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Country Presentations

This is an oral presentation assignment for second or third-year university speaking classes of 20 - 40 students. It is especially appropriate for students in International Studies or International Culture Departments. Students choose a country to research and give a presentation to the class as a whole. They prepare a handout with an outline of their talk beforehand, and make copies for the class. They usually include a map of the country on the handout. Since students often choose countries they have some previous contact with, they are sometimes able to bring in souvenirs, articles of clothing, photographs, etc., as visual aids. Samples of national foods such as candies and cheese are encouraged!

After a ten or fifteen-minute talk, the presenters give the class a short (5 - 10 questions, usually true/false or multiple choice) quiz which they have written themselves, on the main points of their talk. Finally, they divide the class into small groups for two or three discussion questions.

One presentation, including the talk, quiz, and discussion, usually takes about 45 minutes. The total time required for all the presentations can be varied by making it an individual, pair, or group assignment and by controlling the time allowed for the small group discussion. I usually do one presentation a day, leaving the remaining forty-five minutes of the 90-minute class period for other work. These presentations go well with "cross-cultural communication" - based speaking textbooks.

Second Semester Presentations

You will give an oral presentation, on a country of your choice, with a partner. You and your partner can decide how to share the responsibilities. Focus your talk on some aspect of the culture that interests you, for example the politics, social organization, ethnicity, economy, religion, art, educational system, or language.

Your presentation will include:

  • A 10 - 15 minute talk about your country,
  • A handout to give to the class, with
    1. a brief outline of your talk, just giving the main points,
    2. a short vocabulary list (5 - 10 words) giving the meanings, in English, of some of the more difficult or unfamiliar words you use in your talk,
    3. two discussion questions for the class to consider in small groups after the presentation,
  • A quiz, with 5 - 10 questions, on a separate handout, or written on the board, based on your talk,
  • Visual materials, such as maps and photographs to show the class.

Your grade will be based on:

  • Content: Do you know about your topic? Is your information interesting?
  • Organization: Does your talk have a logical order or clear plan? Is it easy to follow?
  • Presentation Skills: Do you speak slowly, clearly, and loudly enough to be understood? Do you talk to the audience, referring only occasionally to your notes?