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Speak Up With Confidence – Voice Of A Fairsian Programme
by: Ilya Aqilah (Sec 1D), Cheryl Chua (Sec 1A) and Jessie Ng (Sec 3B)
If you had a chance to speak in front of a thousand people, what would you say? Perhaps you might share about a personal experience that you think will benefit your audience or on a topic that you are highly interested in.
In Fairfield, we have the ‘Voice Of A Fairsian’ (VOAF) programme which helps students to develop the ability to form sound opinions. In the classroom, teachers employ a variety of instructional modes to develop students’ confidence in public speaking. Debates, presentations, talk shows and multi-media projects are some examples of the learning activities that Fairsians participate in.
Outside the classroom, a ‘Pronunciation Challenge Booth’ was set up in March 2020 to raise awareness on commonly mispronounced words. The challenge presented a game format in which students were able to win prizes that were sponsored by the Speak Good English Movement. This fun and interactive session is one way the VOAF programme develops confidence in students on the use of languages.
Students are also given platforms to share their personal experiences and opinions respectfully in front of their fellow peers and teachers. In the process of writing and delivering their speeches, students are able to grow their personal voice. We had many Fairsians who stepped up to make speeches during morning assemblies this year!
Wen Hui from Secondary 1B is one such student. When asked about her experience speaking to the school during morning assembly, she commented, "I was really struggling to speak fluently since I stutter quite a bit. I had to repeatedly practise my script especially when I stuttered on a word.” However, Wen Hui realised that this opportunity helped to improve her reading and presentation skills, which eventually enabled her to present her speech eloquently.
Amanda Reyes from Secondary 3E, another participant who is also the 2020/2021 Head Councillor, shared, "I had a hard time trying to come up with what I wanted to share about and how to make my script more interesting and engaging for my audience. My friends and teachers gave me good advice and feedback which helped to improve my script.”
Indeed, the VOAF programme has encouraged all Fairsians to develop a personal voice such that they can influence others positively. The frequent sharing sessions by students in the classrooms, during morning assemblies or even during Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) sessions have made public speaking a norm in Fairfield. This programme has also successfully helped students who were once fearful of speaking in front of large groups to take small steps in overcoming their phobia.
As Amanda commented, "Although I have spoken in front of numerous people multiple times, it is still nerve-wracking. However, this opportunity made me more confident in expressing my opinion in an intellectual manner."
Of course, the VOAF programme does not only benefit those who speak. Fairsians in the audience are able to gain insightful knowledge pertaining to real-world issues and enhance their understanding of many important issues.
As Malala Yousafzai once said, “When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” The VOAF programme has indeed created a school culture where every Fairsian learns to reflect about and share their opinions confidently.