Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making an EFL/ESL video

I thought I'd share some teaching ideas that I have tried with you. They have worked for me but they may need to be amended to fit in with your learning situation.

Lesson plan

1 Ask you students if they have heard of any weird, strange or odd stories in the media.

2 Now explain to them that they will watch BBC's Odd Box broadcast which has 10 unusual stories every week. Put them in groups of two - four and show them the clip (about 4-5 minutes long), first without sound and ask them to guess what they story might be about.

3 Students then discuss their guesses and write a sentence for each.

4 Show the sequence again, this time with sound.

5 Student work together as groups then as a class in order to come up with a definitive answer.

6 Now tell learners that they will make their own version of Odd Box using stories and video on the internet.

First phase - Finding stories.

A useful starting places include the BBC's Also in the News page, Yahoo's Odd News, Reuter's Oddly Enough etc.

Second Phase -Finding footage.

Ask students to choose five stories that would be interesting for a Greek TV audience. Next stage involves finding video that goes with the story on Youtube or Google Video.

Third phase - Editing video

In order to use download and edit the videos I would recommend Real Player (which allows you to download and convert videos) and Windows Movie Maker (which comes as standards with every copy of Windows) to edit the videos and add titles and voice over. Both programs are free and relatively easy to use, though the more you familiarise yourself with them the more comfortable you'll feel when teaching.

The students then work in groups so as to edit a two minute video with their own voiceover. Alternatively, student add their own video presentation segments which can be recorded with mobile/cell phones, vieo camera or a digital camera.

Fourth phase - Presenting the video

We screen the videos and decide which one would be best for a class blog/web page etc.

Of course such exercises have all kinds of potential pit falls which may ruin the lesson but I feel that the learning payoff involved is worth the risk. How long can we go on using 19th century technology to promote medieval learning paradigms?

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