Video listening comprehension

Having taken up the 5 posts in 5 days blogathon challenge laid down by Tyson Seburn on 4C ELT, I must now try to get back on track, since I failed to send a post yesterday. As a result, I hope to post three posts between today and tomorrow.

For this post, the third in the five post challenge series, I thought I would share something I did in class the other day. Following on from Wednesday’s post, about dubbing video, this simple activity is another way of exploiting video in class. However, this activity is designed for a lower level class. Choose a film which is familiar to the students, so that they can follow the action without too much difficulty, or with plenty of visual humour. I chose ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’, from Aardman productions, with the younger classes, and with the older students I used ‘Love Actually’. wallace and gromit

Before you show the film, give different groups of students a vocabulary topic – for the Wallace and Gromit film I chose ‘vegetables’ and ‘rabbits’, while in ‘Love Actually’ the words were ‘Christmas ‘ and ‘Love’ –  and brainstorm possible words that might form part of that topic. Ask the students if they know what film they are going to watch based on the vocabulary topics they have been given. Then tell the students that when they hear something from their vocabulary topic they are to stand up. Alternatively, have the students make large signs with their vocabulary topics written on them, so that they can hold them up when they hear their words.

It’s important that this activity doesn’t go on for too long without a break, as the students may find it difficult to concentrate for more than about ten or fifteen minutes, but they usually find the challenge very stimulating and participate well. The main point here is that the students are exposed to authentic language, while at the same time not having to worry about understanding everything, which they cannot do and so may become easily frustrated.

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5 thoughts on “Video listening comprehension

  1. Thanks for the ideas. What do you do when those students miss the words they’ve been exposed to and don’t stand up?

    • Obviously some references are more difficult to catch than others, but normallyat least some of the students get the reference, and as they stand up the others realise they have missed something. The ones who have heard the reference then explain it to the ones who missed it. If necessary I pause the video while this happens, and sometimes I rewind and play it again so they can all hear it.
      If everyone misses one reference I don’t worry too much, unless I think it was an obvious one, in which I might pause and repeat myself what was said. I do this especially if it is a reference which will come up again, or if it is something I feel they may need to learn – in ‘Curse of the Were-rabbit’ I realised they were not getting the contraction ‘veg’, so I stopped and explained it. Once they are aware of a specific item, they usually get it.

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