SkypeRead: Movie read-through for language learners
TESS: Do you know what your problem is?
DANNY: I only have one?
Ocean’s Eleven (Warner Bros., 2001)
The scene in Ocean’s Eleven where Danny confronts Tess, his ex-wife, in the restaurant of the Bellagio hotel and casino is a wonderful bit of cinema.
The emotions of the characters are highly complex. Danny — who has just been released from prison — still loves Tess and wants her back. Tess, on the other hand, hates Danny. But, deep down, she still loves him too. She’s also terrified, because her new husband — Terry Benedict, the ruthless owner of the Bellagio — is about to arrive at any moment. Things are complicated for Danny as well. He’s secretly planning to steal a hundred and fifty million dollars from Benedict.
My ten-year-old son Kai and his friends don’t have crazes in the same way that we did as kids. We had crazes for everything, becoming obsessed by roller-skating, paper planes, conkers, skipping, marbles, hopscotch, spinning tops, catapults and tiddlywinks just to name a few. There was even a craze for knitting one year. There were also crazes for collecting things; cards, stamps, figurines from cereal boxes, beer mats, stickers. You name it and it was probably a craze at some time or other. Battled over, swapped and just as soon dropped, these were the lifeblood of our playtime. I guess that three weeks was the average length of a craze but during those three weeks you couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t going to last forever. Some crazes were seasonal, while others cropped up randomly. We were all over them like locusts while they lasted. During a craze we ate, slept and breathed nothing else. In some ways I guess I haven’t changed.
We can take in a lot of information very fast just by looking. It’s why video is so helpful to language learners. Audio recordings provide the words, but videos take the blindfolds off. We get information on how old people are, what they’re wearing, their facial expressions, their stance, their gestures. And crucially we get context. (more…)
Back in the sepia-tinged days of 2010 when I was still very much finding my way around blogs and Twitter, I was virtually introduced to Barbara and she kindly offered me the chance to do a guest post here on Teaching Village about how I used PowerPoint in class. 18 months on, we again get the chance to collaborate as part of the EVO 2012 Digital Storytelling for Young Learners team along with some other fantastic educators, namely Shelly Terrell, Özge Karaoğlu, Esra Girgin, Jennifer Verschoor, Michelle Worgan, and Sabrina De Vita (full details are included at the end of this post). (more…)
Deciding where to send your child to school is arguably one of the hardest decisions a parent has to make. My 4 year old daughter attends a regular school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The school is not bilingual and offers English as a compulsory subject.
I have been speaking in English to my daughter since she was born. She understands the language and feels very confident. Children at school even thought she came from “Disneyland” because she was fluent in English. (more…)
I’m always looking for ways to add a “thinking” dimension to class activities, and if I can do that with a lot of speaking, and reading, and writing practice then I’m a happy teacher indeed! (more…)
Barrett (2004) defines e-portfolios as “digital stories of deep learning”. Working on the e-portfolios improves students’ learning, and fosters their learner autonomy so that they can feel responsibility for their own learning. Besides, e-portfolios are “inherently motivational” as discussed by Barker (2005). Students do lots of work, like writing essays and keeping vocabulary notebooks. Nonetheless, all their work is separate, and we as teachers can utilize the e-portfolio as a collective tool for collaborative learning (Figure 1), and encourage our students to prepare ‘learning e-portfolios’ which are described as a “classroom-by-classroom phenomenon” by Helen Barrett (2011). I believe e-portfolios should not be developed to assess students like a test but to help them improve their learning. Furthermore, Barrett (2004) holds the view that adding technology to portfolios makes it collaborative and e-portfolios should promote collaboration. (more…)
I taught English in South Korea for three years, and during that time, I was exposed to many different methods for teaching English as a Foreign Language. However, in much of South Korea, learning English is valued as more than a foreign language. Looking at many street signs in South Korea, one would find English along with Hangul (Korean). In fact, due to the large amount of trade between Korea and the United States, many companies require employees to take an exam proving fluency in English in order to be hired or promoted. In these ways, one can see that many Koreans value knowing English as a second language, not a foreign language.