Exploiting video in the language classroom: IATEFL Harrogate

iatefl-conference-sign

I’ve just got back from my first IATEFL Conference, in Harrogate, still feeling elated from the buzz that such big conferences always produce. It’s been great to meet up with so many people I’ve only seen online before, and make new friends. It’s also been great to attend so many fantastic talks and workshops.

I’d like to thank everyone who came along to my session on exploiting video in the classroom. As promised, here is the link to the powerpoint of my presentation. The video clips used are in the same folder, just in case the links in the presentation don’t work. I hope you find it useful.

Write-ups for some of the activities included in the session can be found in the following posts:

Pigeon Impossible

Dubbing exercise (Armstrong and Miller RAF Pilots)

Video listening comprehension

Real Beauty – Film English

How to … use video in the classroom

 

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Valentine’s Day – Resources for class

Once more, St. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means it’s time to break out the hearts and flowers as our thoughts – and lesson plans – turn to love. Here are a few ideas for class activities which bring St. Valentine’s Day into the classroom.

Information gap: The origins of St. Valentine

This is a simple activity which can be adapted to any theme quite easily. Take a reading text of an appropriate level for your students and select perhaps ten pieces of information which can be changed. Create two versions of the text with five changes in each one, labelling one Text A and the other Text B (click here for a ready prepared set on The Origins of St. Valentine). Give out Text A to half the class, and Text B to the other half.

First, the students need to think what information may have been changed, and to prepare questions to ask a partner with the other text using appropriate interrogative pronouns. Then get the class to stand up and mingle, pairing up with someone who has the other text. Once everyone has a partner, they should sit together and take turns to ask their questions, continuing until they have identified the ten differences between the texts. Once they have done that, they should decide which is the correct version for each of the differences, and prepare a justification for their answers.

You can round off the activity by correcting the text as a class, or you can have them join up in groups of four to compare their answers before correcting, depending on how much disagreement you notice as you are monitoring.

A nice way to finish off the lesson is to show them this video from You Tube of a flash mob marriage proposal:

Love poetry

One of the most popular themes in poetry is love, in all its many different forms, so why not have a look at the topic of love poetry for St. Valentine’s Day. This activity would be suitable for a C1 class.

Before the class, have half the class watch the video ‘Carpe Diem’ from Dead Poets’ Society and read the poem, while the other half watch ‘Stop all the clocks’ from Four Weddings and a Funeral and read the poem. (You can give the students the link directly, or you can simply give them a copy of the poem.) Ask them to think what aspects of love are expressed in their poem. Once in class, group the students who watched the same video in pairs or in fours and have them compare their ideas. As they work, check if they had any comprehension problems.

Once the students have shared their ideas, put two students who watched the Carpe Diem video with two students who watched ‘Stop all the clocks’. Ask them to explain what aspects of love are shown in each video, and then to decide which poem better expresses true love. They should be prepared to defend their definition of ‘true love’ in the class discussion afterwards.

After they have debated, have each group report their conclusions to the class. Allow them to compare their definitions of true love.

To round up, show the two videos, so that all the students have seen both.

Carpe diem (‘Come gather ye rosebuds while ye may’ – Dead Poets’ Society)

Stop all the clocks… (‘Funeral Blues’- Four Weddings and a Funeral)

 Related posts:

It was a dark and stormy night …

Gunpowder, treason and plot

Upcoming event: TESOL Madrid Regional mini-conference

convention-2014-poster-tesol Spain

I have been confirmed as a speaker at the TESOL Madrid Regional Mini-conference, which takes place at the International Institute, c/ Miguel Ángel 7, Madrid on 14th February (very romantic). There will be two sessions of talks, one at 18:00 and another at 19:15, all given by speakers from Madrid who will be presenting at the National Convention in March here in Madrid. My talk will be at 19:15. The other confirmed speakers are Teresa Fleta, Catherine Morley, Katherine Holloway, Jo Steel, Shawn Redwood, Andrea Littlewood and Rebecca Pegg. There’s a wide range of topics to choose from, so all in all it should be a very interesting evening.

The event is open to TESOL Spain members. Hope to see some of you there.

TESOL Italy

TESOL Italy

I’ve just got back from Rome where I attended the 38th National TESOL Italy Conference. This was my first time in this conference, and I am very grateful to the organisers for allowing me to take part.

I’ll write in more detail about my impressions on the talks I attended later, but I wanted to get a link to my presentation here as soon as possible. You can access the powerpoint here, and I hope that the video clips work within the powerpoint in this version. If they don’t, a copy of each clip can be found in the accompanying folder. For written descriptions of the activities, you can visit my post ‘How to … exploit video in class‘, ‘Armstrong and Miller – RAF Pilots‘, ‘Video Listening Comprehension‘ or ‘Real Beauty‘.

I didn’t mention this in the presentation, but with younger students I use ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’ rather than the clip we saw from ‘Love Actually’. Students are asked to identify references to rabbits or to vegetables.

A big thank you to everyone who attended this talk (including to my youngest ever participant – thanks for your impeccable behaviour!). I hope you found the ideas useful.

Gunpowder, treason and plot … Guy Fawkes in the classroom.

Although in recent years Guy Fawkes Night has been somewhat eclipsed by Hallowe’en, it is still an important date on the calendar for many British people. Here are some activities for this festival, courtesy of the British Council.

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Game

And here are some ideas from the BBC Learning English site:

Firework night (with listening activity)

… and finally, a lesson on Guy Fawkes from Sean Banville’s ESL Holiday Lessons:

Guy Fawkes Night

Texts and tweets – David Crystal discusses myths and realities

English: David Crystal signing a book at the H...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I came across this on You Tube this afternoon, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you all. It is always a pleasure to listen to David Crystal discussing language, and his views on what is happening in English are sharp and refreshing. Enjoy!

a Google Translate experiment with language | 4C in ELT

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

In this post, Tyson Seburn explains how to make students more aware of the limitations of Google Translate, while at the same time giving us an idea of how to use the theme songs of popular TV series in class. Great fun for the new term.

http://fourc.ca/fresh_prince/