Oral presentations by students is an interesting activity, because they have to speak for longer than just when answering questions we teachers might ask them.
They have to talk about a topic and not only reply a question by their teacher. We can advise them how to work out this activity, what steps they can follow. First they can produce a brainstorm of possible themes, and then choose one by eliminating the rest. After that they can write two columns: one with the things they can talk about in English, their target language, and one for the things they cannot talk about in that language. They can receive help and assistance by the teacher regarding these latter points, or from one another.
Later they can write about all those points, with the help of the Internet for getting information about their topics, if necessary. When they’ve written and developed all those points by writing about them they have a span of time assigned to each student in order to talk about their choice topic.
We can carry out this interesting activity three times a school year. So they could have to talk about, say, for three minutes, six minutes, ten minutes each time of the school year.
When having to present a topic the students have to develop different strategies and skills than when only having to answer a question or prompt from us their teachers.
As well they have the chance of speaking about topics they like and they may know quite a lot about: they can be experts at those themes!
I’ve implemented this exercise also with my grown-up students and I can just say it’s a really interesting activity, though for some students all this could mean an extra effort, because they can be shy and they even could experience some anxiety – another day I could talk about students’ anxiety.
They mature their learning styles in a significant way.
Their classmates can ask them questions after the actual presentations or otherwise the presenters can ask their classmates, who had been listening presumably.
I’ve had nice experiences about this point: for example once two high-achiever students aged fourteen presented a topic together for a whole class-time, this is, one hour or fifty minutes!
The students should know when they will have to present their topics beforehand, with some days of time and according to the group-class list of students. Obviously if they wish they can make up a poster about their topic and the best ones can decorate the classroom for a period of time. I’ve learned about this significant activity from Mrs. Mary Jane Amaya, our foreign-language school adviser. / Photo from: www planwallpaper com