After listening to nearly 100 speeches over the past week, I have to wonder what is it about speaking in front of people that makes students so nervous. I have witnessed my class talk endless for days and days in class, sometimes so loudly that everyone can hear them, and yet they shrivel when asked to speak in front of each other. Even some of the better speeches can't seem to escape from the prism of reading from the script as they go through the speech. Perhaps public speaking isn't poor because of the nerves, perhaps we're still unable to separate the idea that language when spoken and when written are two different things. Students have no idea how to speak in front of others, they merely know how to read. Perhaps next year, I'll eliminate all forms of preparation and simply ask students to speak off the cuff. At least I'll get a more natural sense of who they are and what they can do.
English Teacher | Instructional Technology Specialist | 2014-15 PBS Digital Innovator | Gamification Researcher | Marathon Runner | Ph.D RMU 2015