Engage them with videos!

It’s no secret that I’ve been inspired by Megan and Kara at Creative Language Class to incorporate more video clips into my daily routine. I just wanted to share a few that worked for me, so that you can use them in your class, too!

The first video I want to recommend pairs really well with the Novice Listening Form by CLC (this is a link to their copy in Spanish – French version is coming soon!) even though there aren’t words. My novices are almost finished with a unit on “Me and my activities” and I think that several of them are really close to Novice High. When I was introducing sports and athletes, I found this really great commercial when Zinedine Zidane (a French football player) plays rugby to promote the Rugby World Cup. After we filled out the form, we talked a little bit about the rules of rugby, and why Zidane was not the ideal rugby player (he’s too short/small/thin, etc). Students loved this video because they’ve never really experienced rugby, and who doesn’t like seeing a crazy tackle or two? At this point, I didn’t make any predictions, but I think that you could, and I plan to in the future.

The next video that I found also didn’t have words, but this was a GREAT review of activities that the dog/his owner like and don’t like to do, as well as descriptions of both of them. By the end of the day, I had questions to guide students in their predictions (Does the dog like to eat? Does the dog like to play?) – they made these predictions while the first frame of the video was showing – it was important for me that students could see the dog before making these predictions. Students were OUTRAGED at the end that this was a commercial for IKEA; I think that in the future, I’ll have students predict what this is a commercial for (dog food, to warn about obesity, etc.) My students also loved learning the word for “obese” when talking about the dog! What an engaging video that reviewed necessary structures!

And, last but not least, I’m trying my hand again at a sort of “MovieTalk” (read more about MovieTalk with a demo courtesy of Martina Bex!) that talked about what other people are like and like to do. I pre-taught some of the vocabulary from the video (playing outside, breaking [something], and setting [something] on fire – kids loved learning these words!) We make predictions during the video; I stop at set points and give my students a choice of what will happen next. As an extension, I think I’ll give students screenshots of the video and ask them to retell what happened to a partner or to put the events of the video in order and then draw illustrations; I haven’t decided which would work best! Students loved that this was short, made by Disney, and the ending was great! Stopping and asking questions during the video really does add intrigue and excitement – my students REALLY wanted to know what would happen next!! This one was not culture, which is sad, but I’m hoping it can further a discussion about hobbies here and in France, and if we think that French people are as addicted to tech as we are!

I’d love to hear how videos are engaging your class or share any other videos that I’ve used – let me know in the comments or on your blog!

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