By Steven Fawkes
This instruction manual for language lecturers specializes in: sensible concerns to do with utilizing video apparatus and assets with language newcomers; utilizing programme assets to stimulate ability improvement; discovering and adapting worthwhile assets; methodological implications for potent use; administration and making plans matters; constructing concepts for extra inventive use.
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Additional resources for Switched On?: Video Resources in Modern Language Settings (Modern Languages in Practice, 10)
What do I want out of it? These questions will determine how the programme is used and which strategies for follow-up are most relevant. Programmes can be useful in supplying an initial context for the lesson, setting the scene and conveying an atmosphere of the target language environment, or alternatively can be used to revisit or consolidate a topic by illustrating it in a new context. Page 24 A television series uses the combination of color, sound and often music in order to provide a rich experience, which can be linked with active participation in the classroom (movement, display, cross-curricular work).
Speaking work could therefore usefully focus on the 'Did you see . . sort of conversation we often overhear or participate in. Linguistically this opens up areas to do with description, opinion-giving, question-asking, exclamations and narrative which can be pitched at an appropriate level for the language learners involved. Often teachers wish to develop their students' ability to answer (and also to ask) questions, and they therefore frequently base activities on the comprehension of a 'text', by putting the focus either on detail or on gist.
Is it an appropriate style or genre? Does it provide a range of different speakers? Are the people in the programme interesting? Does it provide core language in formats other than plain speech? e. drama, song, verse, narrative. Level Does it fit with the maturity level of the teaching group? Is the language level largely appropriate to the target group? Does it include any in-built repetition? This may be important for some teaching groups, and will have implications for how the programme is used with them.