Book Review: Presentation Lesson Hacks and some hacks for the EAP classroom

Phil Wade was kind enough to send me a copy of his book Presentation Hacks Book. I also read Helen Waldron’s post about the book and it is excellent ,so I started panicking. What can I add? Phil suggested writing a review/post about which hack I would use in the EAP class and voila. Here it is.

Using the book Presentation Lesson Hacks in my EAP classroom

Phil talks about various hacks that can be used to improve the learners’ presentation skills. Before we see which hacks can be used, let’s see what Phil means by hacks. They are:

activities at the micro-skill level designed to engage the students to raise awareness of their current abilities and to help become more productive in a low stress, engaging, student-centred and encouraging environment. The hacks are like short-cuts or back doors to gaining better presentation skills and becoming a real presenter rather than just someone who repeats memorised phrases or reads off a tablet or sheet. Presentation hacks incorporate teacher to student, student to teacher, student to student, pair and group activities as well as single student work, reflection and mental preparation. All of these are aimed at hacking the problems and weaknesses students have.

                                                                                                     (Wade, 2015)

Among the hacks Phil mentions, the ones that stand out to me and have relevance to my context, have to do with Voice (these are in the Body chapter or Phil’s book). In EAP, most of the students are international students who have a different L1, they often have difficulty with pronunciation, intonation and stress patterns (I call all these micro skills voice). My students are usually Asian and when Asian students present, their intonation seems to be, for the majority, quite flat, and they often sound quite ‘robotic ‘. Intonation is what I will focus on.

Intonation hack

Phil has a great idea for a hack that can address intonation. First of all, it is necessary to elicit students understanding of different intonation patterns.So, it is a good idea to practice a word like ‘really” with rising and falling intonation.  Then, the teacher can draw a line on the board and ask students to draw another line which goes up, down, or up and down depending on the intonation the teacher used when saying something. This will allow students to actually visualise the intonation pattern. After drawing different intonation patterns, the teacher and the students can discuss which one is the best in each circumstance! I am definitely going to use this hack next time I am teaching intonation to my pre-sessional students.

For more information about Phil’s book and how to order go to  smashwords!


Happy teaching everyone!!

Till next time……


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