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Monday, October 21, 2013

Giving Poster Presentations

Many ESL students have to give group presentations as part of the speaking component of their English class. 

I  like my students to give poster presentations. 

In this kind of situation, two or three students work on a health related topic such as obesity in children, diabetes,  or anorexia nervosa. Other times, the topics might relate to endangered species or environmental problems. 

Benefits of Poster Presentations

Giving a poster presentation allows the students to work as a group, which then gives them some practice working as a "team"  to develop group management and speaking skills.  Some of these skills include: dividing up a topic, negotiating, planning, reporting back on activities, explaining what they have done so far, taking responsibility, clarifying issues, discussing problems etc.   

These are skills they need for the real world, for future academic classes and for work.  Non English speakers often say they have team work skills, but don't really know how to explain what that means.  Giving them the experience of preparing this type of poster presentation allows them to honestly report that they have indeed worked as part of a team in English. They can then describe what they did and how they did it. 

Preparing to give a poster presentation requires time and commitment on the part of the group members as students need to work together both in class and out of class. 

How it Works  

First, group members need to divide their topic into sections with each member taking responsibility for a specific area.  The students then do research on their part of the topic and report back to each other on what they have gathered so far.  I often provide them with specific websites they can go to where they will find material on their topic that they can actually read and understand. 

At different phases of their project, I often have students work together in class. Then I video tape them using some of the team skills they are putting into practice. This allows me to observe them interacting with each other more carefully later. It also lets me see how well they are using the skills I've been teaching them, or if I need to go over something specific such as pushing for clarification. The final part of the project involves putting the poster together. The students usually do this together. Sometimes I will use the school facilities to print out large headings for their poster, but as to the rest, they are on their own. 

On presentation days, the posters are set up in different parts of the room, and the presenters discuss a particular aspect of their general topic, using their poster to help them with be comfortable with the content and vocabulary. The "audience," which is usually only three or four students,  move from poster presentation to poster presentation. They can go back and read the information on the posters or ask specific questions to the presenters. 

Example of Poster Presentations: 

Here are some examples of student posters at different levels. Some are clearly done by  lower level students. Others were created by university students or professionals. 

1 comment:

  1. That's so impressive and cool. I like the game containing cute picture to teach my students. I teach junior high school students and I always use some games to entertain and motivate my students in learning. It can help me to get new games and new idea. thanks for sharing. :-)


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