For the video session, Paul asked us to create our own videos which could be used as ELT materials in language classes. I think that we need to use every available tool to help our students in their learning process. Using audio-visual (video) materials could be a helpful tool in classrooms in Kuwait, a tool that can offer a new and interesting technique in learning: ‘video can be a very valuable tool that helps students process, remember and actively produce foreign terms’, (Danan 1992: p.524). Also, videos may help teachers, especially if they are used as ‘warm-ups’ to capture students’ attention. Moreover, the great combination of sound, image, and sometimes subtitles (text) in videos means that there is no reason why we (teachers) do not use them as a tool to teach vocabulary in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms.
For my video, prior to shooting, I planned the scenes I wanted to shoot, in short clips, and then combined them into one video (I recorded them more than once, just to make sure). Also, I considered when to shoot (off peak), and how to use the video as ELT material. To explain the process of making this video, I used my iPhone 5 for EVERYTHING, and I really mean everything. First, I shot more than 30 short clips with the iPhone 5 camera. It took me around 2 hours to do the shooting in London’s Victoria station. After that came the editing process; I used an app called ‘video editor’, which is free in the app store, to combine the short clips together. I spent almost an hour editing the video, and the length of the video is less than 4 minutes. It may not be of high quality (there is wind sound and the camera shakes) but I think it is a good start, and it gave me the confidence to try and produce similar videos in the future, because this was my first experience of producing a video for EFL classrooms. Finally, I uploaded the video onto YouTube, again using my iPhone.
It is very important to consider the aim of the material before using it in the classroom. In almost every coursebook, there is a lesson or a whole unit about transportation methods. And my aim here is to teach the vocabulary about means of transport, and to use this in meaningful sentences as a warm-up. As an activity before watching the video, I will ask the students some questions like ‘What transportation methods do we have or use in Kuwait?’, ‘Are you happy with those methods?’ etc. My last question before watching the video will be about means of transport in London: it could be something like ‘Do you know what transportation methods people use in London?’, and I may show them a picture to give them a general idea. This activity will probably make the students interested in watching the video. After watching the video, I will ask them to name the transportation methods in London from the video, and then try to put these into meaningful sentences. After that I will put the students in pairs or small groups to give them a chance to talk about and compare means of transport means in Kuwait and London, and to say what they think about them. Finally, they can share their ideas and thoughts (or even personal experiences in London) with the rest of the class.
I really learnt a lot from this experience of creating my own video, and hope that this will be a good starting point for more videos in the future. I think the multimedia technology (TV, videos, etc…) can capture students’ attention and might be an interesting thing for them, away from the traditional learning methods in the language classrooms, BUT the most important thing is to set the objectives of the lesson with tasks and activities that are appropriate to your learners’ needs (Tomlinson, 2011).
– Danan, M. (1992). Reversed subtitling and dual coding theory: New directions for foreign language instruction. Language Learning, 42, 497-527.
– McGrath, I. (2002) Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
– Tomlinson, B. (ed). (2011) Materials Development in Language Teaching. (2nd ed) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.