Библиографическое описание:

Асадуллина Л. И., Дусеев И. Р. Teaching speaking through feature films // Молодой ученый. — 2015. — №11. — С. 1244-1247.

Nowadays it is widely believed that the main teacher’s role is to support the learners in developing their communicative competence. Hence the major objectives must be stated. Firstly, the teacher should encourage the learners to have confidence in their own system and exploit it for communicative activities. Secondly, the teacher should encourage the learners to compensate for the gaps in their second language knowledge by using communication strategies. Thirdly, communicative effectiveness should be given priority over formal accuracy when evaluating the learners and their development. According to Katchen [1] textbooks usually do not teach for instance small talk and conversational interaction. Thus, films can be an effective way to motivate the learners to develop their oral skills, since movies usually present the most current and real language with for instance different types of fashionable words or expressions. In addition, it is very common that films invoke feelings, opinions and create discussion. This usually helps the teacher to provide the students with reasonable discussion topics. Some tasks focused on oral skills and based on a film could be for instance group discussions about the topic with the learners’ own opinions, a debate, re-acting a scene of a film or acting an alternative ending to the film. Mishan [2] also mentions the ’image-sound skim’ which means that the learners are encouraged to mention some images or sounds from the movie that particularly struck them and what feelings they evoked. This is a useful way to find out the learners’ immediate reactions, since usually the film is still ’working’ on their minds and the responses are rather immediate. However, according to Katchen it is possible to build up a whole university level listening and speaking course by using DVD films as the main course material. Even though this type of course was found out to be rather time-consuming, the feedback from the students was rather positive and the lessons were versatile and interesting. Thus, using films in teaching oral skill in the EFL classroom is absolutely worth trying and can be motivating for both the teacher and the learners as long as teachers follow accepted standards of choosing films: choosing the right film for a particular level of students. Thus, finding an appropriate feature film is one of the most useful things that a teacher can do. Arcario [3] suggests that comprehensibility is a major criterion in selecting a video language-learning purposes. It is important to choose scenes that balance dialog with a high degree of visual support, appropriate speech delivery, clear picture and sound, and standard accent. Sometimes the storyline might be appealing to students, but the enunciation, speed and accent make it very difficult to understand. Using the wrong film in the wrong way can lead to utter frustration. Student may end up confused, depressed and convinced they will never understand «real» English [4]. Viewing films could easily turn into a frustrating experience for learners who might give up this stimulating tool for English learning.

The appropriateness of content and the comfort level of students need to be taken into account in the selection process. Films with explicit sex, gratuitous violence and excessive profanity should probably be ruled out. However, films with minor scenes of sex, violence and profanity should be skipped and fast forwarded past whatever may be deemed offensive.

As far as student motivation and interest are concerned, entertaining films are sometimes enjoyable and relevant to learners' appreciation of popular culture. Dramatic tension and good acting surely will make students forget about language and focus more closely on the plot. Recently released films are more appealing to students than classic ones (preferably within the last fifteen years and with a notable box office success), even though old films are by and large inoffensive.

Choosing films that are age- and culture-appropriate and suitable for both genders is also important. Romances, romantic comedies, and less-violent action movies with relatively simple plots and subplots are also good choices for college students.

The length of viewing time in the whole-film approach is quite different from existing language-based video-teaching approaches. For more proficient students, it is better to show a two-hour movie in two class periods. It serves as good intensive listening training. When students are attracted and deeply absorbed by the story, they do appreciate the continuity their teacher allows. For low-level learners, usually one class period is recommended since the problem of overload and intensive concentration is required while watching a movie.

To support the theoretical recommendations on using movies in English teaching process the author of this article suggests observing her experience of the method following the principles mentioned above.

So, an American drama film “Philadelphia” written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington was chosen to discuss the problem of work discrimination with the 2nd year students to the extent of “Work&Jobs” classes.

As a pre-viewing pair-work activity the discussion of the following questions based on the background knowledge and students’ prediction was suggested. (Worksheet 1)

Worksheet 1

Pre-viewing activity 1

1          In pairs, discuss the following questions and then present your ideas to the class. Use your background knowledge.

1)         What is discrimination? What types of discrimination do you know? Use specific details to support your answer.

2)         What can people be discriminated for at work?

3)         What are the consequences of discrimination?

4)         What advice can you give to these people?

 

Students were also suggested reading the following plot summary to define the highlighted key words of the film. (Worksheet 2)

Worksheet 2

Pre-viewing activity 2

2 Before watching it, read the plot summary and explain the meaning of the words in bold.

This is the first major movie to deal with the subject of AIDS. It is about a Philadelphia lawyer, Andy Beckett, who is fired from his job after he starts to become sick. The law firm where he works claims that they fired Andy because he was no longer a good lawyer, but Andy is convinced that the real reason he was fired is because his bosses found out that he had AIDS.

In the United States, it is illegal to fire somebody simply because they have a disease. Andy therefore decides to sue (file a lawsuit) against his former bosses for illegally firing him. For Andy and his family, the lawsuit will come to represent a major fight against prejudice, and thus a fight for justice. In many ways, this film is as much about Joe Miller, Andy's African-American lawyer, as it is about Andy himself. At first, Joe refuses to work for Andy, in large part because he is himself prejudiced against both homosexuals and people with AIDS. But eventually Joe comes to realize that the discrimination Andy faces is both illegal and unethical, just as it is with discrimination against blacks. He agrees to take Andy's case, and over the course of an exhausting trial, sets out to prove that Andy was fired not because he was a bad lawyer, but because he was a victim of illegal discrimination.

 

As a while-viewing activity a True/False task was suggested on one of the film episodes. (Worksheet 3)

Worksheet 3

While-viewing activity 1

1 Read the sentences below. Then watch the episode of the video. As you watch, decide whether each statement is true or false. Write T (true) or F (false).

1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Andy and Joe don’t know each other.

_____________

2)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Andy hasn’t been to other lawyers before.

_____________

3)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Andy had stolen an important document.

_____________

4)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The managing board blamed Andy for being irresponsible.

_____________

5)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Joe said that the managing board fired Andy for being incompetent.

_____________

6)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Joe agrees to be Andy’s lawyer.

_____________

 

To develop the discussion and to introduce the new vocabulary one more activity was introduced after watching the episode for the second time. (Worksheet 4)

Worksheet 4

While-viewing activity 2

2          Explain the meaning of the following phrases:

 

1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

I’m seeking representation.

I was summoned to a meeting.

Something’s come over you lately, Andy.

You nearly blew the entire case.

I was sabotaged.

I’m sorry about what happened. It’s a bitch, you know.

2)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

3)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

4)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

5)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

6)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

To provide the detailed comprehension of the film the following two activities were conducted. (Worksheet 5)

Worksheet 5

While-viewing activities 3 and 4

3          Answer the following questions.

 

1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

What is the reason of Andy’s dismissal according to the Managing Board?

What was Andy’s idea about his being dismissed?

How many lawyers has Andy addressed before he came to Joe?

How do you think, will Andy give up his idea of suing his former managers?

Do you see the case in Andy’s dismissal?

Should Andy have informed his colleagues and managers about his illness?

2)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

3)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

4)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

5)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

6)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

4 Fill in the gaps while watching the episode.

Joe: It will only take a minute. Charles Wheeler. How are you doing? A summons for you. Take a look at it. Dr. J., you are the best. If 1____________________, just give me a call. See you in court.

Dr.J.: What’s up?

Charles Wheeler: Regarding Andy, I want to know everything about his personal life. Does he 2__________ those pathetic bars? What other homosexual 3_________ does he go to? What deviant groups does he secretly belong to? What is it, Bob?

Bob: Let’s make a settlement offer.

Charles Wheeler: Bob, Andy brought AIDS into our offices, into our men’s room. He brought AIDS to our 4___________________!

Walter Kenton: We ought to be suing him.

Bob: Show some 5______________.

Charles Wheeler: We gave him Highline. Did Beckett say, “I won’t be able to function to the best of my ability?” Now, 6_________________ I conferred upon him, — Andrew Beckett proposes to haul me into court. To sling 7_____________ at me. To call me a 8______ in full view of the Philadelphia judicial establishment.

Walter Kenton: Beckett doesn’t want to go to court.

Bob: A jury might 9__________ him.

Charles Wheeler: Wait a minute.. He was fired for 10_________________, not because he was AIDS. Did you know he was sick?

Walter Kenton: Did you, Bob?

Bob: No… not really.

 

As a round-up for the while-viewing stage students were asked to re-dub the episode with the sound turned -off.

The post-viewing stage included the discussion of the questions to encourage students speaking and to create the atmosphere of completion. (Worksheet 6)

Worksheet 6

Post-viewing activity 1

1          Discuss the following questions.

·                    Why did Joe agree to take Andy's case after first refusing to do so?

·                    Why was it fairly obvious that Andy's law firm fired him because he had AIDS, and not because he was incompetent, as they claimed?

·                    Is discrimination against people with AIDS as bad a problem now as it was a few years ago? What about this situation in your country?

·                    Should it be illegal to discriminate against homosexuals? Blacks? People with AIDS? Any ethnic, religious or linguistic minority? Is it? What about your country?

 

To sum it up, it becomes obvious that DVD feature films provide enjoyable language learning opportunities for students if the teacher chooses appropriate length films, either complete one or segments, which are purposeful and tailored to students' learning needs and proficiency level. A teacher might work at cross-purposes, and aim overtly at different aspects of language. Authentic feature films are a rich source of instructional materials that provide examples and content in oral communication. Moreover, with each successive attempt, by using modified guidelines and increasing teaching experience, teaching DVD feature films turns into a rewarding experience for both teachers and students whose enthusiasm become evident. When students are provided with well-structured tasks and activities designed to promote active viewing and stimulate involvement for making the most of learning opportunities of movies, there is no doubt that feature films are the most stimulating and enjoyable learning materials for the E-generation. [5]

 

References:

 

1.         Katchen, J.E. 2003. Teaching a Listening and Speaking Course with DVD Films: Can It Be Done? In H. C. Liou, J. E. Katchen, and H. Wang (Eds.), Lingua Tsing Hua. Taipei: Crane, 221–236. Retrieved from: http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen/professional/festschrift.htm.

2.         Mishan, F. 2004. Designing authenticity into language learning materials. Bristol: Intellect Books. Retrieved from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/jyvaskyla/Doc?id=10073901&ppg=1.

3.         Arcario, P. 1992. «Criteria for selecting video materials» in S. Stempleski & P. Arcario (eds), Video in second language teaching: Using, selecting and producing video for the classroom (pp.109–121). Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

4.         Doye, C.1998. «Films for self-study». Modern English Teacher, Vol.7.No.4, 1998.

5.         King J. Using DVD feature films in the EFL classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.eltnewsletter.com/back/February2002/art882002.htm

6.         Асадуллина Л. И. Жанр ситуационной комедии в обучении иностранному языку (на примере ситкома «Выбирайте выражения») [Текст] / Л. И. Асадуллина, И. Р. Дусеев // Молодой ученый. — 2015. — № 10.

7.         Асадуллина Л. И. Компетенции преподавателя вуза в смешанном обучении [Текст] / Л. И. Асадуллина, И. Р. Дусеев // Молодой ученый. — 2015. — № 10.

8.         Асадуллина Л. И., Диденко А. В. Средства электронной коммуникации в обучении иностранному языку//Филологические науки. Вопросы теории и практики. 2010. № 1–2. С. 14–17.

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