A pecha kucha is a unique presentation format with a rigid structure: the speaker selects 20 images to talk about which appear in 20 second intervals. The main benefit of the format is the pace — the speaker only gets a total of 400 seconds (6:40) for their presentation. The next slide is coming in 20 seconds whether the speaker is ready or not. This can be an interesting challenge for the speaker, but it is typically very much appreciated by the audience.
Pecha kuchas can be used in the ESL classroom. A six and a half minute presentation is manageable for most intermediate and advanced students and the images serve as a valuable aid to the speaker. But good pecha kuchas take planning. Is it possible to generate a similar slideshow on demand? It is.
Enter Pecha Flickr, an online tool that asks for a search term and then presents 20 random photos from Flickr that have been tagged with that term. You can use these photos to prompt spontaneous speech from your students. The search term could be something as direct as a favorite sport (i.e. soccer) or something more abstract (i.e. fun), which would generate more loosely connected photos.
If you’re not a strict pecha kucha purist, you can also click on Show Advanced Options to modify the number of photos to include in the presentation and the duration that each photo is displayed.
Not all students will enjoy making pecha kucha presentations. But more that just speeches are possible: tell a story, create a dialog, have partners take turns talking. If you’re looking for a tool that can prompt unplanned speeches by students, Pecha Flickr can be a good starting point.