Welcome to Language Latte: a conversation about teaching world languages. This is Becky Morales from Kid World Citizen, and I am your host. Today we are talking about creating video lessons to use in the classroom to provide comprehensible input, teach kids about culture, or focus on a specific use of grammar in a flipped classroom. Treat yourself to a latte, and settle in, so we can start our chat!
In every episode of the Language Latte podcast, I examine issues that world language teachers face when trying to help our students achieve proficiency.
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In this episode we are looking at the phenomenal tech tools available for teachers to make their own videos. Teachers around the world are getting creative and producing clips to use with their students. We’ll examine 10 different platforms and methods to mix audio, images, and videos for our learners, and then we will speak with Angie Torre, who’s going to share how she recorded conversations for her students to learn from.
Last episode, I laid out several recent studies that looked at the benefits of using media in class with language learners. Instead of repeating the research, I’d like to talk today about how we can create our own interactive videos to engage our students and cover specific topics and themes.
Have you ever made your own video lessons to use in your world language classes? Tweet me @kidworldcitizen and let me know what kinds of videos and activities you’ve done in your classes, or join in the discussion in our Language Latte facebook group.
Like I said in the last episode, media truly is one of the most valued tools in language teaching and learning. When we wield high interest videos, we can harness the power of curiosity, even in reserved students.
Why should we be making video lessons?
You might have heard of Dr James Asher, who developed the Total Physical Response. In 1977, Asher published some astonishing figures on listening. He reported an estimate that average children, by age 6, have a spent a minimum of 17,520 hours listening to their native language. Again, that’s over 17,000 hours by age 6. By the end of a full year in our classes, students might have listened to around 320 hours of the target language (which is a very generous estimate). If we accept that listening is the foundation of speaking, and we listen to understand meaning, how can we increase the amount of comprehensible listening our students get?
Obviously, we are standing at the front of the classroom, speaking in a way that hopefully is comprehensible for our students. Whether we are native speakers or not, this is only one source of possible listening opportunities. Today we’re looking at how we can use video lessons- either in class or assigned videos for home- to give students another chance to understand the target language.
It’s not just any listening that we are trying to increase, right? The quality of the speech has to be clear, normal in speed and tempo, and it would be ideal if there are a variety of accents and voices. And this desire, to show their students specific functions and structures of language, in a comprehensible format, with themes that are relevant and appealing, is why many teachers are making videos lessons of their own.
Studies show that the use of visuals overall can help learners to predict information, infer ideas and analyze the world that is brought into the classroom via the use of video instruction. In a teaching or testing situation video can help enhance clarity and give meaning to an auditory text; it can create a solid link between the materials being learned and the practical application of it; the video can act as a stimulus or catalyst to help integrate materials or aspects of the language.
When using videos with comprehension question, be sure that students are able to answer questions based solely upon what they see instead of what they hear. Otherwise it is possible to imply that practitioners are measuring their visual literacy and not their ability to comprehend aural input. Look for videos that contain varying patterns: whether it’s videos of real life situations, dialogues, narratives, simulated interviews, story-telling formats. The video should grab the attention of your students and hold their interest in order to be effective.
10 Tools to Make Video Lessons for Class
Last week Sarah Breckley gave us 6 outstanding activities to do with media in class, and now I’m going to share 10 different tools you can use to incorporate videos lessons for your students. There are 3 sets of tools:
- First, tools that help us adapt authentic videos online
- Second, platforms that have video lessons made and shared by language teachers
- Finally, tech tools to make your own videos for your students
To begin, let’s look at 3 ways that help us adapt authentic videos that already exist online. You see a funny commercial on facebook in the target language, or you’re watching a drama on netflix in the target language and you stop and think “This would be perfect for my classes, if it weren’t so fast!”
Slowing Down Audio for Better Comprehension
There are three ways to slow down the audio slightly to make the video more comprehensible:
First, Windows Media Player has a play speed setting, so that even beginners can listen to authentic recordings and videos. While playing the track, right click in the player window, expand “enhancements” and then select the play speed that your students can handle.
The speed of YouTube videos can often be adjusted as well by clicking on the settings symbol at the bottom bar of the video.
You can also add a Chrome extension to your browser that will allow you to adjust the speed of any video on a web site. I will include the link to the Video Speed Controller extension that I’ve used. Using this extension, you can stream videos from netflix in your browser for example, and slow them down appropriately.
Already Existing Video Lessons
Onto the second group of tech tools. Many teachers are flipping their classroom and having students view grammar instruction at home, in order to spend more class time on communicative activities and more meaningful practice. The Flipped Classroom will definitely be featured in a future podcast! This second pair of tools are platforms that have video lessons made and shared by language teachers around the world.
The first platform is only for English video lessons: on iSL Collective you can sort the videos by grammar, vocab, lesson type, or student type. Teachers here share lessons they create related to youtube and vimeo videos in English. There is a lot of content here!
The second platform is brand new. I have been speaking with a French teacher who has created a free listening and speaking web site specifically for language teachers. The platform is designed for teachers to share lessons they make for videos. Teachers around the world can use videos from facebook, from youtube, or they can use their own videos or mp3s. The teachers build questions with computer grade, written or spoken responses. The whole site is categorized by language, difficulty, and theme, and the goal is to give students authentic, comprehensible input. The platform is called Fluent Key– right now it is in the beta stage, so I will include the link in the show notes for you to have a look.
Making Your Own Video Lessons
The third and final group of 7 tech tools help teachers make their own videos to use with students, so that we can convert listening into an active process, not a passive state.
Adobe Spark Video is outstanding!!! Combine motion graphics, music, text, and photos, and record audio to produce a short, animated, narrated video for students.
Edpuzzle is a favorite platform for teachers to create interactive videos for their students. Take existing videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, or upload your own. Add your voice and questions within the video.
Edpuzzle tracks if your students are watching the videos, how many times they listen to each section, and if they are understanding the content!
Here is a lesson of Shopping for Clothes in Spain, that originally comes from YouTube, but now has embedded questions for your students to answer.
Vizia is a free video editor that allows you to ask questions, give multiple-choice and short answer quizzes, and collect feedback or opinions through the videos you make.
Clips is a free iOS app that allows teachers and students to use filters and backgrounds and make and edit quick movies. This app creates animated captions and subtitles too. I’m embedding a creative student example video in the show notes that was created in Clips. Check out the hashtag #classroomclips on Twitter to see a plethora of examples.
This is a good example of the learning achievements (so far) for the “new” Y9 Ss. They are surprising! Muy bien hecho creating characters, because the language is a path towards wonderful stories.
👏 #his_learning @HIS_MFL #AppleTeacher#mfltwitterati #ClassroomClips pic.twitter.com/9TwutIoTwp
— Andrés J Ortega (@MFLOrtega) October 15, 2018
Voki is an educational tool that allows users to create their very own customizable talking character. You can choose historical figures, cartoons, animals, or make yourself into an animation. Then you give your Voki a voice by recording into the microphone or uploading an audio file. The basic package on Voki is free- as long as you’re using it as a teacher, and not getting an account for all of your students. Once you add in classes, the price does go up from $40/year to $100/year.
Paid Apps for Making Video Lessons
This last two are not free, but look very professional. First we have Videoscribe, an app that allows you to create videos with text and pictures, that looks like someone is writing out the words with a sharpie onto a white posterboard. You have probably seen a video like this- it is very easy to use and produces a high quality video, but the membership is about $75/year.
The second is VoiceThread, which has many, many features for $79/year. Many teachers use it to add audio to power points.
There you have 10 tools and ways to create videos to use in your language classes. Surely there are dozens of other tools? Have you ever made videos for your students? Which platforms or editing programs did you use? Tweet me @kidworldcitizen or join the conversation in our popular Language Latte facebook group. If you have a favorite video you’ve made or used from another teacher, please share!
Interview with Angie Torre
My guest today has made numerous videos for her students using iMovie, Adobe Spark Post, and VLLO.
Angie Torre majored in French and Art and got her Master’s in Spanish. During her 31 years of public instruction she taught Spanish I-AP and French I-IV. She has served as a Consulting Teacher to help new teachers develop curriculum, create lesson plans and address classroom management concerns. In addition, Angie has presented numerous workshops on lesson-planning, classroom management, TPR story-telling, and the teaching of grammar in an immersion classroom. During the five years that she taught AP Spanish Language and Culture, all of her students passed the AP exam, except one.
1) Tell me about yourself (your background, experiences with languages, what you’re doing now)
2) Today we are talking about creating videos to use in class. You prefer to make your own videos- can you talk about how you shelter the language to make it comprehensible for learners?
3) What are your videos about that you make? What sort of themes do you use in your videos?
Links to videos Angie mentioned in the podcast:
Los adjetivos: (This is the one with my very fit neighbor)
4) What sorts of activities do you do with the videos either as you are playing them or immediately after?
5) Do you have any tips on making videos, in case other teachers would like to try it?
6) Where can listeners find you if they’d like to reach out and learn more?
Canning-Wilson, Christine (2000). “Practical Aspects of Using Video in the Foreign Language Classroom.” The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VI, No. 11.
Learning another language through actions. Los Gatos, CA: Sky Oaks Production.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired to incorporate a video this week in class- or maybe even to produce your own video lesson!
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To never miss an episode, subscribe on itunes, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Language Latte is made possible by OneWorldTrek.com: language and cultural immersion travel for teachers in Mexico. It was so nice to meet you all. I look forward to chatting next time, and hopefully collaborating in the future! Until then, ciao!