Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preparing for the "really big show"

No, this show isn't one that is going to be on stage, but it may be bigger than that, it may hit the college webpage, and hopefully millions of people can see it.

My international students have been studying pronunciation of English for the past 3-1/2 months. At first, the progress was really slow-going, because they were really starting from scratch in learning English vocabulary and grammar. But, they've progressed quite a bit since they first came her in August.

Today, they practiced for their upcoming videotape session done by the college AV department. I got three other teachers to help me listen to them as they practiced their speeches. We focused on clear pronunciation, not so much on content. We went over words that they were struggling with. At this point in time, they are pronouncing things using the wrong syllable stress, which makes it hard to understand. And they want to go too fast. But when they slow down, and get help with the syllables, they sound very good.

This is their third oral presentation of the semester. For presentations #2, they were to tell about their countries. Well, there was so much they wanted to share, they forgot about clear pronunciation. So, we simplified things, and now each is telling one aspect of their country's history, culture or symbols. Each only has a minute to tell their part of the story, so they can concentrate on correct pronunciation more easily, because it isn't so long.

So, they have a week to practice, and next week on Tuesday will be their time to be videotaped giving their presentation. I wish them luck, and thank my fellow teachers for helping us today.

You go, SEED students!

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