For this session, we all created our own videos and considered ways in which they can be used as an ELT material. I think videos are an effective way to capture students’ attention. Based on my experiences, students are much more interested in videos than any other teaching material. As it is discussed in McGrath’s book, walking into the class and saying: ‘Good morning. Open your books at page 37’ is not the best way to capture the attention of a group of learners, and many experienced teachers use ‘ warm-up’ activities for this reason. Videos can be used as ‘warmers’ to capture the interests of students. Moreover, learning can be more fun through videos and they can also provide light relief when learners are tired (the ‘wet Friday afternoon effect’).
I shot four videos in Turkey. Prior to shooting them, I planned them and decided what to shoot, when to shoot (forecast the weather) and how to use it as an ELT material. I recorded each video with a hand-held camera and I didn’t use a tripod. After watching the videos, I realized that If I had used the tripod, they would have been more high in quality as I could have reduced the camera shake. I used stable shots and avoided zooms not to distract learners or people watching the video. Finally, I edited the videos in Windows Movie Maker , added some music to make them more effective and uploaded them to YouTube.
As I said in my previous posts, language learning materials could be anything. They could be coursebooks, newspapers, food packages and a YouTube video as well. The thing that needs to be considered is the goal of the material. With this video, I aim to teach imperatives. As a warmer, I will ask students to watch the video which shows the steps of making a traditional Turkish food called ‘gozleme’. Then, I will explain its recipe and try to focus students on the imperative form of the verbs. Finally, I will ask students to write about their traditional or favourite food. At this production stage, student will not only learn about imperatives but also practice discourse markers like firstly,secondly,finally etc.
I aim to use my second video in a skills lesson (speaking and writing). As a pre-watching activity, I will show the painting below that is highly related to the video and ask the students to discuss what they see in the painting and address them questions like ‘what can be around?’ ,’what do people do around the clock tower?’ etc. With this pre-watching activity, they will probably be more interested in the video while watching as they may want to check their guesses whether they are correct or not.
Here is the video I recorded in Izmir, the 3rd biggest city in Turkey,.
I will use this video as a warmer for the more extended activities like speaking or writing.After watching the video, I will ask the students to talk about it with their partners and then tell their hometown to each other. I may also use it in a writing class where I can ask students to write their hometown or the city they want to live in.
videos 3 & 4
In almost every coursebook, there is a unit aiming to teach hobbies and some collocations like play + sports or musical instrument. After watching, I will ask students to talk about their hobbies and address questions like ‘Do they play any musical instrument?’ If yes, which one? or ‘which musical instrument do they like listening to most and why?’. Apart from hobbies, I may also use these videos while talking about feelings, especially the second one because it is more focused. I will ask questions like ‘How do they feel while listening to it’, ‘When do they listen to music? (happy,sad etc.)’.
As videos are meta-materials, ’empty’ pedagogical procedures, the teacher decides on the nature of the input and applies procedure to it (Tomlinson 2011:385). This can also be seen in the examples above. The teacher may use one video in a speaking class and the same video in a writing class, as well. The important thing is setting the objective of a lesson and apply appropriate activities to it.
McGrath, I . (2002) Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Tomlinson, B. (ed). (2011) Materials Development in Language Teaching. (2nd ed) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.