At Bullis, all first year international students take the English Intensive course, which serves to support students in their transition into the American classroom. In this course, students work on building vocabulary, refining grammatical control, organizing and clearly expressing ideas in written essays, and defending viewpoints in class discussions.
This year, teacher Andrea Martin and I worked together to create a culminating activity for her students to showcase their public speaking and presentation skills while reflecting on lessons learned during the year. We had students create a “Top Five Pieces of Advice” video monologue to pass on to future international students. The opportunity to share their Bullis expertise and English skills with the next generation of International students not only allowed them to practice skills learned over the course of the year, but will also immediately benefit the next generation of international students since they will view these projects at the start of their academic career at Bullis. In fact, when I came in to present the project this year, students were excited that it was finally their turn to create these projects; they had clearly remembered the messages of advice that their more senior classmates had left for them! This project also enhanced students’ media literacy by using audio-visual creation and editing software.
The main objective of the project was to have students use English for personal expression by synthesizing their “Top Five Pieces of Advice” for next year’s new International students, using effective examples, transitions, visuals, proper word choice, and accurate grammar. Students used VideoScribe, software that allows users to create whiteboard-style animation videos with ease, to create the presentation and record their narration. With VideoScribe, Andrea and I were able to teach effective presentation techniques, stressing the importance of including visuals to support the narrative, using minimal text, bold images, and clear speech to communicate a message.
Here are three projects that we wanted to highlight from this year’s projects:
This is always one of my favorite projects of the year! In reflecting on lessons learned and prioritizing important pieces of advice, students are able to highlight their growth in their first year in the United States and at Bullis!
Originally posted on: Bullis Tech Blog