This semester, I am teaching a course on second language acquisition, or the process by which we learn second languages. I was provided with a complete set of PowerPoint presentations which had been used by current and previous teachers of this course... but I'm kind of picky about my PowerPoints. To me, there are certain fonts which should never be used in a PowerPoint presentation. I'm not just talking about Comic Sans; in my opinion decorative fonts and any sort of serif font should never be used in professional presentations. Likewise, multiple colored fonts can be used for emphasis, but this should be done sparingly. ClipArt and WordArt need to go. Slides packed full of words need to be rare and limited to Really Important Things. Basically, the set of PowerPoints that I was given pretty much hit on everything that makes me shudder with regards to presentations. As such I'm re-doing them. They're based on the PowerPoints that I was given as well as on the text The Study of Language by George Yule. Here are the ones that I've used so far. Annoyingly, I haven't found any share-your-powerpoint website that lets me embed the files on my blog AND lets the animations work AND doesn't mess up my formatting here and there. Boo. I'm using SlideShare, as it seems to work the best for sharing on Blogger. If any of you know of a site that would work better, please let me know. Anyway, keep in mind that a good PowerPoint presentation should be used as the backdrop for your lecture - it shouldn't simply contain the text of your lecture. As such, a lot of the slides are just pictures, short video clips, or short phrases meant to stimulate discussion. Anyhow - enjoy!
After using this one in class, I learned that my students have no clue as to who Kirk Douglas is. I was finally able to get through to them by saying "You know Michael Douglas? The guy who's married to Catherine Zeta-Jones? Yeah, his father." Also, note to self: warn students before showing the video on brain surgery. I nearly had one guy puke. Not everyone has as tough of a stomach for such things as I have.
You can't discuss second language acquisition until you know a bit about first language acquisition. Also FYI, the last slide consists of discussion group questions. And a picture of me as a toddler.