The International Youth Exchange Program Zajel Concludes Three Training Courses on Public Speaking Skills
December 12th 2010. The International Youth Exchange Program (Zajel) of the Public Relations Department at the University concluded three training courses on public speaking skills' development. More than 60 students participated in the courses which were organized in cooperation with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and continued over the period of the first semester. The students were taught on how to develop their skills in public speaking using English by a number of international volunteers.
The students reported that they benefited a lot from their participation in the training courses and mentioned that they learned new skills and enhanced their competency in English. One of the students said that after receiving this training, he became more confident in his English and became able to successfully communicate with English speaking people. Since English is so much demanded in the work field, graduates are required to have adequate fluency in this language to be able to perform properly in their future career.
The four-month courses included training students on English speaking skills, public speaking skills, conversation, writing reports on different topics that were chosen by the students themselves. Different trainers from the United States, Australia, Germany, England and Sweden said that they were happy to participate with Palestinian students and teach them on various topics. They also added that such training helps reinforcing cultural exchange between local students and international volunteers.
The public speaking workshops were administered by Miss Lena Smith who taught public speaking skills in the English language for about 12 weeks. Using various teaching methods, the classes were very interactive and discussion-based. Each student was regularly assigned a topic to present to the class for a five to ten minute presentation which included politics, social issues, religion and entertainment.
This way, students learned a little about these subjects while practicing their public speaking skills. Students were sometimes allowed to present topics of their choice, and often challenged to back up their ideas and opinion by other students as well as the teacher, which made each class very interactive. As a result, the students learned how to give informal and persuasive speeches in English while getting to learn and understand each other. Miss Smith said that the students' evaluations have shown that the interactive style was extremely beneficial to them and hoped to see this style more often at the University.
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