Selecting video for language teaching
Асадуллина Л. И., Дусеев И. Р. Selecting video for language teaching // Молодой ученый. 2015. №11. С. 1261-1263.
The careful selection and sequencing of films is crucial. Depending on student proficiency levels, students' needs, and instructional and curricular objectives, a variety of film types could be used effectively in the ESL classroom. Not all films, however, are suited to all students, levels of ability, or educational objectives. 
According to Donaghy and Whitcher, the following types of video can be effectively used in language teaching:
1. Documentary excerpt — a short clip from one of these longer episodes containing bite-sized information about interesting or unusual topics and usually well supported with relevant images.
2. Interviews, featuring questions answered by one person or a variety of people. This type of video can be very effective for language skill development.
3. Talking heads — a type of video involving one person or a series of people who talk about a particular topic. Typical talking-head topics include news or political commentaries, stand-up comedy routines, ‘how tos’ where someone is demonstrating how to fix a computer, how to cook a dish, or other practical tasks. This type of video works very well if you are trying to get students to pay attention to certain vocabulary, the order of items or sequencing.
4. Animations — one of the most popular humorous video types including graphic representations in rapid sequence to create the illusion of movement. Animations often work very well for lower level classes since a lot of the storyline can be demonstrated through the graphics, leaving them open to interpretation and less dependent on language.
5. Photo montages — a combination of selected photos put in a series, usually with music in the background.
6. Music — the music video usually with the lyrics of the song that allows to design a number of activities, including viewing stills from the video and guessing the content.
7. Mini dramas, involving defined characters and a situation, can include self-contained clips from soap operas, TV episodes or anything that has a plot and a storyline that can be followed and analysed. These types of videos are particularly effective if there is a series you are writing activities for in a course book, your online lesson plan or a class. The sequencing allows you to build skills as the story gets more involved.
8. Clips from full-length feature films — short pieces of footage taken from a feature film because it's difficult to get the time or structure for showing full feature films in the classroom.
9. Short films, which sometimes are referred to more generally as videos are designed specifically to tell their story or make their point in a short amount of time. This makes them ideal for teaching purposes since whatever message the film intends to make can be extracted in this one viewing. Short films tend to have an artistic element and are usually created carefully and more deliberately by the creator.
10. Trailers, consisting of a series of short, dramatic and attention-grabbing selected can be easily and successfully exploited in language teaching.
11. Branded videos or shorts: The increasing ease of creating short moving image texts has led to new genres which can be easily and successfully exploited in language teaching. One of the most popular new genres are branded videos or shorts which are short videos or films which have been created for a brand or company. They are a fusion between advertising and entertainment. The fact that they are trying, directly or indirectly, to promote or sell something makes them superb prompts for discussion and debate.
12. Adverts can be analysed very effectively in a classroom setting and can often spur some wonderful project ideas, including counter-ads, where students have to imagine what the advert is really trying to say. 
According to Hutchings, the type of film chosen should complement one's overall instructional and curricular objectives; academically, films falling into the following categories could be considered as appropriate: documentaries, historical narratives, historical drama, educational films, social issue films, drama, mystery and suspense, animated films, and even films without narration. 
With such a wide selection of video types, it is more than likely that you will find what you are looking for in your search for just the right topic, language point or skills practice. However, the choice can also pose challenges in that you may not always know which type of video is most appropriate for your choice of activity. Keep an open mind and try an assortment to see which ones seem most suitable according to your writing aims and the flow of the material that comes before and after the video. As you are searching for videos to teach a certain language point or represent a particular topic, you will undoubtedly come across a whole range of videos that could be suitable for other points or topics.
To make selection a less daunting process, here are some general guidelines to bear in mind when choosing a video.
1. Syllabus fit — the video must be consciously integrated into the course material and the related lesson, provide presentation and/or practice of language objectives and relate in some way to the topics and/or language you are focusing on in class.
2. Language level — careful attention to level is vital if the video you're selecting is for language or skills practice.
3. Length -. Another important factor to consider when selecting a video is length.
4. Relevance and interest — consider the relevance to your students' lives, cultural backgrounds and experience.
5. Task potential — the possibility for writing accompanying tasks that are useful and appropriate should be evident.
In order to select the optimal video, you should consider how the video can be exploited for language or skills practice. As video is a visual medium, optimal educational use capitalises on the strength of its visual content. Video becomes much less effective in language learning if the task the students are asked to do depends largely on non-visual elements, so it is important to keep one eye on the visual and cultural aspects of the videos in question. Maximizing the visual elements will not only make your lesson more effective, but it will help students retain more of the content. In many cases, students establish an emotional connection with the content, sometimes without realising it, which helps even further in their language development. They are more likely to remember what they've seen and experienced if the content has had an emotional impact on them and will then be able to approach the tasks you've generated in a way that provides success. 
According to Willis, first, useful video must contain the desired linguistic material for instructional purposes. In most cases, for language courses attempting to develop communicative performance, this criterion means language that is current, useful and accurate in a corresponding situation. The video selector may find it useful to prepare in advance a comprehensive checklist of various linguistic features (specific lexicon, syntactic structures, etc.) and language functions (greetings, leave-takings, introductions, requests, instructions, etc.) which they plan to cover in the course and gauge the appropriateness and utility of various video segments by this list. Second, the video segment should be thematically interesting. This point may seem obvious at first blush, but actually entails a good deal of consideration on the part of the video selector. S/he must consider a variety of relevant variables, such as the constituency of the target audience (breakdown of age, native language(s)), proficiency level, and goal of language study, before attempting to select interesting video segments for a given course. Taking into account such factors, the selector is able to establish general thematic parameters for a specific language program. The goal of this criterion is to produce video materials that deal with subjects in which the students can best identify with the characters and the situations depicted on the screen. A related sub-point of the second criterion concerns the actual quality or production value of the video segment. The segment itself should present the viewer with some kind of discreet story, with an inherent beginning, middle and end, whether it is dramatic piece, a documentary, or an instructional «how-to» segment. Such a storyline is essential for maintaining student interest during the repeated viewings of the video segment and, thus, the successful treatment of the various topics covered in the video-based course. A natural storyline also allows for comprehension exercise potential based on the segment context as discussed below. Third, good video materials for foreign language instruction are multi-layered: that is, they require (or at least encourage) repeated viewings in order for the student to comprehend fully the content of the segment. The various «layers» may include linguistic and paralinguistic material, dramatic elements, depictions of relationships, and cultural information. Each of these textual layers may be addressed individually or in combinations through exercises designed to present, review and practice (produce) the material in the video segment. Fourth, the ideal video segment for the language classroom has a high audio/visual correlation. As mentioned above, the visual element should enhance and clarify the text by contextualizing the language nonverbally. 
Selection is further complicated by the fact that each film or videotape will dictate different types of activities, thus requiring careful previewing by the teacher. Films can be linked to a syllabus in various ways:
1. by language items,
2. by functions,
3. by thematic units.
If one is working in the context of a content-based curriculum, the subject matter of the selected film must be related. In this way, students can use previously learned information in the film-related activities, or vice versa, reflecting true-to-life demands. For example, if «cultural diversity» were the theme of an instructional unit, a film about a particular minority ethnic group or the relationships between two ethnic groups would be appropriate.
Although the use of films and videotapes in the ESL curriculum is endorsed by many professionals, and has proven to be an excellent teaching tool, their use is not without limitations. First, using such media effectively requires rather extensive teacher preparation. As overworked as most teachers are, it is difficult to find the necessary time needed for pre-viewing films, film selection, and lesson planning. Second, if one's school does not have the equipment, or has poorly serviced equipment, a film or a video component in the curriculum would be unwise. Similarly, if one's school has an inadequate film library, it may be close to impossible to select films that would justifiably and legally enhance one's syllabus. Third, this modern audiovisual technology can easily master its viewers, causing teacher and student lose sight of instructional objectives, turning both into passive and uncritical television-like viewers.  These possible pitfalls can be circumvented if one is cognizant of them and consciously attempts to avoid them.
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