Can Jackie Chan teach English? I like watching films – it’s one my favourite hobbies. I particularly love watching Japanese films, and I often watch them without English subtitles, which has helped my Japanese ability no end. Using films and video to teach English is something that many English teachers like to do. So how can you use DVDs in class, and what benefits does it have?
Making use of film
1. Get your students to make notes or fill in a questionnaire while watching
2. Get each student to find a specific piece of information in the film
3. Discuss the use of film in class
4. Leave time for discussion afterwards
DVDs in TEFL
Over at ESL-Galaxy, Futonge Kisito has written an article on the use of video. The tips there include:
1. Turn off the sound and get students to create the dialogue
2. One section of students can describe what is happening to another group
3. The ‘what happens next’ game
ESL Galaxy also has a number of useful worksheets on using certain films in class, including Rush Hour. So, yes, Jackie Chan can teach English.
A fellow teacher recently told me how he was using music videos in class to draw out opinions and teach adjectives. School children love music videos (generally), and it really engages them when you use something as engrossing as visual images in the lesson.
It’s wise to use video with caution in the classroom, of course, and not to display anything that might be deemed offensive. DVDs are not at an alternative to traditional methods of instructions, but it can be used to good effect in the right situation.