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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Effective Ways to Learn a Language: Video clips and short movies

(courtesy of Youtube)

Before I became a language teacher, I was always curious as to how we learn to speak at all.   That was my first question.  The second one was, how come we speak different languages.  Of course, they were answered as I slowly grew to maturity and understood how languages evolved and how humans acquire their language and also learn it.  

In the past post I had, I talked about different styles of learning and the preferences of each learner.  Some students learn really fast, while others learn slow.   No one is poor at languages, no one is stupid not to learn a new language, each one differs on the speed of acquisition and learning.  So don't worry if you learn slow, because if you are really determined, you will eventually learn, but it might take time.  Remember, it's on the speed and the style of learning.

After about 120 hours of language sessions and students have achieved some level of proficiency, teachers should be more creative in teaching and must use different media.  Traditional methods like dialogues, grammar sessions, games, might not be interesting to the students anymore.  Students need to be challenged and exposed to a more complex type of activity.  An example of this media would be video clips.  It is adviseable to start with short ones with contents that are simple at first.   


Why are videos effective?  First,  learners can see the language being used in context.   It is easy for learners to imagine and correlate ideas, expressions, vocabularies if they can see the context that they are used in.  Second, videos are moving 3D materials.  Teachers won't need to use traditional pictures, chalk and board in presenting and discussing the lesson.   Third, videos are practical and more realistic.  Learners will be able to experience the situation vicariously when they are watching it.  

Here's a short clip from a Visayan drama entitled:  "Giuhaw sa Pagmahal." It can be loosely translated to "Hungry for Love." Listen and watch it 2 times.  Try to understand the gist of the video clip.  Watch it again and  list down the words you know, the words that you hear and try to form the story line (you can replay the clip many times).  Now, listen to it, without watching the clip.   If there are grammar questions, you can ask an experienced language teacher to assist you.   So go ahead and try it.  

1 comment:

  1. It seems silly, but watching foreign movies and television shows really is a great way to get a better grasp of whatever language you're trying to learn. Once I finally pass TEFL and start teaching English, I'll be sure to share all my favorite English movies with my students :)

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