Video in the EFL Classroom
Constantina Antoniou Med 96th Primary School of Athens
ISBN 978-960-93-5579-7 ©Constantina Antoniou 2013 Κωνσταντίνα Αντωνίου 2013 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form -- except for teaching
purposes in Greek State Schools with prior acknowledgement of the author/s. Απαγορεύεται η αναδημοσίευση και γενικά η αναπαραγωγή του παρόντος έργου με οποιονδήποτε τρόπο -- εκτός από τη χρήση του για εκπαιδευτικούς λόγους στα Ελληνικά
Δημόσια Σχολεία μετά από προηγούμενη αναφορά στον συγγραφέα ή τους συγγραφείς First published 2013 by Constantina Antoniou, Athens, Greece Πρώτη έκδοση 2013 από Κωνσταντίνα Αντωνίου, Αθήνα, Ελλάδα
Reasons for using video in the EFL classroom
What is a video?
Aspects to consider when choosing a video
Suggestions for classroom activities
A case of video use for young learners
A case of video use for advanced learners
Reasons for using video in the EFL classroom “Video can give students realistic models to imitate for role-play; can increase awareness of other cultures by teaching appropriateness and suitability; can strengthen audio/visual linguistic perceptions simultaneously; can widen the classroom repertoire and range of activities; can help utilize the latest technology to facilitate language learning; can teach direct observation of the paralinguistic features found in association with the target language; can be used to help when training students in ESP related scenarios and language; can offer a visual reinforcement of the target language and can lower anxiety when practicing the skill of listening." (Arthur, 1999)
“The eye is caught, and this excites interest in the meaning of the words.” (Sherman, 2003)
What is a video? But what can fall under the category “video” and serve teachers of English as an educational tool? The main distinction is made between videos that provide authentic linguistic input and those that are especially designed for educational purposes. A lot can be said in favor of authenticity. As Sherman (2003) puts it there is a special thrill in being able to understand and enjoy the real thing.There are a number of features found in real spoken language but Constantina Antoniou
not found in typical teaching materials. Real people mumble and talk with food in their mouths; some speak rather rapidly and use nonstandard forms; they incorporate different levels of formality and colloquialisms; they talk in incomplete sentences and use all sorts of pause fillers, hesitation phenomena, and the like. Speech is full of variety and ambiguity and students need to develop some ability to deal with this, even if it’s just to learn how to ask for clarification when they don’t understand something (Katchen, 2002). More specifically, authentic videos can be the following: •
Films – or sections of films (e.g. Big)
TV sitcoms (e.g. Mind Your Language, Friends – click http://englishthroughsitcoms.blogspot.gr/ for worksheets on these two sitcoms)
Silent films (e.g. Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean movies)
Cartoon films or film clips (e.g. Persepolis, Charlie and Lola, Peppa
Pig, Wallace and Gromit) •
Silent cartoon films (e.g. Flatlife, The Roadrunner Show)
Documentaries (Globe Trekker)
Song videos (e.g. If I were a rich man to teach second conditional,
Bang Bang to teach irregular Past Tense forms) •
TV commercials (e.g. The Force)
Recipe videos (e.g. videojug)
Some examples of non-authentic but educational videos can be found in sites such as Engvid Randall’s video snapshots and Real English (although the latter makes use of real life dialogues).
Aspects to consider when choosing a video It is the teacher’s responsibility to carefully select and preview the video/film. Some factors that should be taken into account are the following: •
It is advisable to link the video/film with the syllabus. It can be linked into syllabus through language structures and functions or through a certain topic.
The topic of the video should be relevant to the students’ age, interests and proficiency level; otherwise they will not stay motivated. Also, we should make sure that the content is by no means violent or insulting to our students.
The video should be sufficiently comprehensible and slightly challenging so that the students gain confidence and feel in command of the medium and, at the same time, remain motivated (Krashen, 1996; Stoller, 1988). It is important to point out that the comprehensibility of the video/film is not determined only by the degree of its difficulty but also by the specific demands made on the students by the assignments.
The video should provide students with enough visual support so that they can follow the story even when verbal messages are not very clear. Cartoons and silent films have a very strong visual element which enables students, for example, to retell the story eventhough speech is sometimes absent or distorted. Constantina Antoniou
Delivery of speech is also a point to consider. If the characters speak too quickly or speak with an accent it can be very difficult for young learners to follow. Accents can be a challenge with more advanced students though.
Timings: choose videos/films that are long enough to convey meaningful content, yet short enough to allow classroom time for pre-viewing and post-viewing activities. Researchers suggest that a maximum of two hours should be spent to a combining screening and accompanying activities session.
Suggestions for classroom activities It is important to remember that films and videos are not a time filler nor a substitute for instruction but classroom aids that can be used to introduce new language or complement a previously taught lesson. So for a video lesson to be effective the teacher needs to promote active viewing and participation from the beginning. •
Pre-view activities: We may activate students’ background knowledge on the topic, introduce the main characters, teach some necessary new vocabulary. The purpose of these organizers is to lessen the gap between the students’ knowledge and the knowledge necessary to understand the material so that they can jump over the challenging gap successfully. Previewing can make it easier for also the weaker students to benefit from the video. Some previewing activities can be the following:
Visual images (available on the internet): show cover of DVD, still image of the video or poster and invite students to guess things about the plot, characters, setting, genre etc using L2.
Synopsis (available on sites like internet www.imdb.com or Constantina Antoniou
www.rottentomatoes.com ): make a jigsaw reading activity in
which partners have different information and try to put it together in one piece; video related vocabulary can be taught through the synopsis. â€˘
Characters: have students predict what characters will be like
from pictures/ research characters if the story of the video/film is true / fill in a character info gap prepared by the teacher â€“ see below. Student A
Vocabulary work: discuss new vocabulary / match word
appearing in the video with a synonym or its meaning / match slang words (if used in the video) with their standard English equivalent ; the same can be done with whole phrases or conversations. •
Comprehension questions: giving students questions before viewing may focus their attention on the main points of the story.
Film trailer (if we are opting for a film): have half students
watch the trailer and then retell them to their partner / have them make a note of the words that they see or hear in the trailer and discuss them with their partner or teacher (ideas for using trailers and posters are available at www.lessonsonmovies.com). •
During- activities: These activities help students to
deal with specific issues and focus on characters or storyline at crucial junctures in the video. They are a simple way to keep students focused on the viewing despite the length of the Constantina Antoniou
video/film. Some of the most common during- activities are the following: •
Backs: half students sit with their back to the screen. Those
watching describe what they see to their partners. Rotate pairings (great way to practise Present Continuous). •
Comprehension: play segment with set questions to check
listening comprehension skills. •
What’s going to happen?: predict what will next after watching
a sequence. Watch for confirmation. •
Dub the scene: play a scene with the sound off. Students
provide the voice-over of what the characters are saying. This works very well with silent videos, too. •
Fill in a transcript cloze: If there is a story worth understanding, particularly for longer films/videos, we may want to prepare a complete transcript for one or more scenes and have students complete words or phrases as they watch (you can check below for websites specializing in film scripts: http://www.simplyscripts.com/, http://www.dailyscript.com/, http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/)
Post-view activities: They are meant to stimulate both written and oral use of the target language. Post-viewing activities should extract the main ideas, concepts or issues of the film, since the small details may have been missed. Post-viewing activities can be for instance:
Students answer questions (emotional responses): Which bits made you cry or laugh? What was your favorite bit in the story? Did anything surprise you? Constantina Antoniou
Reviews: students read reviews and classify them as positive or negative – then they write their own.
Describe characters in the film using adjectives – positive, negative, neutral.
Students write one thing they remember about each character.
Put still images in the correct order and retell the story (speaking – writing).
Read incorrect version of synopsis or plot and make corrections.
True/False quick comprehension questions – students listen and respond by standing up or sitting down.
Discuss theme of the video/film (e.g. waking up from depression in Persepolis, bullying in Bully Dance).
Watch or read director’s interviews(e.g. Marjane Satrapi) and get students write an interview of their own.
Act out a scene.
Draw scenes from the video/ make a class collage
At http://community.eflclassroom.com/profiles/blogs/50-ways-touse-video-in-the-classroom you can view a lot more ways of how to use a video in the EFL classroom.
A case of video use for young learners “I will never ever eat a tomato” taken from the Charlie and Lola
series (duration 10’.46’’).
Charlie and Lola is a British animated series first created as picture books by writer and illustrator Lauren Child. Lola is an energetic, imaginative little girl; Charlie is a patient and kind older brother who is always willing to help Lola learn and grow. In this episode, Lola refuses to eat her dinner because she has a LONG list of foods that she does not eat. Will Charlie convince her and how?
I will never NOT EVER eat a tomato
Language level: Learner Type: Time: Vocabulary: Practice: Materials:
Elementary; Pre-Intermediate Young Learners 45min (without the follow-up) food words Listening, Speaking, Present Simple, I’m keen/not keen on… video, pictures of oceans, Jupiter, mermaids, drops, water squirter toys, twiglets and fluffy clouds (see below) Constantina Antoniou
Suggested Lesson Plan* Pre-view activities 1. Ask pupils the following questions: • What time do you have dinner? • Are you a fussy eater? (explain the meaning to Ps) • What foods do you never eat? ( I never eat…)
2. Either blow up the pictures and words on the photocopier and cut out so that learners can try to match the words and pictures on the board OR get learners to match the words and pictures on a worksheet. Discuss. drops / ocean / water squirters / mermaids / twiglets / fluffy clouds / Jupiter 3. Put a still image of the video at 1’.11’’. Give pupils the following task: Look at the picture and try to name the foods that you see around Lola. See the list below. sausages / tomatoes / potatoes / fish / rice /carrots / apples / peas / spaghetti / bananas / cheese / mushrooms / eggs / beans / oranges *You could always modify these activities or create your own to fit the needs of your pupils. Constantina Antoniou
4. Here are some more foods. Can you match them with the right picture? fish fingers baked beans cabbage cauliflower bananas oranges
5. Now use words from 3 and 4 and place them in the column that is true for you. Then tell your partner about your likes and dislikes. Foods I’m keen on
Foods I’m not keen on
While viewing activities 1. While you are watching the video write the food you hear in the right column. Lola does not eat…
Lola is not keen on…
2. Who says it? As you watch write C (Charlie) or L (Lola) next to each sentence. __ “Carrots are for rabbits!” __ “I don’t EVER eat carrots!” __ “They’re orange twiglets from Jupiter.” __ “Mmm, not bad!” __ “I don’t EVER eat peas!” __ “They’re green drops from Greenland.” __ “I don’t eat green things!” __ “Green drops are so incredibly rare!” __ “Oh, quite tasty!” __ “This isn’t mash! This is cloud fluff!” __ “Mmm, I love to eat cloud!” __ “Mermaids always eat the ocean nibbles.” __ “I always eat what mermaids eat!” Constantina Antoniou
__ “Mmm, yummy!” __ “It is NOT a tomato!” __ “Moonsquirters are my favorite!” Post-viewing activities 1. Things are not what they look like…Match peas mash potatoes fish fingers carrots tomatoes
cloud fluff ocean nibbles moonsquirters green drops twiglets from Jupiter
2. Have pupils work in pairs and make a list of the foods mentioned in the video. Then they take turns to perform the following dialogue: e.g. peas -Do you eat peas? -Yes, I love peas! / No, I NEVER eat peas! 3. Hand out a piece of paper (half A4 size) to each pupil and ask them to draw one food they are keen on and one food they are not so keen on. Then ask them to stick their drawings onto two pieces of coloured cardboard with the headings Foods we are keen on and Foods we are not keen on. Stick on a classroom wall. Follow-up (this can be done in a separate session) Make different kinds of food using paper, cotton, cardboard, or toy food. You can ask pupils to bring their own to the class. Put the food onto paper dishes and have pupils act out the dialogues using the pairs from postview exercise 1. e.g. Student A serves the dish Student B: I don’t EVER eat peas! Student A: They’re not peas. They’re green drops from Greenland. Student B tasting: Mmm, yummy!
A case of video use for advanced learners*
Grow your own (a comedy film by Richard Laxton). Click here to see trailer. Runtime: 101min “English community gets testy when a refugee family is granted a piece of land on which to grow vegetables.” (IMDb)
Language level: Learner Type: Time: Practice:
Upper Intermediate; Advanced Teens; Adults 3 teaching sessions of 45min each Speaking, vocabulary, listening (this film gives pupils a great opportunity to use L2 to discuss the theme of our attitude to immigrants) DVD, worksheets (see below)
*the material presented below was created and kindly offered by dear colleagues Corman Conway and Michaela Salmon • Vocabulary Activities before the film See the glossary of the vocabulary in Grow Your Own Constantina Antoniou
1) Give learners the vocabulary cards (either separated in topic groups or all together) and get them to try to match meanings and words, using their pooled knowledge, dictionaries and guesswork 2) Get learners to sort out the words by the number of syllables and the stress pattern a) Get them to find all the phrases rather than single words and put these to one side b) Then get them to sort out the single words into how many syllables – 1,2,3 or 4. Click here c) Look at the longer words and try to classify them further by the stress pattern of the syllables e.g. allotment and communal have the same stress pattern (middle syllable is stressed) whilst cultivate and protocol have the first syllable stressed. 3) Practise the new vocabulary by playing some games a) Give each learner a card with a piece of vocabulary – when it’s their turn they have to describe what their word means and the others have to guess the word – first to guess gets a point (differentiate by giving some harder vocabulary, some easier) b) Get one learner to come to the front, standing with their back to the board, facing the class. Write one of the words or phrases behind them on the board so the class can see it but not them. Then the class have to describe the word or phrase and the person at the front has to guess. c) Play ‘noughts and crosses’. Draw a noughts and crosses grid on the board and write one of the new words in each square. Divide learners into two teams. Take turns to choose a square but before they can put their nought or cross in they have to make a sentence with the word in the square they want. The other team and you judge if it is correct. •
The Story (before the film)
Use the following jigsaw reading activity. Put learners in groups or pairs. Give each pair either sheet A or B and get them to work together to make up the questions they will need to ask to get the missing information. Then get each person with sheet A to sit with a person with sheet B. Without showing each other their sheets they should ask questions to get the missing information they need and write it down. Make sure they don’t show each other their sheets! Constantina Antoniou
Then discuss what sort of characters there might be in this film and what might happen. Finally, get learners to find the five incorrect facts in the final sheet and correct them.
Grow Your Own- The Story.
Here is the story of the film “Grow your own”. Some information is missing. With another “A”, decide what questions you need to ask to get the missing information. After your teacher checks your questions find a partner “B” and ask your questions to complete the story. The film begins as an immigrant Chinese father, (1)……………, is given an allotment plot. His social worker is making a last attempt to help him. After a very difficult journey he can’t speak to anyone and is struggling to (2) ……………………..…….; social services might take them into care. But (3) ………….……………………………… creates tension with the existing English gardeners who object to their land being given to foreigners. One English gardener is happy about one of the immigrants arriving because (4) ………………………………………….. This is bad news for another woman because she is falling in love with him at the same time! In the meantime, a mobile phone company is seeking to (5) …………………………………………….. and wants the permission of the strict allotment committee chairman. He sees this as an opportunity to remove the unwanted immigrant families. Other members of the allotment committee must decide if (6) ……………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………
Grow Your Own- The Story.
Here is the story of the film “Grow your own”. Some information is missing. With another “B”, decide what questions you need to ask to get the missing information. After your teacher checks your questions find a partner “A” and ask your questions to complete the story. The film begins as an immigrant Chinese father, Kung Sang, is given (1) ………………... His social worker is making a last attempt to help him. After a very difficult journey he can’t speak to anyone and is struggling to support his children; social services might (2) ………………………………………………………… But the presence of several other immigrant families creates tension with the existing English gardeners who object to (3)……………………………. ……………………………………. One English gardener is happy about one of the immigrants arriving because he finds himself falling in love with her. This is bad news for another woman because (4)…………………………………………………….. In the meantime, (5)………………………………… is seeking to place a mast on the allotment and wants the permission of the strict allotment committee chairman. He sees this as an opportunity to (6)…………………………………….. Other members of the allotment committee must decide if they are going to support him, or fight for the right of immigrants to use the allotment.
Read the rules and match them with the pictures.
Blacktree Road Allotments (BRA) Rules 1) All sheds must be kept in good repair and painted a regulation pillar box red. 2) No ball games. 3) Strictly no alfresco culinary preparation or entertainment.
Rule number □
Rule number □
Rule number □
After the film 1. From what you remember, write one thing that happened to the character during the film. One has been done for you . Kenny- He refused to paint his shed red when everyone else did it.
Ali Constantina Antoniou
2. Grow Your Own Discussion Questions
1) This film is based on a real story. Do you believe that working in an allotment can really help people who are depressed or living with mental health problems? Why/not? 2) Which character or story in the film did you find most interesting? Why? 3) Would you recommend the film to a friend? Why/not? 4) What things would you like to change about the film, if any? 5) What sort of attitudes are expressed towards immigrants in this film? How does each character react to any negative attitudes towards them?
Grow Your Own- The story. Follow up/ extension
Here is the story of the film, â€œGrow your ownâ€?. However, five facts are incorrect. Can you find and correct them? The film begins as an immigrant Sudanese father, Kung Sang, is given an allotment plot. His sister is making a last attempt to help him. After a car accident he canâ€™t speak to anyone and is struggling to support his children; social services might take them into care. The presence of several other immigrant families creates tension with the existing English gardeners who object to their land being given to foreigners. One English gardener is sad about one of the immigrants arriving as he used to be in love with her. This is bad news for another woman as she is falling in love with him at the same time! In the meantime, a television company is seeking to place a mast on the allotment and wants the permission of the strict allotment committee Constantina Antoniou
chairman. He sees this as an opportunity to remove the unwanted immigrant families. Other members of the allotment committee must decide if they are going to support him, or fight for the right of immigrants to use the allotment. 1) ________________________________________________ 2) ________________________________________________ 3) ________________________________________________ 4) ________________________________________________ 5) ________________________________________________
Resources Constantina Antoniou
Below I am adding some websites from which you can get more ideas about how to make the most of a video in your class. community.efl.classroom.com/page/big a whole workbook made out of the movie Big by David Deubelbeiss. Movieclips contains thousands of short video clips from movies categorised by theme, character, setting and more. Subzin is a search engine for quotes in movies and series. Open culture has a list of links to free online videos of both Chaplin and Keaton movies. National Film Board of Canada is an excellent site for short videos (animated) that can be used in the classroom. See this one.
And if you want to encourage your pupils to do some self study and practise their English using on-line videos here are some useful websites: http://www.insideout.net/video/anecdote-video-player?video-id=844 http://cinema.clubefl.gr/ Check your listening skills doing activities based on film clips. http://www.eslvideo.com/esl_video_quiz_beginning.php?id=16962 Here you can create quizzes for any video that is out there and ask your pupils to log on and do the quiz Grockit Answers lets you pick any video from YouTube and create a series of questions about it. The great feature is that you can set the time on the video for each question to alert the viewer when the answer will appear. Voscreen After signing-up and choosing your native language from a list of nine, you’re shown a series of very short video TV/movie video clips where a phrase is said. Then, you have a choice of either clicking “I understand” or “Show Me The Script.” If you clip “Show Me The Script,” you’re shown two versions in your native language, and you have to choose which one is correct. Movie segments to assess grammatical goals contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun exercises. EFL smart blog contains some great ideas on using videos such as Flatlife Pink Panther and Eric and Ernie.
Bibliography Constantina Antoniou
Arthur, P. (1999). “Why use video? A teacher’s perspective .” VSELT, 2(4): 4. Conway, C AND Salmon, M. 2012. Using film and moving image to enrich ESOL teaching and learning retrieved on September 10th from http://www.natecla.org.uk/uploads/documents/doc_3055.pdf Katchen, J.E. (1996) Using authentic video in English language teaching:
Tips for Taiwan’s teachers. Taipei: The Crane Publishing Company, Ltd Video in ELT—Theoretical and Pedagogical Foundations. Proceedings of the 2002 KATE (The Korea Association of Teachers of English) International Conference (pp. 256-259).
Krashen, S. (1996). Under Attack: The case against bilingual
education. Culver City, CA.: Language Education Associates. Sherman, J. (2003). Using authentic video in the language classroom . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stoller, F. 1988. Films and Videotapes in the ESL/EFL Classroom . Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Teachers of English to speakers of other languages. http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED299835.pdf