Notes on Using Video in the Language Classroom
Because it is so close to language reality - containing visual as well as audible cues - video is an excellent medium for use in the language classroom. It can be used in many different ways and for teaching or revising many different language points. These notes are intended to help you think about how you can use video in your classroom. They are not exhaustive, because ultimately the ways in which you use video are limited only by your own imagination.
Types of Video
|authentic||made for language teaching|
Bought, or recorded from television.*
Specifically designed for learning the target language. Produced by all the major publishers or DIY.
* be aware of copyright considerations when copying any material
Methods of Exploitation
- Be fully conversant with the tape (contents, length, order etc).
- Always check the tape beforehand: quality, format (PAL/SECAM, long-play/short-play etc).
- Always check the VCR/TV beforehand: power supply, connections, remote control, channel etc.
- Always try to work with a remote control.
- Make sure you are familiar with the VCR and its controls (play, pause, rewind, volume, channels etc).
- Before the lesson: insert the tape, cue it and zero the VCR.
- Check the volume, tone and angle of view from different parts of the room.
- Make sure you rewind to the right place. Take your time. Nothing is worse than losing your place.
- Try creating your own worksheets tailored to an authentic sequence.
- Give students something to watch or listen for while the tape is playing. This can get increasingly difficult or detailed with each repetition.
- Don't play a tape without giving an introduction or setting the context (unless there is a good reason for not doing so).
- Let the tape do the work. Don't say yourself what the tape says.
- Don't play a tape for too long without stopping.
- Be sensitive and realistic as to what students can be expected to memorize.
© Josef Essberger 2000