(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
In Part 1, I analyzed the assumptions teachers have made about having students do class-presentations. (See •ESL Student-Presentations (Part 1): Questioning the Reasons for Doing Them)
As I concluded in that post, there seems to be weak support for having students do class presentations. However, many ESL teachers would like to give each student the experience of speaking to a small group of classmates. These are the challenges:
- The students should clearly understand how to carry out the activity.
- The activity shouldn’t take up a lot of class time preparing.
- What the “presenters” talk about should be of high interest.
- The activity shouldn’t give the “presenters” increased levels of stress, but rather help them develop confidence and let them experience success.
- The “presenters” should receive natural feedback on how well they were understood, but at the same time, the “audience” classmates should not be expected to be evaluators.
- The “audience” classmates should not be merely passive listeners. They need to be motivated to be engaged during the activity.