Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Building confidence in small doses

It takes more than words to communicate your ideas effectively.

We need to always bear in mind what our audience expects to hear and how they will interact during the conversation.

No matter the communicative situation- a job interview, a public speaking event, a business presentation, a video recording, a video call - rehearsing (NOT memorizing) what to say and how to interact is, to be a little on the exaggerated side, mandatory.

Simply because, even when we rehearse, there is no guarantee things are going to go the way we planned. We might just freeze up, feel like laughing umcontrollably, talk loudly and at breakneck speed or just mumble incomprehensibly.

These apparent mess ups are valuable learning experiences IF we take on failure as a rehearsal for success. This becomes even more important if we are using a language that is not our own.

The lessons above were came shining through during a #skypecall between two teenage classes - one in a US middle school and the other in a Brazilian English language school. The students were roughly the same age. The aim of the get together was to answer the first group's questions about Brazilian Carnival. The questions were sent in advance so the Brazilians could designate roles as to who would be the spokesperson, who would do the research, who would write up the answers and so on. Their American counterparts took turns coming the microphone, introducing themselves and reading out the questions.

Needless to say, the Brazilian students got bit by the first time nervousness bug: they initially replied to some of the questions without coming to the microphone, they greeted their interlocutors enthusiastically and shied away from some of the questions in the end.

The video call lasted roughly ten minutes, but it was enough for them to have a chance to talk to someone in another language in a real life situation and enough for the American students to say they talked to some teens from Brazil.

Definitely, not bad for a first try, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lead the teacher to water and help them drink

During today's #nt2t chat (I share the moderating honors with @shyj and @hannahturk139 , I got some inspirational answers to this question:
@GruntledChalkie's answer got me thinking of some other creative ways to share the learning we get from participating in chats like #nt2t:
What was just as engaging was @lilostep's account of what she did with a teacher once
All of this driving the point home that learning is social and teachers, like students need a little prodding or some real evidence in order to embrace something. They have to know learning is a social thing that can be done on social media - on Facebook or Twitter or any other similar platform
This post is part of the #ECGC17 Blogathon. Sign up here to be a part.

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