Pecha Kuchas with your students
What it is
“Pecha Kucha (ペチャクチャ?), usually pronounced in three syllables like “pe-chak-cha”) is a presentation format in which content can be easily, efficiently and informally shown, usually at a public event designed for that purpose. Under the format, a presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds apiece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. It was devised in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), who sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night. They took the name Pecha Kucha from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat”). Klein and Dytham’s event, called Pecha Kucha Night, has spread virally around the world. More than 170 cities now host such events.”
I first heard of Pecha Kucha’s during the 2009 IATEFL Conference.
The first one I watched can be seen below.
Lindsay Clanfield explains it very well and you can hear the rules and some great examples follow his explanation:
Lindsay Clandfield introduces Nicky Hockly, Ben Goldstein, James Scrivener and a few more presenters
At that time, I was involved in teaching an English for Teachers Course attended by young future or newly qualified non-native speaker teachers who wanted to improve their language skills for the classroom.
As usual, when I am excited by something, all my trainees get to hear about it! I am sure you do this too!
So, of course, I played the online videos to them and of course, it eventually occurred to me that it would be interesting to have them present their own Pecha Kuchas. After all, teachers need to hone up their presentation skills and be able to perform with energy and enthusiasm when appropriate!
They all responded with great enthusiam!
Choosing a topic
Ideally, I would have assigned them a syllabus related topic, such as giving classroom instructions, monitoring and correcting, insights from discourse analysis, or some such non-exciting topic… But the horrified look on their faces when I suggested these topics was enough to make me change my mind.
I decided to let them choose their own topics to motivate them more!
Their first one was a 3 minute version rather than the full 6-minute one.
My trainees came up with a variety of ideas, none of which had anything to do with ELT!!!
After their first presentations which were fantastic and full of evidence of a great amount of preparation, research and rehearsal going into their preparation (as anyone who has done a Pecha Kucha will testify), the time came to negotiate their assessment.
I suggested to them that they could prepare their own Pecha Kucha and this could go towards their oral assessment.
I still have two of their powerpoint presentations, one on “Sex & the City” and another one on “The 2008 December Riots in Athens”
I was unfortunately not tech savvy enough to record them! Sorry!
Nor do I know yet how to upload their powerpoint presentations!
But one of them has promised to record himself doing his December Riots Pecha Kucha and once this is done, I shall edit this post and add it for your inspection.
More applications of the idea are obvious for any level and topic and not just for assessment!
I am interested in any additional ideas you may have and encourage you to add them.