Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On Time - Short Films with Spanish 4

I am thoroughly enjoying my Spanish 4 class this semester.  First, it is a small class - 15 students, which is small compared to my other classes. It's much easier than my other classes to get several interactions from each student throughout the class period.

Secondly, the majority of the students are willing to participate in discussions in Spanish, on just about any topic.  They know the expectation is to speak in Spanish and, for the most part, they do that. (see the end of the post for reason #3)

Below is how I used the short film, "On Time" by Ted Chung to draw them into a conversation in Spanish.

1.  Discussion: We talked about being able to see the future ...
- Are there advantages and disadvantages?
- What are the advantages? Not surprising, one of them said the ability to know the answers on a test is an advantage because you can the questions before you take the test. 
- What are the disadvantages?
- What would happen if 1/4 of the students at our high school could see into the future?
- How would the 3/4 that don't have the ability to see the future feel about the 1/4 that can?
More possibilities:
- Would someone that can see the future work to prevent negative things happening in his own life?  Would that consume him?
- Are there times that you wished you could have prevented something from happening but later find out it was a good thing? 
- Is there something you can share that happened that if you had known how it was going to turn out, you would change it?

...and the possibility of questions goes on and on.

2.  We watched the video, On Time by Ted Chung without sound. With no sound as interference, I was able to narrate in Spanish about what was happening, especially about the conversation the two men had.

On Time from Ted Chung on Vimeo.

3.  Then I handed them a collage of screenshots from the short film in order as the events happened.  Most (maybe even all) of the students helped to describe and retell the story. 

As is customary for me as we discuss and retell the story, I write words on the board that some of the students may not know or need to see it written to help them recall what it means.  

4. After we retold the events together as a class, I put students in groups of 3 for additional practice.

5.  In conclusion, I asked the students to list the words from the story that they feel are most useful to them.  For example: lupa (magnifying glass) was a new word for them, but they didn't choose that for the list because it isn't a word they use often in English.  They put 9 words on the list.  I'll use those words as much as possible in future discussions and in narrating the films, and eventually include them in a quiz.

Other than the photo collages, I didn't make any fancy papers to review.  They are doing a nice job reading, rereading, and using the new words in discussions that I don't think extra paperwork is necessary. 


For the third reason why I am enjoying the class...
They're great students, which explains why they are so patient with me.  I have a tendency to get distracted, easily.  But, lucky for them, it means we chat about everyday things that you would normally chat about in English, and since it is interesting to them, (at least it appears it is interesting to them), it keeps their attention, and, they are being exposed and introduced to many, many words that arise naturally in conversation.   

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