My colleague Adriana had a great idea for a movie project.
As I noted here, movie projects are generally a terrible idea in the languages class. As Teri W. has famously said, “peer to peer communication is the McDonalds of language teaching.” So, how do we make good movies? Adriana cracked this one:
A) Adriana gets the kids into groups of 3 and they make films of the stories. They have written versions of the stories (which include some dialogue) and they write out more dialogue (which she edits).
B) The kids film the stories. This can be done nowadays with any smartphone. Hell, you can even edit on a smartphone.
C) the fun here is the costumes, the non-verbal stuff (gestures, faces, sets etc), the music and the editing. The language is dead simple– the kids don’t have to do much in terms of “thinking” about output.
D) they use one kid as the narrator, and between one and three kids as characters in the film. They can also “subtitle” the film with dialogue.
E) the final product has title, credits, etc, a narrator’s voiceover, dialogue, acting bla bla, and perfect Spanish that the kids find hilarious. Adriana shows them during her last 2 blocks where she has the kids watching the films– they’re mesmerised and getting awesome comprehensible input– and she pulls a kid at a time out of class and does her oral assessment.
F) You can recycle these for next time you use the stories.
Anyway, thanks Adriana (@veganadri on Twitter) for a great idea that I am gonna try to do in June.