The proof of the pudding lies in the eating – Referate auf Englisch. Teil 2

Partner- und Gruppenarbeit auf Englisch stößt bei Teilnehmern oft erst einmal auf Widerstand. Im zweiten Teil dieser Serie geht es darum, wie der Trainer oder die Trainerin den Teilnehmenden die gemeinsamen Aufgaben verständlich erklärt und sie zur engagierten Arbeit in Kleingruppen anleitet. 

Bildschirmfoto 2020-01-28 um 16.56.08

“In the next phase, you’ll need to be split into groups.” Do keep in mind that these words aren’t often greeted with enthusiastic cheers. Most people either like working alone or with someone they know so not everyone will relish the chance to work with other participants. When it comes to working in an international group, feelings of reservation is obvious.

Perhaps it is possible that some members come from a cultural background where the trainer is seen as the expert and working with other members of the group isn’t valued or not fully appreciated. Maybe they are having difficulties adjusting to the foreign language or they’re wondering if they’ll be able to express their ideas clearly enough? Will others understand them and vice versa? Maybe they’re making scenarios about not wanting to be grouped up with certain individuals.

Whatever the nature of their reservations be, it is important for you to motivate each and every member of the group for the training while reducing complexity and making sure that everyone precisely understands what they need to do.

The best ways to introduce the task?

Try going for a motivational introduction as it’ll provide a huge boost to your students and help them overcome any initial resistance or apprehension. You can make use of the following phrases and link into whatever portions or activities you’ve already covered in the training/seminar and/or to the daily work of the participants.

  • During the mandatory introduction rounds, some of you mentioned that you’re often faced with… In these activities, you’ll be working with the assigned partners to develop different ways to deal with these issues.
  • The following activities are my favorite because…
  • The next activity has numerous advantages including…
  • What I love about the activity that you’ll be doing now is…
  • Before the break, we looked into these topics… now, we are going to put those topics into practice.
  • Before the break we looked at… in the next activity, we’ll be building on that and…
  • In your daily routine, you often have to… now I’m giving you the chance to brainstorm ideas to do that more simply and efficiently.
  • Are you ready to put everything that you’ve learned so far into practice? The following activity will allow you to do just that!
Bildschirmfoto 2018-08-23 um 15.42.06

Siehe auch Kapitel 3 „Strategies to reduce learning content“ im Fachbuch „Essentials“, hep Verlag 2018 von Yvo Wüest und Franziska Zellweger.

How you should explain to them what to do?

I must admit, there are times I’m amazed by the way people can interpret what I used to think were perfectly clear instructions. Perhaps explaining in a foreign language does increase the risk of confusion and misinterpretation. If a few group members aren’t absolutely clear to what their task is, it is possible that valuable time will be wasted.

Here are some of the phrases that you can to make yourself and your group members sure of what they need to do.

With whom you’ll be working?

  • The next activity will be performed in pairs and I’m giving you all the responsibility of choosing a partner with whom you haven’t paired up before.
  • I’d like everyone to split up into groups of two. The person sitting next to you will be your partner for the next task. I’d like you to…
  • I’ll be putting you all into groups of three for the next task.

Where do you need to work?

  • Find a place where you’ll be able to work without any distractions. You are free to use the room adjacent to our classroom or the foyer.
  • If you find yourself at your creative best, feel free to use the tables outside.

How much time you’ll have for your next task?

  • This is a critical part of your training, so I have planned a whole hour for it.
  • You have an exact 30-minute time limit to complete your next activity. I’ll let you know the remaining time at uniform intervals.
  • I’m giving you 15 minutes to come up with…
  • Take this much time to… (What exactly the students have to do?)
  • First I need you to…
  • Then use that… to…
  • After doing that, please…
  • Don’t forget to… (Mention the resources that the students need to use)
  • You’ll find pens and sheets in the last row of tables.
  • Feel free to use the materials provided.
  • Help yourself to the materials you need.

What is the end result of this task?

  • The end goal for each group is to come up with…
  • Each group should aim to produce…
  • At the end of the allotted 30 minutes, I’d want you to be ready with…
black and white book business close up

Photo by Pixabay on

Important instructions to give before starting the task

Depending on the situation and the groups, some of the participants will be comfortable to ask questions that they have in front of others. However, there will be some people who feel shy and uncomfortable doing so (maybe because they have weak social skills or language skills). It would be a great idea to explicitly point out that you are available to answer any questions that they have on a one-to-one basis too. To make them feel open to asking questions, you can give the following instructions.

  • Do any of you have any questions? Is there anything that isn’t clear to you?
  • On the flipchart, I’ve written the individual steps so you can feel free to get your queries cleared out if you’re unsure about what you need to do.
  • If you’re unsure of any step of the task, just call me. I’ll come around to each group and clear up any uncertainties.


You have put a lot of time and effort into choosing the best presentation technique, didactical reduction, reducing complexity, and more so make sure that you get the most out of it. Invest extra time to decide on the best ways of introduction and explain activities and tasks in English.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-09-21 um 08.31.45

Training „Didaktische Reduktion im Kontext von Industrie 4.0“, BOSCH GmbH, Reutlingen 2018

Wenn Teilnehmer in einem Seminar die Ergebnisse einer Gruppen- und Partnerarbeit präsentieren, fühlen sich einzelne Teilnehmende mitunter nervös. Für Trainer ist es an dieser Stelle wichtig, mit ihrem wertschätzenden Feedback den richtigen Ton zu treffen. Wie das auf Englisch gelingt, erfahren Sie im folgenden, vierten Teil.

Seeing the outcome of the seminar or the activities in the training is something that I enjoy a lot. The participants are also excited to hear what their fellows have come up with. So obviously, there will be a sense of anticipation with a pinch of nervousness in the room.

If a trainer is working with a group of international students, there are two primary challenges at this stage.

  • You’ll have to make sure that every participant is able to get their message across in a clear and efficient manner in the foreign language
  • When you’re providing the feedback, you need to hit the right tone and choose the correct approach that is acceptable for everyone, no matter what their cultural background

The following sections will focus on the two challenges mentioned above while also looking at some of the phrases to help you get started and wrap things up.

Phrases to help you get the ball rolling

Firstly, your students should know how you intend on going about collecting the results. You’ll have to find the right words that motivate the pairs or groups to take the plunge and get the training off to the perfect start.

  • This is the part where it all comes together. Now, I want each pair or group to come to the front and present their ideas.
  • Each pair/group will get an opportunity to show everyone what they’ve come up with.
  • Some of you have given me exciting topics. XY, would you start us off on your thoughts about this topic?
  • I’m impressed by the ideas you all came up with. Who is going to present their thoughts first? Are there any volunteers?
Blumen Cham März 2019

Blumenpracht bei Blumen Arnold, Cham 2019


Phrases to help you ensure clarity

Some of the participants might need extra support especially when it comes to presenting their ideas to the crowd in English. If you’re uncertain about what they mean or you’re under the impression that other members of the class are confused by the terms they used or you feel that the presenters are saying things that are too theoretical, you can simply tell them that you are there to help them out every step of the way. Try asking these questions to make sure the students are able to get their ideas across effectively.

Asking for an explanation

  • I’m sorry to interrupt you but I didn’t quite catch what you meant by…
  • I didn’t understand you completely… could you please explain again?
  • Just to be on the safe side, what did you mean by…?
  • When you say… do you mean… or…?


Asking for a confirmation

  • Just to make sure that everyone understands you correctly, are you saying that…
  • So you’re suggesting that… Is that right?
  • Sorry, are you trying to imply that…?
  • That’s an interesting point. Could you please give us a relevant example?
  • Could you please give us a bit more information about…
  • Can you please explain the last point in a way that is more detailed?


Phrases to keep in mind when giving the feedback

Most students are eager to hear the feedback or your opinion on how they performed and the areas that they can improve on. But this is a critical area where there exist great cultural differences. For instance, receiving feedback in front of other students is fine for many students but some of them might feel uncomfortable with it. Before giving feedback, look into what is going to be acceptable to your participants and then choose the best way to approach the same. In general, describe what you’ve observed and emphasize that their subjective point works well. Here are some of the phrases that’ll help you provide feedback in an acceptable way while also underlining the positives.

  • In my opinion… was very effective.
  • In general, your presentation went very well but…
  • At several points during your presentation, I saw that you…
  • It is clear that you’ve put a lot of thought into… but (Go on to describe any negative points that you observed)
  • For me, these points came across as…
  • When you were talking about… I didn’t quite understand…
  • I feel that… It would be better to avoid using words like really, very, completely, and extremely. (Then explain the possible impact)
  • I feel this would result in/lead to…
  • How else you could…?
  • I feel there is a possible risk that… (Talk about improvements)
  • Have you thought of any alternatives?
  • What do you think about…?
Beispiel Abschlussfolie Yvo Wueest

Schlussfolie als Impuls für eine Transfer-Diskussion, Januar 2020, Yvo Wüest

Phrases to help you wrap things up and thank the participants

Presenting their views and ideas in English in a class full of other students is not easy for everyone.

A few students will probably need a little push to overcome nervousness. To finish off this phase of their training on a positive note, let them know that they’ve done well and how much you appreciate their efforts.

  • I was really impressed by the creative suggestions you came up with.
  • Wow! You presented several great ideas! Let’s build on those in the next phase of the workshop.
  • Thank you, everyone. I’m sure you all will take away a lot of interesting ideas from the time you spend in this seminar.
  • A big thank you to everyone for putting so many thoughts and efforts into your presentations. You all were great to listen to and you had tons of great ideas.
  • I’d like to thank each participant for sharing their ideas with us.


This phase is a demanding yet rewarding part of the seminar, especially for a trainer. In this phase, you’ll need to be able to use English quite precisely. Stick to the phrases mentioned above as they’ll help you to ask the right questions as well as give important feedback sensitively.

Den Auftakt mit Teil 1 und 2 dieser dreiteiligen Serie, finden Sie hier:


2 Gedanken zu „The proof of the pudding lies in the eating – Referate auf Englisch. Teil 2

  1. Hej Yvo,

    That’s useful and will help me in my next presentation, scheduled for February 27th. My mother tongue is Dutch and my presentation skills and fluency in English are quite fine, nevertheless, I always feel a bit „shaky“ when I have to deliver in front of native speaking people.

    Your vocabulary-list will help me to feel more confident and to trust in my abilities to find the right words.

    Thanks for this free content,

    • Hi Gerome,
      I consider it or „human“, to feel a certain tension at the beginning of a presentation. With good preparation and the right mindset, you will deliver and your message will resonate with your audience. It might help you to remember: People don’t fall asleep during conversations, but they often do … during presentations. Try to give your presentation a conversational tone.

      Find out, what is your key-message you want to communicate. It’s what compels the audience to change course.
      Don’t forget to grab lots of feedback after your presentation. So you’ll be all the more effective when you start the process again.

      Good luck and stay tuned

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