As I was reading different sources to make this post, somewhere in a farthest corner of my mind a memory was triggered. Then after some thinking I finally remembered what it was. When I was still studying at the University, in the very first semesters a group of my course mates and myself, were asked to participate as volunteers in a Thesis project about the use of Videos in the EFL class. The researcher asked us to commit for two hours twice a week in order to be part of the research. During those sessions we were given some vocabulary words, and after discussing them, we would watch parts of a movie and we were asked to identify those words within the movie dialogues. I don’t remember exactly the details but one thing was sure, we had a wonderful time and we actually learned a lot.
This happened many years ago, when we didn’t even dreamed of using the technology available today and when the teaching of English as a foreign language was based on very traditional and outdated methods.
While I was remembering all this I couldn’t avoid thinking how much ahead of his time that researcher was, and how proud of himself he should be feeling nowadays, knowing that he sure was on the right track.
According to many authors, Videos, are considered one of the most motivating tools that can be used differently in the EFL classroom, distant learning sites, self-study and evaluation situations, for they express and communicate ideas, feelings, and messages that otherwise will be difficult to express with words.
Among some of the advantages in the use of this resource are that they show our students real authentic life situations they provide excellent opportunities to create communicative activities, they can also be used to practice pronunciation, as they are a good source of authentic listening material, they are attractive and therefore help trigger the student’s imagination.
Stepleski (1987) states, “a rich and exciting source of video software for EFL/ESL classes is authentic material. Authentic video material, especially that which represents what goes on in a non ELT environment, designed for its entertaining value rather than language teaching is a rich and exciting source of video for instruction in ESL and EFL.”
Some ways of obtaining or borrowing videos is through the different possibilities the internet offers, being YOUTUBE one of the most popular. However, there is also the possibility of making your own custom made video by using the Windows Movie Maker program.
This last one offers the EFL teacher the choice of creating and adapting the movie to the student’s personal context and needs.
I have myself experienced the use of this program to create a project for my class and had a blast not only using it but being able to use my imagination and creativity in the process bein able to create my own contextualized video and then uploading it to the YOUTUBE channel I created. The idea of using it to teach in my class to my students is a very thrilling one and now I am looking forward to creating many more.
Watch this very funny and creative video and think of different ways of using it in your EFL class.
I know I have already though of many uses I would give to it in my class, and I can predict it will sure be a success.