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jacqui
July 27th, 2007, 09:56
so i'm spending the whole of the summer vac coaching kids for the speech contest. i'm realy happy this year cuz i've got a bunch of really, really dedicated kids.

problem is, they suck. :P and i'm not so great at coaching speech contests here, because the judging criteria are soooo different to what it was like at home.

so, does anybody have any good guides or anything on how to coach speech contests?

at the moment i'm working on their memorisation, working in a bit of pronunciation for the words they really suck on (more to continue later), and trying to get them not so shy... what else?

fanx!

b.limey
July 27th, 2007, 10:07
Good start. After they've got the memorisation down, work on intonation and rhythm, body language, voice projection, eye contact with the audience.

Record a cassette of you reading their speech and give it to them. They should be able to copy your rhythm and emphasis from it - it helps a lot!

jacqui
July 27th, 2007, 10:19
yeh, i do that, but the problem is that i think the way i say it, and the way the speech contest judges want them to say it, are completely different.

i don't do the whole "big gestures, crazy intonation" thing... so i'm not sure on how to train that. :P

kiwimusume
July 27th, 2007, 10:25
yeh, i do that, but the problem is that i think the way i say it, and the way the speech contest judges want them to say it, are completely different.

i don't do the whole "big gestures, crazy intonation" thing... so i'm not sure on how to train that. :P

Dunno about your area, but here crazy gestures and intonation don't get the big points. It's got to be expressive, but still natural.

Can you get hold of a scoring guide for this contest, so you know what they're looking for?

jacqui
July 27th, 2007, 11:47
yeh, i do have one.

i was thinking maybe someone knew of a guide i could dl from the net or something...

last year i thought the crazy gestures and intonation wouldn't do so well, but they did. irunno. :P

b.limey
July 27th, 2007, 11:57
Public speaking is about making big gestures and using heavily stressed intonation, BUT making it all seem natural.

Try to train them to be natural first - then work on injecting some showmanship into their performance.

Most of mine start off standing there like planks, but can eventually be trained to be quite expressive - it's weird how they have to initially be instructed in every little nuance and movement.

Once they've done this for a speech or two, though, they start to pick up the skills and can start improvising for themselves, and at that point it will start to look properly natural.

I don't have any guides you can download, sadly.

(Regarding the scoring guide - good idea in theory, however I've found that the other judges don't really use it except in the vaguest of ways. They'll still give high marks to those they feel in their gut are better, even when other speakers are technically ticking all the boxes...)

Himawari
July 27th, 2007, 12:18
How much do you edit your students self-written speeches? Around here the student writes the speech, then it gets handed off to a JTE who translates it into English with all sorts of mistakes and really awkward phrasing, and then passed on to me. I never know how much I should change. Just edit it until it`s all technically correct but still weird sounding? Make each sentence sound natural, but leave the illogical sentence order and difficult to follow transitions? Sit down with the kid and rewrite the whole thing, getting rid of that utterly pointless anecdote and throwing out that weak, trite conclusion? Every step toward making it a better speech takes it farther away from the student`s original work.

skyboat
July 27th, 2007, 13:01
Is this for the contest in october? I normally just tell them that if they dont do well, I will cut them...the track record speaks for itself.

jacqui
July 27th, 2007, 15:53
this year i don't have any kids doing speeches, actually. it's all recitation.

last year when my kid had a speech, the teacher translated it into english, then i corrected all her grammar and made it a bit more natural-sounding, and then stepped back (as far as that was concerned - there were loads of words that were too difficult for him, and it was way too long, but i didn't want to argue as i'd just gotten here). turned out he placed last and i felt really really bad for him. though not that bad as he hadn't done that much work on it. :P

when i judge junior high contests here i use the scoring guides very strictly. they're there to be used. :P but then i'll probably mark the one who steps off the platform and makes the whole thing a performance a lower score than the one who stands there and delivers a good speech. the japanese judges usually mark the opposite way.

*shrugs*

skyboat, didn't you tell me last year that you had something i could use? *bats eyelashes*

cut them as in from the contest, or with a knife? :P
doing either would just result in me not having any entrants. :P

today i spent the whole bloody day recording CDs for the kids, reading it with repeat-after-me bits and read-with-me bits... they'd better appreciate it, the little sods.

skyboat
July 27th, 2007, 16:29
skyboat, didn't you tell me last year that you had something i could use? *bats eyelashes*

cut them as in from the contest, or with a knife? :P

With a knife.

If you still want it, I have my outline to speech coaching thing somewhere in my desk. Email me or PM me your contact details and I will do what I can to get it to you. Its nothing all that great, but covers the basics that I find I often forget.

Iv think I won last year, but I forget. Is your student cute?

wicket
July 27th, 2007, 17:44
If it's recitation, do they understand what it's about?
I was amazed at how many kids at my visit school were trying to learn to recite material they didn't fully understand.
If they understand it, they tend to do better.
You could also try videotaping them and playing it back to them - they may well spot what they are doing wrong; and at least they can have a laugh about it.

jacqui
July 30th, 2007, 10:49
skyboat, i got shat on by the PTA for telling a kid to shut up, so i don't think they'd be particularly pleased with a threat of a knifing.

of course you know you won last year. stop rubbing it in my face. :P none of my students are particularly cute. :P will message you. thanks!

wicket - yeh, the first thing i did was go through the recitations with them very slowly and make sure they udnerstood what it meant. last year i had my sup do this, but this year i'm on my own for absolutely everything. :P the dictionaries have come in very handy!!

good idea on the videotape, but i don't have a video camera. i did have the idea of at least recording them saying it now, and then recording it again after summer vac and boosting their self confidence by seeing how much they've improved.

i'm so pleased with my student who's here this morning. she's already memorised half of it, and is currently gambetteing through the rest. last year they didn't even have a paragraph memorised by the end of summer vac.

*chuffed*

jacqui
July 30th, 2007, 10:53
awwwww!! she just told me it's her birthday today, and she came in to practice at 9am. what a little superstar!!

wicket
July 30th, 2007, 12:16
Given how much effort they're putting in, who cares if they win. Taping them before and after is a great confidence booster. Do you have a regular digital camera you can record short amounts of video on? Then you could just record the parts where she's doing really well or really poorly and play them back.
Doesn't your school have a video camera?
And good on you for doing something useful with summer vacation. I had all of last week off, so it's hard being back as the only one in the staffroom. Still, I've got Osaka orientation to plan for for the newbies, so I could be busy if I could be bothered...

skyboat
July 30th, 2007, 12:30
How many kids are you taking this year? I should have the usual 4; 2 speech and 2 recitation. Im actually a little worried by the fact that I am still yet to see any drafts of speeches.

jacqui
July 30th, 2007, 12:34
i don't really care if they win, but i would at least like them to place somewhere better than dead last, as was the case last year. :P but these kids are putting in a lot more effort than last year, and they're already improving sooo much. ureshiiii!!! :D

nah, my digital camera is a pro one, it doesn't have video. :P

yeh, i'm the only one in the staffroom, and so far i've only seen two other teachers here. but at least my kids are coming in for speech contest practice. i just made a schedule for myself and told them to fill in their names whenever they want to come in. the little shits are making me work by one putting their name at 9am, and another putting her name at 4pm. otherwise i definitely wouldn't be here!! :P

jacqui
July 30th, 2007, 12:41
How many kids are you taking this year? I should have the usual 4; 2 speech and 2 recitation. Im actually a little worried by the fact that I am still yet to see any drafts of speeches.
none of mine are doing speeches, but i've got 8 who're preparing for the recitation. we'll choose the 2 best ones at the end of summer vac.

last year we didn't get the kid's speech until the end of august. and then he only pitched to practice once a week or so. so it's really no surprise he placed last.

skyboat
July 30th, 2007, 12:53
How many kids are you taking this year? I should have the usual 4; 2 speech and 2 recitation. Im actually a little worried by the fact that I am still yet to see any drafts of speeches.
none of mine are doing speeches, but i've got 8 who're preparing for the recitation. we'll choose the 2 best ones at the end of summer vac.

last year we didn't get the kid's speech until the end of august. and then he only pitched to practice once a week or so. so it's really no surprise he placed last.

Ah OK check. Weve already had our internal speech contest and picked the top 4 kids. End of august sounds about right for getting the recitation scripts.

jacqui
August 1st, 2007, 12:14
wow. nice one. half of my kids haven't even showed up to start practicing yet. :P your school sounds jacked for a commercial school.