how they knew the difference, and what was different about the delivery of the sound. A quick reporting phase with me acting out differences and adding anecdotes about margaret thatcher and hilary clinton to reinforce, then it was time to listen for pause and emphasis, and finally try it out yourself. At this stage I was walking around, and asking students to test me to see if i could tell the difference, and coached a few on creating more emphasis, and how to choose what to emphasize.

Even tho students may understand the principles, it's not so easy to choose WHAT to emphasize and pause for! So like, emphasis is on the wrong words and the sentence gets choppy rather than clear...hmmm, hoping that as we have all the peer modelling next week it will get clearer, I remember one excellent success story last year, a group and some students who really implemented the delivery excellently in the last presentation even tho this was not their forte to begin with. So I have to remember that it is not about 'getting it' right away, but a process of absorbing and implementing over the four presentations.