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Using Grammar Girl Podcasts in Student Presentations

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This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.

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Use one of the ideas below to add Grammar Girl podcasts to a public speaking assignment!

National Grammar Day is coming up on March 4! Check out the 2020 National Grammar Day post on Bedford Bits and explore the resources on the Grammar Girl website!

Podcasts are well-established, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality. 

LaunchPad and Achieve products include collections of assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. You can assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class. Each podcast also comes with a complete transcript, which is perfect for students who aren’t audio learners or otherwise prefer to read the content. To learn more about digital products and purchasing options, please visit Macmillan's English catalog or speak with your sales representative. 

If you are using LaunchPad, refer to the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information on the support page "Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts."

If you are using Achieve, you can find information on assigning Grammar Girl in Achieve on the support page "Add Grammar Girl and shared English content to your course." If your English Achieve product is copyright year 2021 or later, you are able to use a folder of suggested Grammar Girl podcasts in your course; please see “Using Suggested Grammar Girl Podcasts in Achieve for English Products” for more information.

 

Using Grammar Girl Podcasts in Presentations

Pre-Class Work: Before you assign the presentation prompt to your class, introduce the concepts of writing a speech using the Grammar Girl podcast “Writing Scripts and Speeches.” 

Assign this to your students as pre-class work or take some time in class to listen together. Discuss the lessons, tips, and tricks from the podcast as a class, recording the takeaways in a document that can either be shared or distributed to everyone.

Then, choose one of the prompts for your assignment.

Prompt A - Summary: Ask students to choose a topic on which there is a Grammar Girl podcast, or assign a topic to each student. Students should listen to one or more relevant podcasts (if you are using Achieve, we suggest you use the folder “Grammar Girl: 25 Suggested Podcasts” and direct students to choose from there.) 

Some podcast ideas include:

  • Parallel Structure: Patterns Are Pleasing
  • What Is a Straw Man Argument?
  • Only: The Most Troublesome Misplaced Modifier
  • Top Ten Grammar Myths
  • Serial Comma

Students will create a short presentation, using a slide deck, to summarize and explain what they have learned from the podcast about their topic. Students may wish to research the topic further, include examples from something they have read or their own writing, include any questions they still have, etc. All sources should be properly cited.

Presentations can be turned over as a slide deck, presented live in class or over a video call, or recorded and shared--whatever works best for your class situation!

Prompt B - Argument: Ask students to choose a topic that affects the community. Some ideas include:

  • The available resources of the school’s mental health department
  • The number of hours the library is open
  • Whether asynchronous or synchronous online courses are preferable

Students should take a stance on their topic, and then create a short presentation, using a slide deck, to make their argument. Students will want to do further research to support their position. All sources should be properly cited.

Presentations can be turned over as a slide deck, presented live in class or over a video call, or recorded and shared--whatever works best for your class situation!

Post-Class Work: Using the document created as part of  the pre-class work, ask each student to evaluate their own presentation for effectiveness. Ask them to identify at least one area to improve for their next presentation. 

 

Credit: "Exchange Students Present" by Carol (vanhookc) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0