eaching English Through Video: Hey ESL Teachers, have you tried teaching ESL with video yet? If not, I’d like to recommend it. There are many great benefits of teaching in this way, which is why I started doing it back in 2002.
One of the greatest reasons for teaching in this way is your students get a chance to perfect their pronunciation with some serious coaching by the 영어선생님-Director. It may take a fair bit of practice, (which is why should rehearse before filming), but once it has improved and you’ve recorded it, it will stay with the students forever. The reason why is they will get to play back their video hundreds of times. Save the NG clips to paste at the end and you can hear the teacher correcting the mistakes of the students. It’s hilarious. The added benefit to video-ESL is that your “art works” will live on and they will teach all other people who get to view the video too. It’s extremely positive!
These days most people have learned how to make digital video and download it to their computers. Many handphones these days also have a decent quality video along with some built in video editing “apps”, (the word I detest). All windows based computers have “Windows Movie Maker” which is quite simple too. So there’s really no excuse for not trying it these days. Kids are all dying for the chance to post something funny on youtube or daum anyways. So why not give it a try?
If you do go for it, you’ll need some kind of plan. The way we’ve usually do it, (and we just did it last summer in Ulsan for the Hyundai English Summer Film Camp), is put the students together in teams of maybe two and have them brainstorm amongst themselves and make up a sample story board. (A series of maybe six simple sketches on a page of A4 with some basic story outline for each picture). Once that has been accomplished, (It usually takes an hour.), have the groups of students present their story outline to the class. Write their story names on the board and after they are finished, take a vote to see which story is the best. If possible you may also try and incorporate other group’s stories into the chosen story.
Next with your chosen story, start making a large story board on the whiteboard while interacting with the kids. Have them supply more details, let them get into it. Start to define the characters and scan the class for suitable actors or actresses.
With your story finally written out, practice the lines with the kids. Then have them bring appropriate clothing for their roles for the filming day. Also, as a Teacher-Film-making-Director, you need to imagine the entire scenario in your head before the filming day. Otherwise it will get very disorganized fast. Also remember to silence the students before shooting or even get your teaching assistant to move them off of your set. Nothing is worse than the atmosphere of a great shot being blown by a goofy comment in the background, or students running off the scene they weren’t supposed to be in.
Lastly, since your films won’t be very long, I recommend you throw in the English captions for the whole story. It doesn’t take long to do and will provide unforgettable English lessons for years to come for all those viewing.
Here’s one of the films we made at the Hyundai Factory in Ulsan last year. It was a lot of fun, but we were under a really short time frame for completing the videos. I stayed up after 2am several nights finishing.
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