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1 Hour Speeches at School
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Kartini Offline
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1 Hour Speeches at School

I'm an expat English teacher at a private school in Indonesia. My younger brother also teaches. He is a senior high school Math teacher in New Zealand. I remember that my brother was always brilliant at Math from a young age. He was always top of the class for that subject. However, Math class was always a waste of time for him. He never learnt anything. He begged his elementary teachers to give him more advanced work but they refused to. To satisfy his own hunger for knowledge, he had to read math at a more advanced level at home. When he was at high school, he was reading university texts in his spare time.

From my brother's experience, I realised that some students are ready for higher level work and to keep them happy I wanted to create a program for them.

As I am an English teacher, I thought about a program that could be designed to help my students to speak English and at the same time reward them if they could reach a certain standard. I teach kindy kids, Grades 1-4, and Grade 7. I've taught every Grade except for Grade 9 and 12.

I developed a speech program where my students could get a certificate if they could speak English non-stop for a certain amount of time. Grade 1 students need to speak for 5 minutes to win a certificate. Grade 2 students have to speak for 10 minutes. The time gradually increases until Grade 12 students need to speak for 1 hour. I don't teach Grade 12 but they are free to come and see me to try a speech if they wish to.

I also offered students the chance to do a higher speech if they wanted to. I found that many elementary school students wanted to try a Grade 12 speech and get a certificate for doing so. On the certificate it states that they have passed a Grade 12 level speech.

In the first year, the speeches were not very popular but after doing the speech program for 5 years it has become extremely popular with elementary school students and their parents, who encourage them to try to do it. With junior and senior high school students, the program is not doing very well due to a lack of motivation from the older students.

Any student I teach is guaranteed 3 certificates if they do a 1 hour speech: 1. for passing Grade 12 for speaking English (as long as the quality is good enough) 2. for being 1st equal for speaking English in their class, and 3. for being 1st equal in their Grade for speaking English.

The speech program went crazy this year. I've had 7 Grade 2 students pass Grade 12, 26 Grade 3 students have passed, 22 Grade 4 students have passed, 12 Grade 5 students have passed, 2 Grade 6 students have passed, 6 Grade 7 students have passed, and 1 Grade 8 student has passed. No senior high school students are interested so far this year. In some of my elementary classes, most of the students have passed Grade 12 for speaking.

This forum doesn't seem to get many readers these days but if anyone is interested in the speech program, I can go into more details in a later post.

God bless
Kartini
03-16-2015 08:00 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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1 Hour Speeches at School

Listening to an hour long speech sounds immensely boring IMO.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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03-17-2015 12:33 AM
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Kartini Offline
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

(03-17-2015 12:33 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Listening to an hour long speech sounds immensely boring IMO.

Some of the speeches can be boring. It really depends on the quality of the speech. If I hear something interesting, I may ask a question. The students tell me a lot about themselves and their families in the speeches which is always fascinating for me. If I listen to too many speeches in a row, I can find it hard to concentrate so I usually do a simple activity like making some stickers for my students while I listen. I got criticism from some of the principals for this in the past because it looked like I wasn't actually listening but I explained to them that doing something at the same time really helped me focus more and stay awake. They have accepted what I said and after the second year of doing speeches, I didn't get attacked anymore. I've been doing the speeches for 5 years now.

Having a student speak for one hour really reveals to a teacher how good their English is. In class, some students never speak and most students don't say more than one or two sentences in reply to a question so I really never know how good their English is until they do a long speech. Even a 10 minute speech helps me to make a true assessment on how good their English is.
03-18-2015 12:39 AM
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Kartini Offline
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1 Hour Speeches at School

Update: A Grade 3 class broke the all time 1 hour speech record for our school today. The class has 24 students and 15 of the students have spoken for 1 hour after school, this year. There are 7 weeks to go before the academic year ends and when the competition finishes.
03-19-2015 09:55 PM
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

I could actually see how this works. Instead of pandering, you're actually offering a legitimate challenge and thinking outside the box; this allows for them to expand their creativity, and it also allows them to possibly vent personal feelings as well.

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03-21-2015 10:33 AM
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Ilija.m Offline
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

(03-21-2015 10:33 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I could actually see how this works. Instead of pandering, you're actually offering a legitimate challenge and thinking outside the box; this allows for them to expand their creativity, and it also allows them to possibly vent personal feelings as well.
I think that if i talk for 1 hour someone will say to me that i am boring them i think that is not good that people get bored with this kind of talks are making people boring
03-21-2015 10:39 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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1 Hour Speeches at School

I guess it depends on what they're talking about.

I'm assuming anyone learning English would have a broad and general talk, which in a sense would be less boring than an hour in-depth lecture on the fundamentals of string theory and brane cosmology.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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03-21-2015 12:10 PM
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Kartini Offline
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

(03-21-2015 10:33 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I could actually see how this works. Instead of pandering, you're actually offering a legitimate challenge and thinking outside the box; this allows for them to expand their creativity, and it also allows them to possibly vent personal feelings as well.

Yes...what you say is correct....actually a lot of students want to talk more in class but I have to limit their speaking to give others a turn too. They can be creative because they design the structure of the speech and talk about what they want to...not what I have chosen for them to talk about. I especially like your comment about venting personal feelings. I hadn't thought a lot about that but when I look back on many of the speeches, students were definitely telling me a lot of stuff that they would not mention in class with their peers listening. In regards to the pandering......yes, my speeches were not popular at the start. I had 4 principals to deal with....from kindy right up to senior high.....and they were not happy that I was just letting the students speak. They wanted to control it...they tried to get me to make it into a dialogue. My reply was that it was my program which I was doing in my free time so I should have freedom to run it like I wished to. In the end I had to threaten to cancel the program if they were not going to let me run it how I wanted to. That ended their interference and I've been left alone ever since. Thanks for the positive feedback.
03-22-2015 04:42 PM
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Kartini Offline
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

(03-21-2015 10:39 AM)Ilija.m Wrote:  
(03-21-2015 10:33 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I could actually see how this works. Instead of pandering, you're actually offering a legitimate challenge and thinking outside the box; this allows for them to expand their creativity, and it also allows them to possibly vent personal feelings as well.
I think that if i talk for 1 hour someone will say to me that i am boring them i think that is not good that people get bored with this kind of talks are making people boring

Well, I a lot of students learn English or any second language by speaking it. If they don't speak it and a lot of it, they will just forget what they have learned after a few years. I estimated that the average student speaks less than 1 hour per year in my English classes because I only teach each class once a week. If I offer them a speech after school, then they can pick up English faster....it speeds up their acquisition of English. For me, it is painful how slowly they learn. Once they have spoken non stop for 1 hour, they start to actually think in English and their English is never the same again...it just keeps improving. I don't really care if their speech is boring or not....I'd never tell them if it was. They might then stop speaking English due to a lack of confidence. My job is to get them speaking and to listen to what they say even if it is boring sometimes. Thanks for your comment.
03-22-2015 04:53 PM
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Kartini Offline
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RE: 1 Hour Speeches at School

(03-21-2015 12:10 PM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  I guess it depends on what they're talking about.

I'm assuming anyone learning English would have a broad and general talk, which in a sense would be less boring than an hour in-depth lecture on the fundamentals of string theory and brane cosmology.

Yes....that is true. I have different levels for my speech program. Most students are mainly interested in doing level one because it is easier and allows more freedom. Level 1 is geared to help students speak in a structured way. They start with an introduction about themselves, family, school, friends, and life. They are allowed to do this segment for a maximum of 30 minutes and if they are still on this topic at 30 mins, I ask them to move on to the next segment. Some students could talk about themselves for 1 hour. Other students are shy and are only willing to share personal info for about 1 minute. That's fine. It depends on the personality of the student.

After the intro, they can tell me 3 jokes or riddles but this is optional.

The next segment is songs. Some students love this part and will even bring their guitar and sing for 20 minutes. They are allowed to sing a maximum of 5 songs. Some students know quite a few English songs but feel self-conscious so "pass" on this part.

The final segment is the story telling part, which can be stories from novels, comics, cartoons, or movies. I try to get students to tell me the stories in their own words rather than by memorising a story word for word. This spontaneous type of story telling reflects a more real type of conversation where someone has asked for a story or event to be retold.

After students have done a level 1 one hour speech, they qualify for level 2. I've created 4 categories so far but I'm open to more. Maybe readers could suggest more topics. Students can do business, geography, history, or religion. The business speech program has been running the longest. Their are 7 levels. Some students are on level 4.

A business speech involves students selecting a business comic which is about 150 pages long. The comics are in Indonesian. They read the story and memorise it in their own language and then retell it to me in English. The structure for the business speech is a 2 minute personal intro, followed by 3 story jokes which I provide. Then they need to discuss about 15 questions (which I provide and which they can see while speaking) about business in relation to the comic.....eg. Bill Gates. After their discussion is finished, there is usually about 20-30 minutes of time remaining so they can then retell the business comic story. They don't need to actually finish the story. Levels 3-7 contain the same structure but I just had more questions per level.

The geography speech is the most popular level 2 speech. Students choose a country to talk about. They can tell me anything about the country but I try to get them to arrange their speech in subheadings like food, clothes, music, movies, traditional fairy tales, heroes, culture, celebrities, famous places etc....They can start the speech with a 2 minute personal intro.

The history speech starts with a 2 minute personal intro and is followed by 58 minutes about the history of one country.

The religion speech is limited to the "accepted" religions of Indonesian which are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucism. Students can only select their own religion or I could get put in prision....seriously! So, I have to be careful with this topic. I get a Muslim teacher to listen to the Islamic speeches and I listen to the rest.....just to be safe.

For myself personally, my favourite part of the speeches is always the introduction, where I learn a lot about the students and their families....and students are so honest too. You'd never hear a lot of what they say from adults. Sometimes they tell me stuff they shouldn't so I say "Hey, that's private stuff. Don't tell me about that".
03-22-2015 05:43 PM
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