Reflective video is an element of reflective practice I have waxed lyrical about for a long time. The ability to see oneself and analyse how we come across when we communicate, and if we are capable of transmitting a clear and succinct message that learners and/or attendees at a workshop/seminar can comprehend.
I was asked to make some ‘short’ videos about the future of teaching and learning, if technology influences and shapes how we communicate, and therefore the teaching and learning of languages.
Here is a trial run of one of the videos – it was supposed to be 2.5 – 3 minutes long. Reflective practice note to self – get to the point and make your message clear.
Here is the video of my talk at the IATELF BESIG Conference: Using video to help develop oral presentation skills using mobile devices, held in Sitges this weekend; 13-15 November 2015.
My talk centred around the use of video to encourage learners to become reflective practitioners and engage in their own reflective practice.
- Learners brainstorm or ‘thought shower’ the features of a good presentation.
- The features are boarded open-class so all students have the same ‘checklist’.
- Students mark features from the checklist that they do/don’t do.
- They give the presentation and are recorded by a classmate/colleague so they own the content which enables unlimited replay.
- Each student assesses their performance against the checklist to compare what they think they do and what they really do, and sets some personal objectives to improve from the features.
- They then partake in reflective practice to think about what they do, and consider how they can make improvements.
- They use a reflective cycle to guide them on their journey of thinking and doing to improve their presentation/speaking skills for the objective set out.
The main principles of my reflective cycle are:
I shared some research I have done an EAP context, but have also used this with students preparing for Cambridge exams, and business English classes in 1:1 and group contexts.
I have already received some very positive feedback from some of the attendees at my talk, so let me know if you try this and how it works.
Today I gave a workshop at Oxford Telf Barcelona about using video to develop oral presentation skills using mobile devices. It was a lot of fun and I learnt a lot from the teachers who attended. The great thing about workshops for me, is sharing ideas and brainstorming ideas for new things to try in class.
When I saw this M&M Eat the hostage Commercial on YouTube before my selected song came on, I couldn’t resist using it in class for a fun script writing activity. Here are the steps I followed for my M&M Eat the hostage Commercial Script writing activity:
- Write hostage on the board, elicit its meaning meaning, other forms and synonyms: To take hostage, To hold hostage, Prisoner, Victim, Captive.
- In groups students discuss any hostage situations they have seen on films, and the motivations for them.
- Feedback open class and board any emergent language.
- Tell students they are going to watch a 30 second hostage situation clip without the sound, and ask them to concentrate on the events so they are able to recount together what happened.
- Play the M&M Eat the hostage Commercial without the sound.
- In groups the students discuss what happened in the advert.
- Open class students share their ideas to ensure all students have the information and the stages of the hostage situation can be boarded.
- Play the YouTube clip again without sound, for students to check back their ideas.
- In groups students write the script for the M&M Eat the hostage Commercial, and rehearse together.
- Students perform their hostage commercials with their own script in turn open class.
- Non performing groups and teacher enjoy the viewing!
- Play the original M&M Eat the hostage Commercial for students to hear the original script.
Although Bennet Miller films are not my taste they are acclaimed and there is no denying that he is a good director. I actually prefer is adverts to be fair, especially Little Miss Puffytail which is one of a series of three 30 second toilet paper ads that he has recently produced for Quilted Northern.
I recently used the Little Miss Puffytail video in class, to draw learner awareness to intonation and its relation to attitude when speaking. My students have a habit of talking in long monotone stretches of discourse, without pausing or chunking, so I also wanted them to consider these features.
Here are the stages of the activity:
- Show the first frame of the advert on pause. Students describe the picture using as much specific vocabulary as possible, with the teacher providing any unknown lexis. (This is particularly useful for the Cambridge speaking test part 2 where students are asked to describe 2 pictures).
- Students predict what they think is going to happen in the video, where the video was shot, and for what purpose. They can also talk about the plot and any other characters they think may appear.
- The first playback is silent for students to see if their predictions were correct. They usually detect that it is an advert. I get them to script it out using their imagination!
- The second playback is with sound – subtitles can be turned on if desired. Once it has been viewed, the students brainstorm adjectives for how Miss Puffytail is feeling. I get them to think about why she is feeling this way, and how they were able to detect this . This highlights the point that they were able to discover the feeling from her solemn intonation.
- Open class, attitude, intonation and pausing are discussed, and the teacher boards phrases from the ad with the intonation and pauses marked in red.
- The students do the same to their scripts, but they do it firstly for feeling sad, and secondly for feeling happy and enthusiastic. Teacher monitors to help with doubts.
- Students practise both versions of their scripts together in pairs and record one sad and one enthusiastic version using their mobile phones.
- The students playback the recordings to listen for the differences in intonation in the two attempts – hopefully there are some!
I found this was an interesting and useful activity for the learners to make them aware of the significance of intonation in the delivery of what we say, and to encourage them to vary their intonation when they speak. It created a lot of interaction and emergent language.
I was excited and overwhelmed to be presenting at Innovate ELT in Barcelona. It was a great opportunity to learn from a lot of the big names in ELT , but there was an element of panic too.
My talk was scheduled at the same time as Scott Thornbury, Sinéad Laffan and Nick Robinson from ELTjam, so I was nervous that there would be low attendance. However, the talk directly before mine was from Kieran Donaghy for which the room was full to the brim, and that’s how it stayed, Kieran included!
My talk centred around using video in the classroom and the creation of video on mobile devices to develop oral skills. The main points were:
- The affordances of m-learning
- The importance of action research for students
- How to guide students to become reflective practitioners
- The reflective cycle
Here is My Innovate ELT Video #iELT15
Here is a clip from the talk I gave at Oxford Tefl in Barcelona in February about using mobile phones for teaching and learning. I really enjoyed sharing my ideas with the attendees and all the feedback and interaction which helped me for giving further talks on the subject, and presenting my ideas in general.
Seeing myself on film has been been invaluable for learning how I come across when presenting. I have watched the footage repeatedly for reflective practice and to observe my presentation style, and as a corrective tool to consider any changes or improvements that could be made to my presentations.
I will be sharing my ideas about the use of video for teaching learning at the Innovate ELT conference on the 9th May.
Where would we all be without WhatsApp? Free real time messaging to anywhere in the world as long as you have a wifi connection or mobile data for your phone.
Whatsapp also enables a range of multimedia learning opportunities. Just as we all have many images stored on our phones, they can be shared and used as a discussion topic ranging from an object or picture that personifies the learner, or a description of a scene. Video clips can also be shared in the same way and used as a building block for discussions, script writing, pre and post clip imaginative writing exercises and text itself can also be shared.
Available for iPhone, Android and Window Phones.
If you are experimenting with learners using the video mode of their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, I can highly recommend this app. Horizon Video Recorder allows the user to capture and create a better quality clip because no matter how your device is held, it will always film in horizontal mode allowing for a clearer image in playback mode without cutting out some of the content.
A great app that exposes learners to authentic language content through short audio and video episodes. Interactive audio scripts are available for every episode with highlighted target language. The series include “How To” say things right in different situations, “Professional Podcasts” aimed at improving English in the workplace, and a “Magazine” that tackle issues like feeding the world.
Available for Android, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.