Engaging Audiences and Situating Content in Academic Oral Presentations: L2 Activities to Assist Students in the Presentational Mode (Serena Ap Williams, University of California, Davis, United States)
Serena Ap Williams, University of California, Davis, United States
Title: Engaging Audiences and Situating Content in Academic Oral Presentations: L2 Activities to Assist Students in the Presentational Mode
Keywords: presentational mode; oral presentation; academic presentation; public speaking; functional language
Presenting to an audience is a literacy skill that is commonly used as a classroom task that promotes oral proficiency and preparation for the life skill of public speaking. The presentational mode is also part of second and foreign language standards (i.e., ACTFL, CLB, CEF) and often assessed. Despite their ubiquity in language learning contexts, academic presentations are complex genres that require specific communicative acts, or stages (Viera & Williams, forthcoming). The lessons developed in this presentation focus on the opening stage (Robles Garrote 2013, 2016; Viera 2017, 2019) of academic oral presentations and assist language students in achieving functional, presentational goals of interacting with the audience, reflexively positioning themselves as content experts, generating interest in the topic, and connecting the subject matter to the audience’s prior knowledge, all rhetorical tasks shown to be frequently accomplished by experts (Wulff, Swales & Keller 2009; Hyland & Jiang, 2017; Viera & Williams, forthcoming). In this presentation, I demonstrate appropriate lexico-grammatical structures accompanied by scaffolded practice to allow students to improve their oral presentation openings and increase proficiency to progress through opening substages of greetings, giving thanks, housekeeping, announcing, defining, and contextualizing the topic, and using personal narratives or asides, lessons that can accompany almost any thematic unit that involves an academic oral presentation.