★Winter Break is coming!★
Hello. We have just completed week five at HIUC Osaka. One more week of classes, and then the students will have winter break. During the break, they will have the option of taking a one-week TOEFL preparation course. If they take the course, they will still have at least two weeks without school. That should be enough time for them to work on some of their big assignments and have some free time to relax.
In my public speaking class, we had a mid-term exam this week. It was a 90-minute exam on the first half of our course. I was very happy with the results. Every student passed the exam. There were a couple of Cs and some Bs and even a B+/A-. Those are nice scores for a college level exam. You have to remember that for most of the students this was perhaps one of their first college level exams in English.
Next week, every student has to give a short persuasive speech. A persuasive speech means that the speaker needs to try to make the audience agree with the speaker’s idea. Each speech will be around four minutes long. In this speech, the students need to persuade us that the toy they chose belongs in the Toy Hall of Fame. Basically they need to choose a toy that they liked when they were young. Then they need to show us that that toy is special and should be in the Toy Hall of Fame. It should be a fun way to practice a serious skill.
The other classes have been busy too. Most students have had to give one or two presentations this week. In the American culture class, students gave presentations about major religions or religious based organizations in the US. They talked about how they are practiced in the US and/or how they reflect American values.
In the level four speaking and listening class, students gave a couple of speeches this week and last. In one speech, students talked about overcoming adversity. Students talked about a famous or well-known person who had overcome some kind of disability. For example, one student talked about Stevie Wonder who is a blind musician. In the other speech, students talked about sleep problems. Each student had to talk about a differ problem. For example, one student talked about insomnia. They talked about the problem, the causes of the problem, and possible treatments.
Another class had impromptu speeches. That means students have a short time (a couple of minutes) to prepare a mini-speech. They had to talk about which country they want to visit and why.The students have been busy, but they do not look stressed. I often see students sitting around at lunch or during their free time talking. Even when they are working in the computer room or library, I see them take short breaks to talk to their friends. It is important to study hard, but it is also important to take some time to enjoy yourself. Studying should be fun.