The work with video materials at foreign language classes makes the learning process enthralling and unusual, develops communication skills, helps to expand horizons, increase vocabulary and improve grammar. Video materials present learners the speech of native speakers; immerse them in a situation in which they learn the language of facial expressions and gestures, style, relationships and realities of the country where the language is spoken.
Moreover, video materials are a valuable tool at foreign language classes as they:
- stimulate and motivate learners’ interest;
- widen learners’ knowledge of the language under study;
- provide speech patterns and a model for imitation;
- show learners body and speech rhythm of people speaking a studied language;
- create a solid link between the studied materials and their practical application;
- facilitate listing as video improves the perception of foreign speech;
- foster language acquisition;
- motivate utterances;
- represent excellent material for discussion;
- increase knowledge about another culture [1, 2, 3, 4].
However, if the video is too difficult, long or boring it can discourage and demotivate learners.
Choosing video materials, a teacher should pay attention to the following criteria:
- contemporary language, relevant to the standards of the literary language;
- video must have natural pauses between sentences;
- video should match the level of learners’ language knowledge;
- video should correspond to the syllabus;
- slang expressions and exclamations should be short enough and not too difficult to understand;
- the text should not be overloaded with new words, expressions and gestures of strangers;
- video should be divided into meaningful segments, lasting no more than 10–15 minutes.
The work with video materials should be divided into three steps:
1. Before viewing:
- Read the paragraph(s) and find the words and expressions which mean “joy”, “disappointment”, etc.
- Fill in the blanks in the sentences with the given words and expressions.
- Read the paragraph(s) and explain the underlined words and expressions.
2. While viewing:
- Change the given verbs in the sentences to the form in which they are used in the video.
- Tick the expressions/idioms that are used in the video.
- Write down all the adjectives that are used in the video to describe “weather”, “travelling”, “environment”, “holiday”, etc.
- Arrange the given sentences/pictures in a logical sequence according to the video.
- (Video is paused) What do you think will happen next?
- (Video is paused) Learners are given cards with lines from the dialogue and character names. Viewing is done without sound. After watching, the learners should describe to whom most likely belong to the given lines. Then, the viewing is done with the sound and learners check their guesses.
3. Post viewing:
- Class is divided into two groups. One group watches one part of the video and another group, the other part of the video. Then they describe to each other the missing information.
- Answer the following questions ….
- Comment on the following statements using the information from the video.
- What is your attitude towards ….
- How would you change the ending of the story in the video? Why?
- “What if … ”. If you were in the situation described in video, would what you do?
- Dramatize the watched video.
- Write down a letter to the character in the video and give your advice concerning ….
Thus, the use of video materials at foreign language classes enhances the course contents, allows learners to hear the natural flow of the language, gives an enjoyable experience in language learning and promotes cultural awareness.
1. Куимова М. В., Кобзева Н. А. Advantages and disadvantages of authentic materials use in EFL classrooms // Молодой ученый. 2011. № 3–2. С. 125–127.
2. Content video in the EFL classroom. http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Furmanovsky-Videos.html (accessed May 23, 2015).
3. Practical aspects of using video in the foreign language classroom http://iteslj.org/Articles/Canning-Video.html (accessed May 23, 2015).
4. Ten task-based ESL/EFL video lessons http://iteslj.org/Lessons/McGill-VideoActivities.html (accessed May 23, 2015).