Presentation and Pronunciation Lab Developed

A picture of students during one of the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab workshops. Some of the students were Adabel Medina Carrera, Melany Gutierrez Hernandez, and Guo Chang

Kryzhanivska leads a Friday workshop for students, including Adabel Medina Carrera, Melany Gutierrez Hernandez, and Guo Chang, among others. Fernanda Capraro, also an Instructor in the Department of English, brought her class to the workshop.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program is partnering with the Learning Commons in Jerome Library to provide a Presentation and Pronunciation Lab for international students. Founder of the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab and Instructor in the Department of English, Anastasiia Kryzhanivska, shared some information about the lab and her goals for its ongoing development.

While BGSU has a strong population of international students and students whose first language is other than English, Kryzhanivska noted that the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab “will be the first time and the only place for international students to get help outside of a class, outside of an instructor.” Housing the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab in the Learning Commons works well with other services the Learning Commons can offer, such as the Writing Center and subject tutoring—the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab is already up and running, and uses the same scheduling technology as the other Learning Commons services.

The Presentation and Learning Lab is designed to offer one-on-one tutoring to students, as well as workshops and other group activities where students can practice the skills they are working on. “Students can work on very different topics, like pronunciation sounds, rhythm, intonation, fast speech—any area of pronunciation, as well as speaking with confidence, strategic use of rate and speed, highlighting key words in your speech, practicing presentation overall, organization and structure of the presentation. If they need resources, we have materials to share with them,” Kryzhanivska said.

She added, “Ideally, this would be the place for students to come and practice anything that’s related to speaking. There are no places on campus for them to do this. If there is a presentation coming up, let’s say in a business class, the only way for them to practice is for them to practice with their peers. Ideally, the presentation lab would be the place for students to come and work on presentation and pronunciation and even listening skills.” Students often find themselves looking for assistance with presentation skills and pronunciation, but have had few resources other than asking their peers to practice with them. While valuable, working with a Presentation and Pronunciation Lab tutor offers students additional expert guidance and further resources.

Students during a Presentation and Pronunciation Lab workshop

One student who has made use of the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab was a PhD candidate who was preparing to defend her dissertation project. During tutoring sessions, the student and her tutor “looked at the presentation, the slides, the structure. We talked about stressing certain words, intonation, and pausing. The student sent an email saying how grateful she was after she defended,” Kryzhanivska said.

Other students have attended group workshops focusing on intonation, pausing, and thought groups. Workshops in the spring semester will continue on April 26 and May 3 in the Learning Commons at 11:30 a.m., and discussion topics will include fast speech and online resources. Workshops are free and open to all multilingual students with an interest in improving their presentation and pronunciation skills.

Starting in fall semester 2019, the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab will continue to develop and grow. Currently, there are two tutors who work in the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab, and there will be additional opportunities for students to get involved as a tutor starting in the fall. Students who are interested in working with a tutor can contact Ana Kryzhanivska or visit the Learning Commons.