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Proceedings of CLaSIC 2008

AN ACTION RESEARCH ON THE CLASSROOM TEACHING OF ENGLISH PUBLIC SPEECH

Li Lin
Northwestern Polytechnical University, lixingood2001@163.com

Abstract
During the first semester of teaching English Speech, two major problems have arisen. The first problem is that students showed no interest in appreciating the famous English public speaking. That is to say, they cannot digest the “put-in”. Secondly, students who were not speakers in a certain class were doing something more than attending to the speeches, such as reading newspaper, chatting, reading their own speeches and so on. Observation, questionnaire and interview have been carried out so as to find out reasons to the problems. A conclusion has been reached about how to solve the two problems and then implemented. Firstly, those speeches with video material have been picked to be shown to the students, which will be more vivid and easier for students to follow in classroom teaching. And next, some adjustments on classroom management have been executed. The two solutions justified themselves in the section of action. The final conclusion: classroom learning has been promoted. Classroom interaction has been strengthened. key words: action study English speech teaching pattern

1 Introduction English speech class is a very new subject in my university. Traditionally only a few elite students are instructed and trained in order to compete in some contest. Most students are just passive audience, enjoying no right to attend to it actively. An investigation (see appendix 1) to a class of 30 students and an interview with a student in another class have shown that common students also want to be trained and practice English speech. Students believe their confidence can be improved and their public speaking ability(not only English ) needs urgent promotion, though they are not elite students and don’t want to attend some contests. As a teacher, I also believe English speech is a valuable part of English literature. To instruct students to appreciate it is an effective way not only to help them with their mastery of the language but also to familiarize them with some culture and history knowledge. Based on the investigation, I began the classroom teaching of the appreciation and practice of English public speech one and half a year ago. However, during the first semester of teaching English Speech, I have found the classroom teaching was not as easy as I had expected. I collected four famous speeches from some celebrities of G. B. and U.S.A. to give students “in-put”. I explained some difficult language points in each speech. That would cost altogether 2 hours for each speech. Each time after appreciation of an English public

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Media in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

speech, I would divide students into 4 groups to prepare a speech of any topic they were interested in. In the following week, 4 representatives of each group would have a competition and one of the winners would be awarded. Then in the next turn, another representative from each group would have to compete with others again. I expected the classroom teaching would be efficient and instructive. But after a semester I have found some problems with my teaching and could not find some help. For there has been no such class in my university and not any teachers have tried to teach English speech to a class of students. Therefore I didn’t have opportunity to exchange with others and could not obtain some instructions from some experienced teachers and professors. Facing this dilemma, I decided to do an action research to promote my teaching of English Public Speech. 2 Planning 2.1 Problems The first problem I have met is that I found students showed no interest in appreciating the famous English public speaking. That is to say, they cannot digest the “put-in”. Secondly, only four students spoke each time and most students had actually nothing to do because I found...
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