Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More about using video

I was also thinking about using some aussie dramas...but when I watched a few I found them full of australian slang (blue heelers, etc...)... Actually I couldn't believe how much... Now from a sociolinguistics perspective (dialects, accents and world Englishes), it could be an interesting slant... but I know that I wouldn't hear the end of it with my pro-American school staff... and pro-American English Japan (not that it's bad or anything).
I guess that will have to wait for an Australian studies class...
I usually find that video in class, sends students to sleep, anyway... and when I start tacking on comprehension questions, I totally lose them. No, what I think needs to be done is to have some schema building before the video, as you've suggested, then just let them watch the program with English subtitles (L1 for the first episode), no expectations. Then after, give them a list of discussion questions on a chat board, and let them go. Of course, you have to establish the chat room etiquette and expectations. Let the students come up to you and ask questions...encourage students to respond to other students... I found that after a few episodes, the students were really getting into it. I guess the content was pitched at the right level, as my students are 18~20 year olds, and the drama was about relationships. That's another thing. I've found that the kind of video really does matter.
As for the chat room, an expectation I had was that they had to at least post one entry, and one response to someone.
As for learning outcomes, the two main goals were to write more and write better, and we talked as a class about how to do that.
My friend's Battlestar Galactica class was a creative writing class, that focussed on similar aims.
I will be trying it again our next semester (starting October here...)
I am actually on the lookout for new dramas that fit the bill. I am also looking for easier ways to set up a private chat room, that are easier to use than the google one... Anyone have any ideas???

No comments: