Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Great Day

by AJ

Yesterday my "English Oral Proficiency and Presentation" class gave their final presentations of the semester and all I can say is, "WOW"!!!!

As I watched each student present, I thought back to their first few speeches of the semester. What a difference. So much more poise. So much more confidence. Their speech was much more natural... In fact, several students put me to shame... I found myself taking notes in order to improve my own presentations.

This kind of day makes teaching great. Its incredible to see your students make progress.. to be a part of that growth. Its a tremendous feeling. I love it.

These presentations taught me something else. When you get all that grammar-translation crap out of the way and stress communication, great things can happen. Great things! These students were lucky because the course description focused solely on making speeches and presentations. No textbooks. No linguistic study at all.

And yet, throughout the semester, they improved their speaking ability. They did so by focusing mostly on affective factors: confidence, relaxation, natural conversation (no scripts), relaxed body movements, and the use of audio-visuals. In short, they focused on communication-- specifically... on increasing the clarity and power of their speech. They all succeeded.

But as happy as I am, its hard for me to claim much credit. I did very little work in this class.... every week the students made presentations while I watched. I gave a few strength-based, positive, encouraging comments.... and thats about it.

In other words, the students did all the work, and reaped all the rewards.

San Francisco, CA