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Summer Vacation at Chinese Colleges & Universities
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2314
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mw182006 wrote:
This thread is making my head spin a bit. Guess I need to clear some things up with my boss. Due to visa issues I got a late start this semester and started teaching in Week 7. I decided to assign what I thought would be an easy project last week - a 5 minute oral presentation - and that has gone over like a lead balloon. For most of the classes I caved and let them speak using their notes, and I think this may stretch into a 3-week ordeal for my largest classes. It sounds like I may need to give a total of 3 projects including the final, so I have a hard time seeing how I'm going to squeeze all of this in by week 19 (or sooner based on some of the comments in this thread).


I guess you could say I'm in that 'difficult' university position you guys talk about. Example, in some classes I'll say good morning and ask students "how are you doing today" and the only response I get is "yes." Haha...technology is lacking, the textbooks are basically useless, and I don't really get much direction from anyone. I'm not getting too down on myself since this is my first crack at this, but I do want to help these kids learn...it just seems like an impossible task given the circumstances. I guess I'm just going to have to play the entertainer role and find some games and activities.


I think ESL courses would teach that at this basic level you've got to give the students the language and then have them give it back to you:
Teacher: 'How are you this morning Brian? Respond: I'm very well teacher - thanks'.
Student: 'I'm very well teacher - thanks'.
I wouldn't give a student a performance task on their own.
Let them form pairs/trios and prepare a skit on a topic you give them.
Let them use notes and emphasise that humour and movement will earn extra points.
If the audience laughs the performers respond and that's positive reinforcement.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2534
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
I wouldn't give a student a performance task on their own.
Let them form pairs/trios and prepare a skit on a topic you give them.
Let them use notes and emphasise that humour and movement will earn extra points.
If the audience laughs the performers respond and that's positive reinforcement.


Seconded...especially the part I put in bold. Even with my advanced students I think of their speaking tasks in seconds: "you will make a presentation to your group [groups of 3 or 4]. Your presentation will be 30 seconds long."

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3228
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mw182006 wrote:
...a 5 minute oral presentation...


much too longful!!!! try it yourself --- take a 3-page text and time
yourself reading it....maybe 3 minutes or so. your college kids are
spending their time memorizing the text, often without understanding
what they be saying....and their practice is usually limited to mouthing
the words. they rarely practice speaking.

if you want a 5-minute spiel, do that in groups of 3, where each student
has to give a portion of the speech.

good speakers get no paper, horse-horse-tiger-tiger students get a
note-card with 10 key words. poor speakers? give them a less challengeful
assignment, otherwise they'll just read a text. poorly.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2534
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

choudoufu wrote:
challengeful assignment


Oh! Chinglish?

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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