When parents think about GCSE English, they tend to picture students poring over open novels or feverishly writing essays. While reading and writing are certainly key skills, they aren’t the only ones that count. Your child will also be expected to demonstrate their spoken English skills by presenting to the class. Even students who sail through written work may find spoken English tasks a little tricky.
Here are four ways to help them out.
- Start Simple
It’s overwhelming to start right off with a 10-minute talk on an unfamiliar subject. Nerves can get the best of even confident students, and you really need to learn how to pace yourself and organise your thoughts. Make sure you start simple. Just one or two minutes on an interesting subject should suffice.
- Structure First
One reason students tend to struggle with spoken English presentations is that they don’t provide any structure. You shouldn’t simply read from a written document, and yet going without any cues often means stumbling over your points instead of presenting a clear argument. Before you move onto longer presentations, make sure your child knows how to break their talk down into key points.
- Don’t Hurry Them
You obviously shouldn’t start heckling your child when they start to stutter, but you also need to give them time before asking for a spoken English demonstration. Don’t simply ask them to talk about how much they enjoyed a movie or what they did during the day – they’ll only become overwhelmed and lack the proper time to think about their talk. Instead, tell them before they see a film that you’d like a 2-minute talk that evening covering their review.
- Encourage Personal Engagement
Your child may be given the opportunity to talk about almost anything they wish for their spoken English presentation, but they may also be given a specific subject. Speaking to the whole class about an unfamiliar topic can seem tough, so build their confidence by starting with at-home presentations covering personal interests. When they’re confident talking about those, move on to GCSE English subjects – you should find plenty of ideas online.