Public Speaking for ESL Students

Public Speaking for ESL Students

First Things First, Buy Speaking of Speech

If you teach public speaking or presentations to middle school, high school, or university students, the first thing you should do it get yourself this textbook:¬†Speaking of Speech: Basic Presentation Skills for Beginners. Speaking of Speech is an excellent public speaking book for ESL students. Even students who are at a high beginner level of English can grasp the basic concepts from Speaking of Speech. It’s funny, engaging, and extremely practical. Speak of Speech takes students through three areas

  • The Physical message (gestures, eye contact, etc.)
  • The Visual message (PowerPoint)
  • The Story message (how to write an interesting speech)

Even if you don’t use the entire Speaking of Speech book, it’ll give you a good framework which to base your classes on, particularly if you’ve never taught public speaking before. ¬†Even in classes that are not dedicated entirely to public speaking or presentations, but which fall under the general umbrella of “conversation” or “whatever you want to teach,” I’ll often slip in some public speaking and presentations using Speaking of Speech.

Where can I Buy Speaking of Speech?

Speaking of Speech isn’t easy to find in bookstores, particularly outside of Asia. The best place to check is if you have a contact with Macmillan. My university bookstore was able to order in books through them for my students. The next best place to check is on Amazon:

Speaking of Speech on Amazon

Public Speaking for ESL Students: 4 Reasons Why

Public Speaking is a concrete set of skills which students can hold onto and use at a later date.

Presentations help increase confidence when speaking English. Things like eye contact and speaking loud enough are important, even in general conversation.

Presentations at job interviews are big these days in Korea.

Teacher sanity! I’d far rather listen to some (well done!) presentations for the speaking portion of a midterm or final exam than actually engage in 1-1 conversations with over a hundred students, which leaves me exhausted for weeks. Call me lazy if you must.

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