Speech contests and debates

Through the Internet, we can often see videos of Americans’ speeches, from the elderly to the elderly to the elementary and middle school students. The speeches were calm and calm, as if they were all natural speakers. In fact, their skills were acquired the day after tomorrow. American elementary schools attach great importance to cultivating children’s ability to think and express: WES organizes a speech contest every year, mobilizing fourth and fifth grade students to participate; one month before the speech contest, the teacher will provide special training to the contestants and provide some simple and practical Speech skills; American teachers sometimes turn the classroom into a meeting place for students to debate; schools organize events and occasionally invite students to speak on the stage …

Speech contest
On December 3, 2015, WES issued the “2016 Optimism International Speech Contest” to fourth and fifth grade students. The title of the speech is “How my best brings out the best in others”. Students who want to participate must submit the speech to Teacher Hunt before January 22, 2016. Daughter is hesitant: Personally, she loves to talk and express, she wants to participate in this competition, but she lacks confidence in her English level. I encourage her to say, “The result of the competition is not important, it is important to participate! This year is your last year in American elementary school. If you do not participate this time, you will not have a chance later.” The daughter thought it made sense and decided to apply.

After the start of the new semester in January 2016, the school will issue a new notice: the speech contest will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on March 3, 2016; after school ends on Thursday afternoon in February, the school will Training. In other words, there will be a total of four training sessions on February 4, 11, 18, and 25. However, on February 11th, the fifth grader was going to visit the “Black History Wax Museum”, so her daughter could not participate in the training; on the 25th, her daughter would follow the TAG class to Tybee Island and could not participate in the training. In this way, she could only participate twice in the four trainings, and she was a little bit nervous.

During the first training session on February 4, the contestants completed the first draft of the lecture under the guidance of Teacher Hunter. The daughter did not understand the meaning of the title correctly, and determined the main content of the first draft as “Teaching people to fish is worse than teaching people to fish”. This is a famous Chinese saying that fits her daughter’s Chinese identity. She is very proud, and my husband and I are very satisfied. In the next two weeks, the daughter made several additions and deletions to the speech, and finally determined that it was 695 English words. Using it to simulate the speech, the duration also reached the competition requirements of 4 to 10 minutes. Since the contest allowed to bring in manuscripts, the daughter made some white cards 15cm in length and 10cm in width according to the teacher’s suggestion, and cut the speech into 7 parts on average, and posted them on 7 cards. She held these cards and gave a mock lecture, which seemed much more professional and elegant.

It’s March 3. After returning home from school, her daughter found the speech and scanned it with her eyes. When it was time to leave at 4:30, I took off my school uniform, put on a white long-sleeved T-shirt and a denim dress, and came to school with me and my husband. I thought that since it was a school competition, there must be many spectators and many contestants. Unexpectedly, when they arrived at the stadium, they found that the “audience” was only external judges, teachers and parents of the contestants. There were only five contestants: three fourth-graders-white girl Edison Rosenberg, white boy Christopher Drake, and India. Boy Navia Agarwal, two fifth-graders—white girl Sophia Frank and daughter.

Another thing is beyond my expectation: except the daughter, the other four players’ clothing are more formal. The clothes of two fourth-grade white students surprised me in particular: Christopher Drake wore a dark blue suit, khaki trousers, and a striped tie, like a little gentleman; Edison Rosenberg It is a dark blue suit, white shirt, black leggings, and black shoes, just like a miniature white-collar beauty! Looking at my daughter’s denim dress, I felt embarrassed.

The speech contest officially started at 5:30. The players draw first, and then appear in order. Because her daughter was too nervous, she spoke very fast during the speech, and she forgot her words several times, and there was a pause, her performance was far worse than expected. The other four children performed well, the most outstanding of which was Edison Rosenberg: when she saw the audience, she spoke slowly, moved her steps slowly, moved from right to left, and from Move the left to the right, and flip the card in your hand freely, calmly and generously-what looks like a fourth-grade elementary school student, clearly a trained speaker …

Five players finished their speeches. About half an hour later, the results came out: Edison Rosenberg and Christopher Drake won the first prize; Navia Agarwal and Sofia Frank won the second prize; the daughter received only one outstanding Awards-can also be said to participate in awards, and mood is a bit low. Mr. Hunt was very understanding. When presenting the award to her daughter, she kindly carried her shoulders and introduced to everyone that her daughter had only been in the United States for more than a year. When she first arrived, she could not speak a word of English. Today It’s great to be able to speak so well, I suggest everyone applaud her! As soon as she spoke, there was a burst of applause from the audience …

One week after the WES speech contest, two first prize winners, Edison Rosenberg and Christopher Drake, participated in the next round of speech contests held at St. Innocent’s Church. This time, the white girl Edison Rosenberger again won a big victory and continued to march to a higher level of competition … After many challenges, the small and exquisite fourth-year girl rushed into Georgia, and Students in the high school group competed on the same stage and achieved second-place impressive results! What a gratification!

American eloquent secrets
My daughter’s speech performance was not good. I originally attributed it to: her original English was not good, she only participated in four trainings, did not practice a lot at home, and dress too casually. Later, I carefully read the lecture competition instruction materials sent by Mr. Hunt, and I realized that the root cause of her daughter’s failure was that we didn’t pay much attention to this material and basically did not follow the requirements above!

The instructional materials for the speech contest include a cover page and a two-page body text. The content is simple and practical and highly operable. Printed on the cover are eight notes that contestants need to keep in mind: “Exercise loudly; record your speech; self-adjust; grasp your speech time; tell yourself it’s not a big deal; imagine your audience in advance; Visit the lecture venue; imagine a successful scene! “Although these words are short, they cover a wide range of topics, both pre-match training methods and pre-match preparations, and positive psychological hints for yourself. Each one is important .

The two-page text gives specific guidance and training techniques for the most likely problems for the speaker. The first page talks about the speaker’s most worrying and fatal problem when her daughter is giving a speech: “What should I do if I break my mind during the speech?” The guidance is: “Don’t worry! The speech is not what you say It’s about the way you speak! Focus on expressing the truth behind your language. The key facts or ideas you want to tell are important, but you don’t need to express every word perfectly … After reading this, my heart suddenly opened up: speech is different from writing, and the audience is different from the reader. Therefore, the speaker only needs to tell the key facts and ideas clearly and give the audience a better overall feeling. The details are perfect, because the language is fleeting, and no one criticizes it. If the speaker can understand this, the psychological pressure will certainly be greatly reduced, and the mistakes will be reduced, thereby jumping out of the cycle of “mistakes-tension-more mistakes”.

“Guidance” Here are four memorization tips: 1: Points, not notes. Don’t recite the speech, and shorten the content of your speech to a few points. 2: Turn your story into reality. If you “realize” the story you tell into reality, you won’t forget it, because memory works best when you speak based on experience. 3: Pretend it’s a conversation. Think of the speech as a conversation between you and your friends. If you forget what you want to say, you can move around, find something else to say, wait until you think of it, and go back to that point. 4: Reduce stress! You need to relax and be confident. Your audience doesn’t care about exact wording, or 100% perfection! No one knows what you are going to say, and no one tests you with your speech.

Taking notes instead of manuscripts, “turning” your story into reality, treating speeches as conversations with friends, audiences don’t care if your words are accurate, etc. These skills have given me a fresh look. “No one knows what you are going to say, and no one tests you with your speech.” It even made me speechless: The reason why we “forget words” is because we “reported” and thought that The speech has “standard answers”, and “standard answers” are in the hands of the judges and the audience! However, the fact is that “the answer” is in the mouth of “I”, “I” says what the “answer” is, and what it is. The speaker figured this out, and should no longer “backsick” the hard way, then the “common diseases” such as stiff tone, stiff expressions, eyeless communication with the audience, and forgetfulness caused by the backnotes will turn into Nothing.

The text on the second page is “Suggestions”-what the players should do on the day of the presentation. A few minutes before the speech: write down what you are worried about; turn on your iPod; hold your fist firmly for 10 seconds, release your fist and rest for 10 seconds, repeat twice; take a deep breath, hold for 5 seconds, then Breathe out slowly; come to the room in advance, stand by or lean on the table, or sit down and lean on the chair … The above “suggestions” are specific, clear, simple, and practical. Players only need to follow the instructions before the game. It does what it says. During the lecture: walk back and forth, shake your arm naturally, take 2 to 3 steps in one direction, stop, take this as a point, repeat the above actions as needed; practice eye-to-eye communication, and perform point-to-point communication with some audiences Focus your attention on the audience; tear open the fourth wall and let the audience see that you made a mistake; dress well and you will feel more confident! These suggestions are very useful. The previous ones are not only suggestions for “during the lecture”, but also extremely valuable pre-match training methods. If participants can use these methods for intensive training, the level of speech will definitely make a qualitative leap.

The last item in the “Recommendation” mentioned the “dress” issue. Judging from the results of the WES speech contest, the contestants’ dresses and awards showed amazing consistency: Edison Rosenberg and Christopher Drake both received first prizes in formal attire; Navia A Gavar and Sophia Frank’s clothing was a little more casual and won the second prize; her daughter was completely dressed casually and ranked lowest. Although this does not mean that the speech contest is completely based on appearance, it also shows the importance of dress in the competition. Appropriate dressing is indeed a question that speakers need to take seriously.

Thesis: Who contributed the most
Mr. Zhiwu Chen, a Chinese professor at Yale University, said in his article “The Essence of General Education in the United States Lies in Speculation and Expression”: “The training of speculative skills is a strength that has been valued in kindergartens in the United States. This is manifested in two aspects. Classroom presentations and debates. Since the nursery school, teachers have given children a lot of opportunities to express their opinions on a problem, express their opinions, talk about their experiences, or debate with others. On the other hand, this is the scientific method. The most basic training … “My daughter’s fifth grade attended a classroom debate in the TAG class in the next semester, so that I have a more specific understanding of what Mr. Chen Zhiwu said.

Shortly after the WES speech contest, one day, Ms. Smith, a teacher from TAG class, sent a reading material entitled “Penicillin Experiment” to the students, asking them to write a two-minute debate draft after reading-discussing “the discovery of penicillin In terms of Fleming and Flory, who contributed the most “, in the next week’s TAG class, students will be divided into two groups with opposite views to debate.

The main content of the article “Penicillin Experiment” is as follows:

Beginning: The first part to discover penicillin was Alexander Fleming. His discovery was purely accidental. One day, while Fleming was working in a laboratory, he sneezed into a petri dish. Later, he discovered that when the bacteria were formed in the petri dish, no bacteria were formed where there was sneezing mucus. With further research, Fleming discovered lysozyme. He thought it might be an antibacterial, but he soon lost interest. About six years later, when he was on vacation, penicillin began to “work” again. A discarded, two-week unwashed petri dish grew a magic mold. The result was the same as he had seen before, but the bacterial infection this time was staphylococcus, a serious and sometimes deadly pathogen. However, it works slowly and is difficult to produce. Fleming wrote a paper on the discovery, but it didn’t get people’s attention. Fleming injected healthy rabbits and mice with a filter of bacterial cultures—tested for the toxicity of penicillin—but never injected the diseased animals.

Real work: The two people who first started working with penicillin were Howard Flory and Ernst Chann. They purified lysozyme and defined it as an “enzyme.” Even if purified, it is worthless. So, they started where Fleming stopped and began to work hard over the years-analysis, extraction, purification, testing. In May 1940, scientists experimented with eight bacteria-infected mice. The mice that were not injected and only received a small dose of penicillin died, and three mice that injected penicillin survived. So they started doing everything possible to make this mold-from porcelain plates to bedpans-but the yield of injectable materials was frustratingly low. In the first human trial, patients exhausted all penicillin provided by the team and died after stopping treatment. Later, Flory went to the United States and sold them with the possibility of antibacterial agents. Laboratories across the United States began manufacturing penicillin.

Finally: There are many different opinions about who should attribute the discovery of penicillin. Some say that Fleming’s discovery was nothing but an illusion, but most still gave him honor. Others said that Fleming and Fleming had discovered penicillin alone. Based on my research, I found all three of them. Once penicillin was produced in the United States, Fleming soon won various awards, and in 1945 won the Nobel Prize in Medicine (co-winned with Flory and Chann).

The article is followed by four web sites and a book title, The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography (January 1998), for students to consult when writing a debate draft. After reading the article, her daughter thought that Fleming’s contribution was undoubtedly the biggest. Therefore, it is convenient to spend the weekend and check the information while writing the debate draft. The writing of the debate draft is similar to the writing of the dissertation. It requires a clear point of view and provides some evidence to prove this point. The difference is that when writing a debate draft, you should not only read widely, possess materials, and find arguments in your favor, but also fully consider the arguments that the other party may use, and think about how to refute them so that you can never fail. This kind of training helps make your mind more meticulous.

Classroom debate
After a week of anticipation, the TAG class finally came again. As Mr. Smith said in the last lesson, the students were divided into two groups with different opinions-the group that believed Fleming contributed the most (we will consider it square for the time being) and the one that Florie contributed the most For the other group (opposite party), prepare for a debate. The daughter thought that most of her classmates would agree with her, but after grouping, she found that the result was exactly the opposite-most of the classmates thought that “Flory’s contribution was the largest.” Her good friend Moira and the white girl Sophia Frank who participated in the speech contest with her all belonged to another group. The daughter was taken aback.

The teacher announced: “The debate begins!” Fang Fang took the lead in speaking.

Square: I think Fleming contributed the most. Because if he did not find penicillin, Flory could not make penicillin into medicine, and those soldiers who were sick during World War II would not be treated.

The opposite: I think Flory contributed the most. Because if he hadn’t purified penicillin and made it into medicine, even if Fleming found penicillin, people who were sick would not be able to get treatment.

Square: If Flory doesn’t purify penicillin and make it into a drug, other chemists will do it in the future, because not only Flory can see this article about penicillin, other people can also see it.

The opposite: If others can purify penicillin, then why can’t others find penicillin?

Square: Penicillin was discovered by Fleming by chance, not by searching. It is accidental.

The opposite: Fleming can be found by accident, and others can be found by accident!

The square: finding penicillin requires many conditions: first, he or she must be a doctor; second, the doctor must be studying bacteria; third, the discovery of penicillin is accidental.

The opposite: Purifying penicillin and making it into medicine also require many conditions, and it is difficult to complete. Flory did it through years of hard work and overcoming difficulties.

Square: Flory only purifies penicillin. Purification is much easier than discovery, because purification does not require any chance.

The opposite: purifying penicillin is not easy at all, Fleming just gave up because he couldn’t complete the purification task …

You and I come and go from side to side, and the arguments are fierce. It is interesting: during the argument, some members of the team were persuaded by the other party, and they actually turned around and ran to the “enemy” side. The original number of squares was small, plus the number of “surrendered enemies” was more than their own. , Even more weak. Since her daughter was well prepared, she assumed a large part of the debate. The opposing Sophia Frank and Moira are quick-minded and articulate, gradually becoming their main debaters. In this way, the daughter and the good friends are head-to-head and indifferent to each other, and no one agrees with anyone, but no one can convince anyone until the end of the class, the debate is not over. Mr. Smith smiled and shouted “Stop” several times.

Throughout the process, Mr. Smith is like a moderator, only responsible for guidance and supervision-which group to announce and which statement to take too long to stop-does not judge right or wrong. After the debate, the teacher did not announce which team won or which team lost … A few days later, her daughter took home from school a small, exquisite sandbag produced in Guatemala, saying that it was a reward given by Mr. Smith. This kind of small sandbag was given to only two people: one was her and the other was Sophia Frank, because they both performed well in the debate.

Classroom debates in American elementary schools can benefit students in a variety of ways, such as enhancing their ability to think, exercise their verbal skills, improve their ability to respond quickly and respond to changes, and cultivate teamwork. Children often participate in classroom debates, and they will become more and more daring, more and more willing to speak, and they will look more cheerful, confident, and free-spirited.

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