26 November 2012

Just a Minute (JAM) Session

JAM (Just a Minute) is a game that uses extemporaneous speaking and careful listening to emphasize good speaking and diction. It is held in a challenging environment where the listeners attempt to identify a number of errors. The main emphasis is on straightforward approach. Each participant speaks on a topic for a full minute (60 seconds) without repetition, hesitation, or deviation.  The candidate aim should be to develop quick thinking, together with speaking skills, good grammar, appropriate use of words, and using the right words. It helps in providing a fun environment to improve listening, thinking and speaking skills. Just a Minute session is useful to raise or check spontaneity, creativity and presence of mind. These can be used as mere game or as a selection tool during job interviews. It helps predict a person’s attitude and approach towards things or concepts.
  •   Start with a practice/demonstration round.
  •   Try to start each round with someone who has not participated.
  •   Use only single word topics.
  •   The speaker should not make any grammatical mistakes.
  •  Mispronunciations are also counted as errors.
  •   The incorrect use of a word is not allowed.
  •   Don’t repeat words.
  •   No junk words such as ums, ahs, err, etc.
  •   Hesitation – a  pause of more than two seconds.
  • Recollect your thoughts on the topic and then speak because once you start you can only pause for effect.
  • Pay attention to pronunciation and correct yourself.
  • Put what you have to say in a logical sequence.
  • Speak slowly, but clearly, and show appropriate emotion and feeling relating to your topic.
  • Speak loudly and clearly. sound confident. Do not mumble.
  • Don’t bore your audience with repetitious or unnecessary words.
  • The most important point is practice, practice, and practice. No one learns to speak well in a day. It requires practice and persistence to speak on a topic in JAM.

Situational Dialogue/Role Play

Situational Dialogue/Role Play

‘Dialogue’ means ‘talk between two persons.’ Dialogue writing is a tool for improving our communication skills. It broadens our imagination and dramatic power. If we want to speak in English fluently, we must acquire mastery over certain expressions and sentences. Even highly educated people find difficult to express themselves at different situations.

To improve one’s communication skills one is needed to practice dialogues. Depending on the persons and situations the language or dialogues may be formal and informal.

Formal dialogues: when we talk to highly placed persons, seniors, people in authority and with strangers we use formal dialogues.

Informal Dialogues: when we talk to close friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues we use informal dialogues.

Steps for dialogue writing:

Ø  Meeting people and exchanging greetings.
Ø  After greetings depending on the situation, we have to write dialogues logically.
Ø  Finally leave taking exchanges.

Some of the useful everyday expressions.

Purpose                               Formal                                            Informal
Greetings:                     Good morning sir.                                  hi how are you?
                                    Good evening Mr…..                             hello everybody.
Giving thanks:               Thank you very much                             thanks/ thanks a lot
                                                                                                 Thanks for everything.
Replies to thanks:          you’re welcome                                     it’s a pleasure.
                                    That’s alright.                                         You are most welcome.
Asking questions:          what is the time, please?                         What’s the time?
                                    May I ask you your surname?                 What’s your surname?
Making Requests:         would you mind closing the door?           Will you close the door?
                                    Could you lend me your pen?                  Can you tell me where the I year classroom is?
Suggestions:                 you might consider this idea.                    Do like this …..
                                    May I suggest you that you meet the principal?        Meet the principal.
Advice:                         May I request you not to smoke here.            Don’t smoke here.
                                    We would better start early.                   You must start early.
Requests:                      May I see you some other day?              I will see you another day.
Permission:                   could you lend me your bike?                Can you lend me you bike?
Apologies/Regrets:        I apologize for the inconvenience.          I am sorry.
                                    I am extremely sorry sir.                        Excuse me.
Bidding farewell:          Good bye sir.                                         Bye/See you/see you again.

Role Play

‘Role Playing’ refers to changing one’s behavior to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to assume an adopted role. Role play takes place when a group of people act out roles for a particular situation. It is the best way to develop the skills of initiative, communication, problem solving, self-awareness, and working cooperatively in teams.

Uses of Role Play

ü  Analyzing problems from various perspectives
ü  Implementing brainstorming methodology during simulations of real cases
ü  Trying various solutions in a case sce3nario
ü  Developing team work, cooperation and creative problem solving in groups
ü  Trying out creative techniques in a risk-free environment

How to Improve your English Conversational Skills


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