You’ve been practicing for months. You’ve embraced the stage fright. You could recite your talk backwards if you had to. You step out on stage, open your mouth, and out comes… a foreign language?
While this scenario might sound like a speaker’s nightmare, it was just another perk of the process for the students who participated in the Trakai r. Lentvaris Motiejus Simelionis Gymnasium pilot TED-Ed Club in Lithuania. In fact, many of our international TED-Ed Clubs have found the format helpful in strengthening their students’ English skills.
Neringa Šakinienė, an English teacher who facilitated the TLMSG club, worked with 10 students who ranged in age from 15-17. The primary language spoken at the school is Lithuanian, but Neringa was looking for a way to supplement their English instruction. She says of their process, “We mainly spoke English during our meetings. We listened to original talks without translations, and that was very helpful. Some students translated some talks together with me into Lithuanian. The material offered for facilitating the club was also in English, so through reading, listening, talking and preparing final talks, their language definitely improved.”
Even with the added task of presenting in a foreign language, these students still made a big impact with their talks. When asked about her favorite part of facilitating, Neringa said, “[I most enjoyed watching the] final speeches, when we invited the principal and some classmates to listen to the talks. The principal was surprised that the students talked and cared about the same things that he and the teachers talk and care about.”
Interested in using TED-Ed Clubs to supplement your English instruction? Apply to start one at your school here.