In reflecting upon their feedback, I had an epiphany: speaking directly with others about their work is similar to dating.
In dating you have to ask questions to get to know each other and you must have a conversation to learn about the other’s experiences.
Then you can decide whether you want to pursue that person… Employing a speed dating model in the classroom in place of a panel can be an effective way for students to learn a variety of perspectives in a short amount of time.
Having this information prior to the event will allow the students to use their short time (it is a speed event after all) most effectively. Providing name tags for everyone, water for the panelists, extra paper and writing instruments for taking notes, and encouraging the professionals to pass out business cards will add to the experience for both parties.
It is important to pay attention to time during the activity.
In this exercise, students "speed date" each other to practice role plays calling for "chunks" or phrases used for each situation.
This type of approach to teaching is based on the lexical approach or the chunks of language we tend to use to speak about certain situations.
Ask them to synthesize their learning and report to the group their general conclusions.
Then, create an opportunity for each student, or pair of students, to share what they learned with the rest of the class.
There isn’t any offensive content but perhaps some cultural sensitivities should be borne in mind and the entire concept may be inappropriate for some non-European cultures.
Also, some of the information is local to where I live so perhaps you should consider changing that too. The activity worked well for the vast majority of my classes.
This sharing can be done in class or in a written format, which can be compiled and distributed to the entire class.
The feedback in my class following this activity confirmed for me that this format was a richer learning experience than a traditional panel discussion. Teaching without telling: Contemporary pedagogical theory put into practice.
This lesson plan focuses on conversational practice to encourage English learners to use a wide variety of language functions such as demanding explanations, making complaints, giving warning, etc.