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Posts Tagged ‘Language’

Audience

Audience (Photo credit: thinkmedialabs)

If you’re anything like most of my English students, you’re probably constantly looking for new ways to practice your oral English and speak spontaneously.

Giving a presentation can provide that platform to practice. It can also do the following:

  •  it gives the presenting student a good opportunity to practice unaided speaking
  •  it gives the other students good listening practice
  •  it increases the presenting student’s confidence when using English
  •  it can be good practice for the real situation for those students who may actually need to give presentations in English in their professional lives
  •  it is an excellent generator of spontaneous discussion

What is a presentation, anyway?
It is a verbal report presented with illustrative material, such as slides, graphs, etc.  by one person to a group of people introducing and describing a particular subject (for example: a new product, company results or a proposed advertising campaign).

For this article we are considering the use of presentations for speaking practice.

Let’s begin exploring how to prepare an English presentation to an English language class.

1.           CHOICE OF SUBJECT

The first question that goes through any student’s head when presented with this task is ‘What will I talk about?’

If you have anything of interest that you want to share with others such as: hobbies, professional activities, past holidays etc., this can be a starting point.

Sometimes when making a presentation, a student may discover a hidden talent like performing a stand-up comedian routine, or juggling act.

Everyone has an interest or skill that is particular to them and may be of potential interest to others. After having dug a little into your mind, you can record the interests on paper as you narrow down the topic of your proposed presentation.

Only if you are at a complete loss do you need to ask for help from the teacher or a friend. But be imaginative.

2.           TIME LIMIT

It need not be a long presentation, just 5 or 10 minutes, plus questions. Practice reading the presentation with a timer to determine how long it is.

Read it in a normal tone and pace. Pause after each sentence to give yourself time to breathe and most of all relax.

In reality, it is far more difficult to prepare and give a 5-minute presentation than a 20-minute one. In addition, once underway, most students very often overrun on their time.

3.           EQUIPMENT

This will be governed by your environment. The main thing is to use support material and visual aids.

The bare minimum would be a whiteboard or flipchart. If you have an Overhead projector or data show projector so much the better.

Bring in additional materials, for example wall maps or samples or other realia like tools or objects discussed in your presentation, if allowed.

 4.           PREPARATION

 

No doubt, preparation is the key element of any presentation. There is no getting around this one.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. It will give you confidence on the day. You can use homework and/or classroom time for preparation. You can ask for help from the teacher to further explain what you need to speak about.

Remember that lack of preparation may lead to failure, and the last thing you want to do in front of class is to present a failure.

5.           THE PRESENTATION

You may wish to read up on the principles of presentations, just to take the edge off of your nervousness.

Depending on your objective, are you giving a ‘presentation’ as an end in itself, or are you using presentations as a means to practice English? In any case, learning the value of preparation and signposting will help.

As a student, you are watching the teacher presenting all the time and probably take for granted the sheer mechanics of presentation and don’t notice the butterflies she may have before her lessons.

Learn from the presenters, and emulate them.

6.           KEYWORDS AND NOTES

Remember that the objective is not to come to class, show everybody the top of your head and read a text.

The objective is speaking, admittedly prepared, but without a text.

Key words, yes! Notes, yes! But no texts, don’t read the presentation, present it.

Again, prepare your notes or keywords.

 7.           QUESTIONS

Presenters usually indicate to their audience when they will answer questions – i.e., during or after the presentation.

It may be best to encourage question-taking after rather than during the presentation.

This will give you more time for uninterrupted, unaided speech and avoid any danger of the presentation itself degenerating into a free-for-all.

A well managed Q&A session at the end of the presentation is of real value. Don’t be afraid of silence! Students need time to think of and formulate questions.

 8.           PEER FEEDBACK

Again, depending on the audience, level and culture, you may wish to invite feedback from other students on your performance.

You can give the audience a prepared feedback form, listing the points to watch out for and comment on. But be very careful, some nationalities will be unwilling to, as they see it, ‘pass judgment on’ their colleagues.

At lower levels, students may be totally deflated by such feedback. In all cases, the audience should be looking for positive points at least as much as for negative ones.

This can be a useful activity, but if in doubt, it’s probably best avoided.

The important point is that this type of verbal practice exercise should have a positive, beneficial result – Improved oral communication.

Most of all have fun doing it.

Presentations will build self confidence and give you a platform to practice speaking English.

Do you like to give presentations in any language?

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As always, we’re here to offer resources to help in your English language acquisition.

Each of the links below are MS Word documents of  previously taught grammar points. Just click and you’re off…..

You can print out the worksheets or fill it out in MS Word.

identifying-adjectives

fun-with-irregular-verbs

identifying-nouns

identifying-verbs

 I hope you have fun using these worksheets. Dick and Jane would want you to have fun learning.

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Talk talk talk talk talk talk...

Talk talk talk talk talk talk... (Photo credit: THEfunkyman)

‘Talk’ is used to express informal conversation between limited numbers of people.

 

Examples of various ways to use ‘Talk’ include:

to express yourself by speaking – “I want to talk to my people about the changes that are coming.”;

to have a conversation – “She talked about her busy day at the office for over one hour”

to discuss a subject – “ Let’s talk business.”;

to communicate – “They will now talk using sign language.”

speak a particular language – “I will now talk in my native Italian language.”

to reveal information – “The police questioned him but he wouldn’t talk.”;

to gossip or spread rumors – “The neighbors began to talk about the new teacher in town.”;

to make sounds – “When is my baby going to begin to talk?”;

to influence or persuade people – “Money talks, BS walks.”

 

‘Talk’ is often used with the preposition ‘about’ when introducing the subject of conversation, and ‘to’ when introducing the conversational partner.

 

Let’s give them something to talk about.

 

Talk to me like you mean it.

 

Verb Forms: Talk – Talked – Talking

 

Now let’s start talking and stop fighting. War is hell.

 

Are there things you’d like to talk about more on this blog? Give me a holla!

 

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Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English

This chart shows the CountryLanguage and Nationality of some countries from around the world.

DID YOU KNOW? Demonym is another name for Nationality – demos (Greek for populace) and onym (suffix for ‘name’)

  • Language and nationality names are often, but not always similar. For example: French – the language, and French the nationality are the same in the case of France.. However, English – the language, and American – the nationality are not the same in the case of The United States.
  • All countries, languages and nationalities are always capitalized in English. This is because country, language and nationality names are proper names of countries, languages and nationalities.

        All country names are unique, otherwise there would be confusion about where you were.

 Nationality Pronunciation  Country  Language  Nationality
One syllable
France French French
Greece Greek Greek
ends in ‘-ish’
Britain English British
Denmark Danish Danish
Finland Finnish Finnish
Poland Polish Polish
Spain Spanish Spanish
Sweden Swedish Swedish
Turkey Turkish Turkish
ends in ‘-an’
Germany German German
Mexico Spanish Mexican
The United States English American
ends in ‘-ian’ or ‘-ean’
Australia English Australian
Brazil Portuguese Brazilian
Egypt Arabic Egyptian
Jordan Arabic Jordanian
Hungary Hungarian Hungarian
Korea Korean Korean
Russia Russian Russian
ends in ‘-ese’
China Chinese Chinese
Japan Japanese Japanese
Sudan Arabic Sudanese

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Did you know that the English language really came from German, with a little French and Latin thrown in to make it sweeter?

Check out this funny video on how the English language came about.

The Anglo Saxons

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