Development of students’ speech

In everyday life we talk, using easy-to-us style, discussing work and life with our friends, colleagues, speak informally, interrupting, asking again something inexplicit, jumping from one thought to aann-other, as we have the opportunity to correct incorrectly said information. We can change the subject at any time, express emotionally, loudly or quietly, quickly or slowly, making haste, sometimes we mispronounce words, make all sorts of mistakes. We do not worry, do not «blank out», as all of them are «ours». But any unprepared person starts getting confused during a speech before a large audience. Students are aware that the future orator must necessarily possess the technique of effective presentation. It is very difficult for students to puzzle out independently exactly what skills they lack. That’s why it is important to know the main components of the conversation and to understand why, speaking to an audience, it is necessary to make adjustments.

While writing the texts or materials for public speaking or, for example, sample «student’s lecture» (as one of the types of midterm control or self-study work) students face lots of challenges. It is difficult for them to speak in Russian without looking at the text, saying in justification: «... we graduated from Kazakh, not Russian school». Some of them are even ashamed of his group mates, and even more afraid of not very familiar audience, worry, try to walk on by such tasks. They experience bigger «shock» while acting as an orator, not looking up from the text, reading the text «word for word», with amazement and horror noticing the indifference of his student’s audience and his powerless to grip their attention. One of the reasons is self-confidence, especially of urban students that people from their childhood are endowed with obvious speaking ability and habit. Naturally, they, not particularly preparing, think frivolously, that without any problem they will speak, the more especially as it is sometimes allowed to get a peep of the written text. They consider practice, experience of speaking at meetings, court, debates, presentation to be unnecessary. The result is words with difficult pronunciation are not allocated and there are not accent marks of pauses within the meaning. The time adherence allocated for a lecture is forgotten (this is strictly followed by the bottle holders). There are not interesting examples and conclusions are not always clearly formulated. Students tend not to express their personal opinion, maybe, nobody will notice. They do not want to dwell on the points of view of other scientists. They do not often explain the reasons for choosing the lecture themes. They do not always define the theme topicality, cannot be self-critical in the self-esteem and other students (while writing the reviews of each other’s lectures).

Students think that the only real speakers-professionals such as teachers, lawyers, politicians must develop their specialized speech abilities. Students begin to «sleep» even at well-known speakers’ lectures, because they know that there is no need to participate personally during their speech. Especially if it’s a very boring lecture, which is read by «boring, monotonous indifference» voice and without enthusiasm. Unnecessarily long utterance is also often perceived with difficulty: it is necessary to express ideas using short simple sentences. Students, listening to lectures, should work actively: make a summary, answer the questions of the lecturer and ask questions on the subject, as they are interested in getting bonus grades for the activity. If the lecturer speaks very fast, the students lose the opportunity to ask the incomprehensible material immediately. It causes some problems with understanding. Interrupting a speaker in order to figure out the question will be perceived by all as a disrespectful attitude towards him/her. The fear of striking others as a mean person leads to the fact that the question still remains question.

Let’s consider and find out the significance and benefits of such technological innovation as a presentation that creates standard types and forms of slides. They are often poorly and formally compiled. Presentation topics can be boring and uninteresting. If slides are purely in the text form, it is a hint to a lecturer. He sees the text and is not afraid of missing something important. It is easy for a lecturer. But a listener? Students collect too much information from the slides. Its redundancy confuses, complicates understanding. The presenter does not think about the style of his presentation speech. The impression on the orator is reduced. The language of a text, which is not fully-processed, especially of a scientific one, is overloaded with special vocabulary. The style is too complex. There is not often clarification on slides. Students follow the order to have time to rewrite the information from the slides, but they do not have time to realize and understand what has been said. They soothe themselves: I will read once more at home on my own and somehow will understand. Thoughts are seeking an answer to the question: how many slides, how many gigabytes are there left? Will the end of the presenta-

tion come soon? The lecturer does not think about the font size of text slides. Whether the text is visible, what color the letters are, if it does not irritate the eyes. How to change the slides quickly: focus on the weak students or strong ones? Sophisticated graphics, diagrams and drawings, a large number of formulas and numbers are difficult to be explained and not commented completely. That very rendering process is not shown. The lecturer often writes the final report, result. Students leave off thinking, considering, working in parallel with the teacher or the student-lecturer. It is better to see the thought process of working students: their victory, mistakes, different opinions, positions and proposals. Sometimes in such cases it is better to use a piece of chalk and a board, complete phase calculation than readymade slides with answer keys. To be short, the lecturer thinks that saves time. And what is very bad – he offers listeners to finalize the matter at home alone. And what if the issue that is being considered is complicated? Whether the students can cope with it?

Now we turn to the question of struggling for the audience attention. If the lecturer establishes eye contact with the audience, he provides himself with its attention. Having chosen someone from the students, who are sitting at the desks, looks intently into their eyes. First of all, the lecturer must not show his fear, «hide head in the sand like an ostrich», i.e. depress eyes, averting his gaze toward the ceiling or, especially, to look at «nowhere» or gaze into space. Moreover, one must not hide behind a sheet of paper with the text. To look only at the right side or only the left side will cause the rest of the audience feel the uselessness, as if they are unnecessary. Not seeing the audience reaction: by the approval nods, smiles or, on the contrary, tired yawns, the orator risks not to be heard and completely lose contact. Only looking at a sheet of paper – the audience decides that the lecturer considers the text more important than people and does not have thorough preparation or the latter is not ready at all. One of the main mistakes of orators is when their eyes are only on the screen. If you look through the video again, orators often notice in surprise that they look upon the slides for a long time. The first recommendation: do not read the text from slides; you should stand on the side, occasionally keeping a look at the screen, hold eye contact with the audience.

Thus, we try to draw conclusions. Speeches and presentations have longer duration compared to the usual conversation. Their length is long, which leads to loss of audience’s attention and boredom. When there is no need to answer immediately and the possibility to ask again incomprehensible lead to the decrease of students» attention, increase misunderstandings. The audience perceives better, if there is little dialogue with the orator, examples are given. There should be small pauses-breaks to rest. When there is a suitable situation for this, questions are asked, funny stories, even «successful» anecdotes are told. It is necessary to see the reaction of the audience: its consent, bewilderment, boredom, nods of approval, smiles, don’t hide your eyes or look away, look at the audience’s eyes, but not too long, and at close range. Don’t look at the texts of the slide and on the board for a long time. Attend trainings. Edit the information given in the texts of the slide. Avoid language meagerness. Strive for presentations at the highest professional level.

The next stage of the work is to teach students the basics of speech culture, speech behavior. Students must not stammer, speak softly, they have to reproduce the text loudly and clearly, not fast nor slow, with the interested rather than «colorless» intonation. Moreover, it is desirable to avoid orthoepic mistakes, in order to hide the pauses p, use the junk word, dubbed «mm, uh-uh, uh, uh, you know...» The use of these words in order to fill the made pauses distracts attention, creates the impression of lack of preparation. Long-running second pauses can seem like an eternity to wor ried students. It is better to fill such a pause with a deep breath of air, while selecting forgotten or the desired word or recalling another idea from the memory. It is necessary to notify students that the total score will be marked down because of «minuses» in their speech. Sometimes the students of the Kazakh groups go to the other extreme – memorize the whole text of oral presentation by heart completely, demonstrating the wonders of a phenomenal memory. Pronunciation speed is such that the orator speaks breathlessly. And forgetting only one word, he takes risks to fill up the response.

We must remember that the pause is sometimes useful: there is no confusion in the presentation of information. The orator has time to control his breathing and speech tempo. If the phrases of the orator are shorter, it will be easier for digesting them. «The length of the sentences» should be no more 7-10 words within a sentence. Pronunciation speed is 120-140 words per minute. Rates can be lower for the Kazakh groups. You can offer students to prepare for the competition for the fastest reader and the most literate student. And competition of more emotional, interested, inspired and convinced orator is more useful. The 1st year students should have the «average» speech tempo. Experienced orators know how to add significance to the uttered with the help of voice. The atmosphere should be official in order to avoid the noise in the audience. Exchange of ideas, conversation, as if the dialogue between a lecturer and a student should be carried out. This is the perfect mutual complement of each other for full understanding. Attention is paid even to the appearance, gestures and facial expressions. It seems that the exchange of experience between the teachers on such important methodological issues, will serve as a common cause – qualitative training of future specialists.



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Magazine: KazNU BULLETIN
Year: 2016
City: Almaty
Category: Philology