Question on Presenting

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7 thoughts on “Question on Presenting”

  1. This makes me think of how Judy presented in Paris a few months ago. She knew she was limited in time and from what I could tell she just did a little demo and hung out and talked. Bob Patrick, on the other hand, will be a the University of Georgia for an 8 hour session tomorrow – that is completely different.

    I always seem to try to hard to get all the research in and then demo a story and even try to fit in a reading and all the other stuff we have created since TPRS and it is just too much. Even when I have two days with a group, it always seems like we are just scratching the surface.

    But you have how long? Thirty minutes? I would do this. I advise, and Charlotte you will get a lot of good ideas from other experienced presenters in this group, that you just hang out with them. Let them ask questions. Can you maybe get some of your students in?

    They need to see it, not talk about it, but the problem there is that it is not easy to get a home run story going in those conditions bc we need our trained kids for that. That is why in DPS we focus all our training on the Learning Lab program where new teachers come to our rooms and hang out and watch us with our kids.

    I had an observor in yesterday and we had two home run stories in a row on a Matava story – knocked them out of the park. That teacher got the message. Now she sees it.

    Otherwise, when we get in our heads about it and we merely talk about it, the teacher can’t real feel it, and so they may walk away from an initial meeting unimpressed.

    That’s the danger in planning these things and I leave it to others in the group to come up with a plan that might work. That’s all I got.

  2. Charlotte,

    I agree that the way is to demonstrate the method it is to do a live demo. I would pick a simple script with easy structures. Ask for volunteer teachers to act out and just go with it. Teachers are usually such a great audience b/c you don’t have the discipline issue that you have with kids.

    Then you can have Q and A. Explaining the method from a Q and A may be easier than going cold turkey trying to explain the method. Plus it will be more interesting. If you could do it in a language different than the one they already know of course it would be better.

    Good luck Charlotte, you will be great! Take a deep breath and be happy you are given a chance to influence and bring about change, one teacher, one place at a time…

  3. I’m going to be presenting at a TESOL conference in Strasbourg on June 1st, invited by one of the persons who saw me in Paris. In Paris I only had an hour and I began with a brief explanation of where TPRS came from, then invited a woman in the (small) audience who spoke Croatian to come up front with me. I asked her how to say “he has” “he doesn’t have” in Croatian. We wrote the words and translations on the board and then I coached her through asking people what kind of car they had – I was lucky. There was a man from the Emirates who had a blue Jaguar. We took it from there. Then time was up.

    There was an American university professor present who had a vague memory of having seen TPRS mentioned in a textbook. I asked her for feedback and she said it might have been better to start with the demonstration, and then to fill in the background. I sent the people in Strasbourg my “TPRS Witch” article from my blog and they liked that. I’m hoping to have 2 hours in Strasbourg. I’m going to start with the demonstration, then list all the different techniques used, circling, embedded reading, barometers, teach to the eyes, fluency writing, etc., then get people to ask questions and explain the techniques, winding up with the idea that what they all have in common is that they lead to comprehensible input. In such a short time, all you can do is get people interested and curious enough to go looking for more information. And please tell them about the workshop. There are three people from Germany already signed up. 🙂

  4. I’ve often thought that if I had limited time, I would pick CWB to start and go with the energy that is almost guaranteed with that. As long as the energy was high, which usually happens with the first silly group answer to the question “Where?”, I would stay there, in the TL, doing a lot of comparing and completely involving the people in the group and talking only about them and what they like to do in the outlandish situations we produce, and only stop when it was clear that the PQA frisbee was coming back down to earth, hopefully not into some traditional dog’s mouth. It’s those traditional dogs, those teachers who live in their heads and are only comfortable talking theory in workshop settings (vs. the hands on coaching intensives I intend to do in San Diego, that we have to be careful about. We cannot talk about CI, we need to do it first. Bob will do that in Athens tomorrow. We should always first break the ice (the mind) and warm up the room with big heaping doses of CI fun directed at the heart. Once the room is full of trust and laughter, then we can play it from there. That in fact is why I start off the year getting to know my kids with CWB and Anne uses the questionnaires. She once had a group of first year German kids who all played the guitar rocking out in front of the class in German. That is a good way to start work with a group – heart first, mind second. What kind of session in a workshop is going to be most interesting to people? Why, anything about them!

    Say hi Judy to Strasbourg, from me, where I spent about a year and a half a long time ago on the Washington University Year Abroad. That is a fine town.

  5. You should go for it, Charlotte! We grow with our challenges.
    I didn’t have much experience, but it worked out fine, too. I did a ten minute demonstration in Hindi, which was a blast. I just used the structures “This is my…” “It is good/bad” and something like five other words. I circled objects in the room and used cognates like saying “This is not my Coca Cola, this is my pen”. It became great when I asked if anyone had an I-phone and I tried to swap it in English for my bad banana: “This is Tom’s bad banana and this is my good I-phone, right?” “NOOO!!” The experience really won them over.
    Do send me an email if there’s anything you’d like a second opinion on, I’m happy to help.

  6. Thanks for all the suggestions! I keep thinking back on Susie Gross’ workshop that changed my focus completely. What totally convinced me was the demo in Spanish. I was put in the position of the language learner and that became my “aha” moment. So in 90 minutes I will try to do a demo and then fill in with some personal experiences. Unfortunately, the demo should really be in a language they do not understand that means I better brush up on my Russian. I have not even thought about Russian since I was 10 and that was a very long time ago!! I will probably get back to all of you with more questions, but thanks again for the encouragement!

  7. P.S. to the last post – I am the Canadian Charlotte who teaches German, getting advice from the German Charlotte who teaches English. – Danke!

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