Can you picture your child standing up in front of peers from all over the world and speaking English? Can you imagine them using clear, confident English-language skills to communicate important points, pose ideas about international issues, and argue for what they believe in?
Depending on your child’s current English speaking ability, this might sound like a distant possibility—but at the end of our English as a Second Language (ESL) summer camp, every student can take to the floor and speak their mind in Destination Canada’s International Speech Competition.
If you’re considering giving your child the chance to try it for him or herself, read on to learn what the International Speech Competition is all about.
Choosing Topics Most Meaningful to English Summer Camp Students Themselves
The International Speech Competition is a highlight of our renowned ESL summer camp, and the students know it. Upon their arrival, it’s made clear that the speech competition will be the grand finale of their time at Destination Canada.
In classes tailored to each student’s English proficiency level, our skilled English instructors expertly guide students through the process of composing their speech. This is just one of the projects happening alongside our students’ daily English grammar, punctuation, and pronunciation lessons, but many consider it to be the most exciting part!
Recent topic choices have included everything from “social equality” to “the Internet.” The choice is at the discretion of the students themselves—they are simply encouraged to speak on subjects they feel passionate about. In this way, our students speak using the persuasive vocabulary of their area of interest—potentially useful practice for their lives after graduation. If your child aspires to work in politics, law, or any industry with international ties (business, finance, travel, economics, and more), speaking about their passion in English is an experience that can prepare them for their jet-setting careers.
“That’s one of the things about public speaking,” explains Destination Canada facilitator Derek Rodgers. “You have to be passionate to be successful.”
Strengthening Each Student’s Speaking Skills Throughout their Time at Camp
Rodgers says that confidence, strong eye contact, articulation, and pronunciation are the tools students need to express these passions most effectively. At our ESL camp in Canada, students use English in a supportive, immersive, 24/7 ESL learning environment to better develop these skills.
Through Destination Canada’s in-class and extra-curricular experiences, children like yours become increasingly comfortable and confident in their English speaking abilities.
“Day after day I had the chance to practice my English not only inside the classroom but also during the extracurricular activities such as visits to museums, city tours, sports and evening activities,” explains former camper Maria Fernanda Valderrama Vargas from Colombia. Maria says it’s this practice that helped her go on to the finals of her year’s International Speech Competition.
Presenting Their Speeches to Classmates, Teachers, and Distinguished Spectators
In preparation for the International Speech Competition, which takes place in Carleton University’s Main Auditorium, all students present their speeches in front of their individual classes and instructors. From each of our English summer camp classes, one student is chosen to move on to the speech competition semi-finals in the auditorium.
Three senior speakers and three junior speakers are then chosen as the finalists of their year’s International Speech Competition. A panel of prestigious judges and local Ottawa professionals lend their ears to this final round of speeches, along with the entire camp staff and student body. This amounts to an audience of nearly one hundred spectators cheering for each brave speaker!
As one last challenge, finalists are asked a few questions about their speech topics which they must answer in English without preparation, to really show off the conversational English skills they’ve developed at camp. Then after careful deliberation, the judges select two winners (one senior and one junior) as the official champions!
All participants go home with a certificate, plaque or trophy, and the winners are awarded an iPad each to inspire them to continue on the road to public speaking success!
Are you looking into ESL summer programs in Canada for your child?
Visit Destination Canada to learn more about getting started!