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23 ways to use video in your Junior English lessons (Part 2)

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It’s essential to keep students engaged and interested in lesson content – our Academic Coordinator, Philip Warwick, has prepared an article on 23 ways that video can be integrated into your Junior English lessons. This is part two of three. Read part one here.

  1. Differences in a Dialogue – Write out the script for the dialogue you are going to show, but make some differences. Students watch the dialogue and try to find the differences. You can either give them the script while they watch or afterwards, your script can also contain scene descriptions and actors prompts.
  1. How Often – Hand out some high frequency phrases (or elicit them from your students), then describe the extract you are going to show them (explaining plot, scene and characters). Students put the phrases (or words) into frequency order. Finally play the extract and get students to check their answers. This is a useful noticing exercise for learners.
  1. Paper The Screen – Use post-it-notes for this activity. Cover the screen with the post-it-notes and then play a sequence (or just use a freeze frame if you prefer). Students ask Yes/No questions about what they can hear and for each ´Yes´ answer you remove a post-it-note. At the very least this gets the students speaking, if only so that they can watch the sequence without post-it-notes.
  1. Body Language – Students watch an extract that contains a lot of non-verbal communication between at least two people. They concentrate on one person and note down what that person does with their Hands(gestures), Eyes(eye contact), Movements(posture) and Face(happy/sad). They can then match some of these gestures with the dialogue or they can invent dialogue that could replace these gestures.
  1. What Happens Next?- Start playing an extract and then use the pause button. Ask students to predict what happens next (you can get students to use future forms or prediction words for every guess). Write the predictions on the white board, then continue playing the extract for your students and see if anyone guessed correctly (you can also ask students to justify why they are making these predictions based on visual or verbal clues). An alternative of this exercise is to get the students to predict what has just happened using the freeze frame and then playing the previous sequence (obviously this would enable you to exploit past forms.)
  1. Viewing Backwards – Choose an action sequence, comedy scenes are especially good. Then play the extract backwards using the Rewind button. Students then have to describe what they have seen putting the sequence into the correct order.
  1. Voice Over– Generally an animated sequence is best for this activity. Play a sequence a number of times with sound and subtitles off. Get the students to create a script for the characters in groups and then get them to perform this in front of the rest of the class. After each group has performed their script, play the sequence with sound and subtitles on. (Alternatively you can use a travel documentary and have the students create a narrative text).
  1. Which One Did You See?- Prepare a questionnaire for students based on the extract. After playing this you distribute the questionnaire and get the students to answer. At lower levels this can be as basic as ´Mark the one you heard´. Next divide the students into groups and tell them that they are going to create their own questionnaires based on the next extract. Play the extract twice with a pause in between to allow groups to discuss and write down questions. They then ask other groups the questions receiving a point for everyone that the other group couldn´t answer.
  1. Colour Game – The teacher chooses various colours and writes them on the board. Then the students watch an extract looking for colours or colour references in the script. Finally the teacher (or students in groups) asks questions to which the answer is a colour (e.g. What colour hat was the man wearing?)

Phil first started working at Embassy when there was just one school in Hastings, back in 1990 – during his time there he has worked in many roles, from teacher to head of vacation education to teacher trainer and then finally over to Embassy Summer, where he has Academic Coordinator for UK schools since 2007. 

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