Using video clips to foster language, creativity and media skills

I attended a teacher training these days and one of the topics was using short films in language teaching. I have to admit the following genre was somehow new to me, but I like it a lot. I also like the idea of trying it in lessons to come with my 1:1-classes. If you would like to gain more insight into some great ideas on using short films, a book published by E. Thaler might be well worth a look (E. Thaler, Short films in Language Teaching, 2017).

Here is the genre I liked so much: Have you ever heard about “literal music videos”? If yes, good. If no, just try Youtube and search for “Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse Literal Video”.

Welcome back 😉

Imho this  is a great idea to try in year 10+. It not only focusses on using the English language in a media rich context that could be very motivating for the students. It also offers another chance to turn students from consumers into prosumers, which to me seems pretty important, when it comes to using digital media in your classroom effectively.

It might be a bit difficult for students to deal with the idea without scaffolding (and of course it could be problematic to have students recording the singing ;-)). The video mentioned above might also be a difficult one to start with for many students, as they would have to display a lot of ICC and factual knowledge to fully understand the context and the innuendos or references. But as a starting-point this seems to be useful to develop skills in describing pictures. Students could use stills to give a vivid description of some picture first.

To avoid copyright issues you could have your students script their “literals” while streaming the video. Then they can perform their “dubbing” or be a “color commentator” in front of their classmates while showing their video without having to save and edit it. Videos to use as a start could be could be all time classics, like “I want to break free” by Queen or “Hello” by Adele.

In a second step deconstructing the movie and analyzing effects and discussing the intention of some compositions, shots and more could be effective. Students soon could develop a critical understanding of why some effects evoke specific emotions for example. They can then actively apply their learning in making their own videos.