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University jobs: Have you ever given a public lecture?

 
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wawaguagua



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 24
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: University jobs: Have you ever given a public lecture? Reply with quote

One of the contracts I'm considering has a clause that says I must give a public lecture once a semester (presumably in English). As a former student of anthropology and someone who has done quite a bit of professional public speaking in the recent past, I find this requirement very intriguing. Is it common for university ESL teachers in China? Have you ever done it? If so, what did you lecture on, and how did it go?
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1189

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: University jobs: Have you ever given a public lecture? Reply with quote

Not common, but it is a part of the contract at my current school..
I am supposed to give 2 lectures a semester.
Past topics have included: body language, Psychology, Western food, and Chinese food in the USA.
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xiguagua



Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 768

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My school does it, but i'm not REQUIRED to do it.......just ONE of the FT's has to do it. I allowed the other to do it last term. Don't think about it as a professional lecture.....just think of it as a non-interactive class where you have to explain how to learn English well to a bunch of non-English majors that are too lazy to actually do what you tell them to do who will then ask you "how to improve my English" 10 minutes after you spent an hour explaining how to do just that.


Honestly, I wouldn't get your hopes about it being as "professional" as you're imagining. I'm sure the students aren't required to attend, just those interested in English, but I'm sure most go just to hear a foreigner speaking English, and as soon as you aren't giving them the "secret formula for learning English overnight" they'll be lost.........or maybe i'm just jaded.
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1189

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xiguagua wrote:
..... and as soon as you aren't giving them the "secret formula for learning English overnight" they'll be lost.........or maybe i'm just jaded.


Not jaded. I have also had to disappoint many students by refusing to give them the "secret formula" .









.


Last edited by rogerwilco on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5681
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was asked to give a 30 minute lecture at my very first job in China. It was extra work and I was paid 300 for it. Once I began I noticed that a lot of people were playing on their mobile, or chatting with one another. I was kind of disappointed that a number of people weren't listening but that was an introduction to China for me.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2646
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By 'public' they mean a large format lecture room. Anyone can turn up, but generally no one from outside the campus.
My experience mirrors most of the other comments.
The lecture was timed to end at 8pm and I had new arrivals at 7.55!
The only time I had everyone's (say 150 people) attention was when I sang a song in the indigenous language of my home country.
The usual questions after about good ways to learn English.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5681
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
The usual questions after about good ways to learn English.

That was the topic of my lecture. After I finished speaking I was asked many questions on "how can I improve my English?"
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 432
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I typically lecture twice at school during the semester and at least once to people from "outside" the school. Generally the first two lectures are to students, teachers and administrators of our school. They usually involve describing my plans for our English department program and "ways to improve your English." They're topical.

The lecture to people outside the school population is generally an "advertisement" or recruitment lecture. I'm paid to get all fired up, tell parents and potential students how GREAT! our school is and why they should come here, and basically show off my 'Merican English!

I also give a speech at our school's Oral English competition, but that's pretty low-key, even though it's always to a bigger audience.

I had a good laugh at some of the comments and experiences of lecturing in China ... it all sounded VERY familiar! It can be a great experience, but it can also make you feel a bit like you're "whoring" yourself for the English language! At times, you feel like a used car salesman or a snake-oil salesman. Giving demonstration lessons at a Wal-Mart can leave you feeling pretty degraded. Surprised

It's absolutely amazing to me how much trouble Chinese students (and their parents) will go to ... they will spend vast amounts of money, they will travel to new places, buy textbooks and language guides, computers and software. They will drill teachers on ways to improve. They'll take copious notes, write things down and ask questions of their instructors and each other ... THEN, most of them will REFUSE to do the ONE THING which will help them improve their English immediately! They will refuse to open their mouths and USE THE LANGUAGE!

Every year I tell my students that they don't really need me. They could do it all themselves and I give them a handout which outlines specific ways to "improve your English" and offers a path to fluency. Every year they bemoan how bad their English is and how they can't improve because "I don't have a foreigner to talk to!" Laughing

--GA
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1548
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a clause like that at my first university I think. At any rate I (and my Chinese teacher colleagues) had to give a lecture. I don't even remember the topic, but it was well-attended. Word must have gotten around about my fantastic speaking ability because now I seem to be getting public speaking classes to teach...! Funny, I find it much easier to teach others how to communicate effectively to an audience than to actually do it myself. But then, my opportunities seem to be of the "and roadwalker will now give some comments while the scorekeepers add up the results of this contest" variety more than anything else.
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1189

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreatApe wrote:
... THEN, most of them will REFUSE to do the ONE THING which will help them improve their English immediately! They will refuse to open their mouths and USE THE LANGUAGE!



I agree 100%.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3236

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Every year I tell my students that they don't really need me


YES! I've used this for years, not just in China.
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