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(※) EIP:English Interaction and Production

Throughout the first semester, high school second years have been working towards delivering group presentations as their first EIP assessment of the school year. Their task was, in groups of 3 or 4, to create a 3-day plan for visitors to Kansai.

In the first lesson we described the fictional situation of the assessment; the students have some family friends coming to visit Japan. They will spend three days in Kansai, and the students must create a detailed itinerary for them.

The second lesson was to let the students research Kansai and come up with as many ideas as possible. We provided iPads for each group, and encouraged students to think of a mixture of famous tourist attractions like Osaka Castle and USJ, but to also include some ideas that perhaps only locals would know about. During the next lesson, they refined their ideas into a cohesive plan, and began working on their presentation scripts.

After this, it was time to practice, practice, practice! We encouraged students to consider their non-verbal delivery, which includes eye contact, gestures, and facial expression. Non-verbal delivery was one of the categories the teachers were scoring, along with verbal-delivery, organization, visual aids and question answering ability. The students were all given a copy of the scoring rubric, so they would know what to focus on while presenting.

The next lesson, we began the presentations. The students were all given a worksheet so they could take notes on each group’s plan. At the end of each presentation, the audience was encouraged to ask questions about the plans. The teachers were impressed by how many students memorized their scripts, and therefore were free to look around the room and use gestures, instead of having to rely on reading from the paper. Most students also made interesting visual aids to enhance their presentations.

The students seemed to enjoy working together to create their ideal Kansai itinerary, and embraced the freedom to choose and speak about their own favourite sights and attractions. This exercise was a good precursor to next semester, where the students who perform well in the next speaking test, will have the opportunity to enter a speech contest.

(中高校ALT キャサリン・ハーン)