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The Flat Life - Using silent video in language teaching....



This video is the BOMB! It is captivating, absorbing, a story par excellence but also SILENT! Yes, silent films are great for getting students to produce language -- and after all is said and done, that most often is the hardest thing to do, getting the students speaking and learning language by just communicating. That is our job, to get the students so absorbed in the communicative act that they forget they are learning. When we forget and are not consciously fixated on the language - we learn so much more! And silent , great silent movies do that so well.

So here are a few suggestions on how to use these with students. Also, a quick list of my absolute favorites in this regard....  Also see the 50 Ways To Use Video In Class list.

Ways to use a silent video clip....

1. BACKDOOR -- In pairs, one student views and describes to the other student who has their back to the screen. Alternate every few minutes and circulate to give help with vocab (or just write it on the board as needed, students will see you and use to describe the action.

2. PREDICTION - Watch a small part and stop the video. Have students predict what will happen next.

3. VOCABULARY - depending on the theme of the video (for example in The Flat Life you can use action words and / or furniture) have students make lists of words and then use them to 4. RETELL the story/narrative up to that point.

4. DIALOGUE -- Students watch and then re-enact the dialogue in the story. Add in a narrator if necessary. This is a great speaking/writing combined lesson. Get them even to use speech bubbles and draw cartoons of the story.

5. WRITING - Have students retell the story, rewrite the story - but with a different ending. First retell and use this as an engagement activity for some really creative writing! Make sure to do the most important part of the writing process - SHARING!

My favorite silent short videos.

1.. The Big Snit -- Without a doubt, it has it all! Find it on our NFB video page!

2. Mr. Bean videos. I love the Mr. Bean at the swimming pool! Perfect length and works like a charm. Stop at
the end and get students to predict what will happen. Get them all in our Mr. Bean player!

3. Neighbors. - this Academy award winner has a special message. Be careful, it isn't for young kids! Get
this in our NFB video section also.

What's your favorite "silent" video for teaching languages?

Views: 2108

Comment by Ricardo Jorge Fernandes Carvalho on July 3, 2009 at 2:04pm
Flat life, indeed!
Comment by Ellen Pham on July 3, 2009 at 7:25pm
Oh dear, I just wrote a long response and then accidentally deleted it! Oh well, I'll save those thoughts on biological destiny and turning our intellects away from trying to force people into certain behaviors and towards designing healthy, compassionate systems for another day.

Bully Dance is a nice alternative to Neighbors for the younger set, and there is a curriculum guide for the film... I'll just upload the files, the links I used in a previous discussion have gone dead since the NFBC redid their site.

Bully Dance.flv
Note: The youtube version is missing a key scene. In fact, this one might be missing scenes too, as the original is listed on the NFBC site as 10 minutes long, but I have not been able to find that one online... The version I've uploaded does present a complete, satisfying story, though.

bullyguide.pdf
Comment by Ellen Pham on July 3, 2009 at 8:06pm
I added Bully Dance to our videos... here's the embed:

Comment by Dakshini De Alwis on July 16, 2009 at 5:17am
I used this in my usually totally non-responsive classes yesterday. It was a hit!! And by hit I mean that I had 5 people out of 20 speaking, whereas it's usually all 20 who dont speak. Success! Will use this method more from now on. Thanks heaps!
Comment by Saidani miloudi on August 12, 2009 at 11:01pm
This silent short video is very interesting.I'll try it in class next school year.Thanks Sir.

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