VideoTALKING – Materials & Lesson Reflection
In March I put together a VideoTALKING lesson based on a short animated film called ‘Rew Day’, and yesterday I finally tried it out with my class of (strong) A2 general English students.
Because I knew it would be – and needed to be – somewhat experimental, I also invited Victoria, from the dip course, to come and observe the lesson, as I felt it would be useful to get feedback from another teacher. More on Victoria’s feedback in a later post.
What happened was considerably different from my original outline, and this morning (one day later) I wrote down my notes about what we’d actually done:
Materials/Resources used were:
- Google images
- the video (Rew day)
- coloured pens/pencils
- blank paper
- blank storyboard
- assortment of speech bubble stickers (self made)
Here are the things that struck me most about the lesson:
- As I predicted in my original outline, it’s a lesson that develops through practice. I’d have found it very difficult to plan exactly how this lesson would go – something influenced in part by the nature of the lesson, but also by my approach in teaching.
- It’s definitely more videoTALKING than videoTELLING. Good – the focus felt very much on what the students were producing rather than my telling them about the video. Their stories were just as much, if not more, valid.
- It’s a two-lesson lesson. There’s so much potential to be exploited.
- Language focus didn’t interrupt the lesson or get tacked on at the end. Little points were integrated: supporting learners with language where needed and some pronunciation and correction. The second lesson included a focus on past simple/continuous – as a continuation from the day before – which then segued into further development and self/peer correction of learners’ own stories. It was both very fluid and tied into the wider course programme – work we’d been doing previously.
- I couldn’t plan this again – but I could definitely improvise it.
- Because the focus is on learner output, the lesson worked well with an A2 group, but I can also see it working with C1 learners – and everything inbetween.
I await Victoria’s feedback with interest, but I think the biggest take-away for me here is that lessons grow and evolve with different groups and in different contexts. We can’t prescribe, we can only describe, and this lesson in particular is one of those that really will be different every time.
I’ll leave you for now with some of what the groups produced: