Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The dates and times on this program aren't correct. I blog in Japan, where it is now June 11, 2003, and 1:50 in the afternoon. I'm not sure what it will say at the top, probably the tenth at around 11:50pm.

Last night Japan time was the first night of new classes at this university's
Community College. I teach some courses there, but the class I am refering to now is a class on speech making. I started this particular series of classes about 20 weeks ago, and now we are into the third and final section. In the first section, participants learned how to use their bodies to give an effective speech. The second section was about how to organize a speech, and the third is about topics that the participants choose on their own. They will learn about each of the topics and then give a speech on some facet of the topic.

The people who participate in these Community College courses are usually very dedicated people, who rarely miss a class. There are two characteristics of the most recent class that are interesting. One is that some of the participants in this third and final section have not attended numbers one and two. The other characteristic of the class is that of the 12 people in the group, three of them are teachers.

Whether to be happy about the situation or not is an issue, but the people who have not attended the first two sections of the course have no idea how to put a speech together. Why is there cause to be happy? Because the others have learned something. Those who have attended at least one of the other two performed well last night. The others who had not attended any found it difficult to fill up two minutes in an impromptu speech. (topics of their choise, all new to everyone.) There was a 100% direct correspndence between making a successful speech and having attended other sections of the speech making course. That was satisfying.

The second characteristic of the group is that there are three teachers who attend. One is a biology teacher, but he teaches English in the school's English club. One teaches at a juku, and the other at a junior high school. (two of the three have participated in previous sections of the course.) Those interested in teacher development will see this another opportunity to work with teachers.

They are great to work with, and I hope the people new to English speech making continue. (I'll have to make materials for them so the transition is smoother.) Getting to work with the teachers will also be a treat.

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