Guest speakers , in our ELT class!

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Bringing a guest speaker into our class is an opportunity I always seek out !

My students are exposed to a different style of spoken English, and they  also learn content  that will benefit them in their education, in general !

To make sure that my studenrs get full benefit , I don’t just bring a guest in and let him/her speak, though…. I usually guide him/her  and help them with ideas about what they can do with each one of my classes

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I always prepare my students on the topic first! That is, after presenting my  students with information about the speaker and the topic which she  will discuss, I  have each student write three to five follow up questions for our  guest. For example, before Vicky Loras visited my class last week, I asked my students to think about what they would like to know about both her and  her country . Thinking of questions for a guest speaker can be very challenging to most ESL students, especially if we  ask them to do it on the spot  .When Vicky finished talking to my students, I encouraged them to ask the questions they had written  earlier in the week, as well as the ones they wrote down as she was speaking.

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I also make sure that, I prepare my students on the speaker, too! The more I  can prepare the  students on what they will hear and experience, the less anxiety they will suffer. I encourage my students to do their best to understand our  guest speaker and to let it go when they do not.

Behavior matters! I communicate with my  students ahead of time what behavior is expected when listening to a guest speaker. I tell them that, they should listen quietly. They can ask questions, but it is most polite to wait until the end  to do so.

I have to admit that, my students were really well behaved when Vicky  arrived! I am really proud of them!

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Also, I , always prepare my guest speakers as to the language level of my  students before they coms to class to speak. Vicky for example, was well aware of the different levels of my classes before she stepped into each one  of them.

To help my  speakers, I  make  sure I  have everything they would  need for the presentation including a projector and our laptop!

Vicky was amazing at encouraging my students!  The lower the language level of the  class the more important this engagement is and Vicky was superb at this!

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After Vicky had  left and my  clasess had asked their questions, I asked my students how they felt about the experience! They were just thrilled! They loved Vicky, they came to know so much about Canada, too! Few students told me that they had struggles understanding the speaker but, I told them it was  perfectly normal for their level and age. Working with my  students before she came  and then again after she left made  this  good experience for my  students even better.

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I usually try to bring in speakers of different ages with different ethnic and geographical backgrounds. It is also helpful if the speaker is a native speaker of English ,since his or her speech patterns are more realistic even if more challenging for my  students.

I have been thinking about how my class can benefit  even more, by developing an ongoing relationship with our speakers. In Vicky’s case, it would be great if she could either visit again one day or, arrange a Skype meeting with our  classes! How cool would that be?

Our present to Vicky, was an issue of our handmade English magazine!

Our present to Vicky, was an issue of our handmade English magazine!

Thank you Vicky Loras, for the opportunity to share a lesson with you ! I am looking forward to reading your comments about your visit in  our classroom, in a future guest blog post!

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