Dialogue and inference - working with creative technologies

Please read the text before watching the video.

The kinds of technology widely available in many classrooms are ideal tools for exploring language production in creative and engaging ways. Although in this step we discuss these technologies in more detail, please do not feel that you have to use them in order to complete this course successfully.

We have included a short clip in this step where a youngster scripted and recorded an imagined exchange for the Taps in Welsh. It’s a great example of how we can use film and technology to help teach dialogue and inference in language teaching.

Activity

Think about how you could use and adapt this idea for your classroom. Add your comments to the comment section.

Teaching Ideas

You could ask your learners to firstly watch a film scene or sequence with the sound turned off (‘Sound and Vision’ is one of the eight Basic Teaching Techniques from Step 1.5) - and then create a voiceover to accompany a film scene or sequence, that either comments on the action, or voices the implied thoughts and feelings of the characters. This can be done on paper, or using technologies listed below in this step. It’s an easy way to use film to support language teaching. If you have used this technique in your classroom already, please share your experiences of using it in the comments section. It’s really useful for others to hear about.

Free editing software such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, and many online packages, enable you to help learners interact with moving image material. Please see the Guide to Editing with iMovie PDF in the downloads section and click here or here for a ‘how-to’ guide for Windows Movie Maker. Make sure you scroll down the page to find the link if you are using the Microsoft support link.

You can complete the activity above with your learners using technology to produce a voiceover, by importing a clip into an editing package, muting or removing the soundtrack, and then recording your voice over the top (see the handouts in the download section below) if you feel confident.

The focus of this activity is to think about the groups of learners you work with - do they already have enough language resources to be able to carry out an activity like this, or would it be too challenging? What kinds of preparation would be necessary? Reflect on the potential for using technology like this in your own classroom - what challenges might you face?

Other ideas using creative technologies include:

  1. Create subtitles to accompany short sequences of spoken dialogue in a short film, for example by ‘translating’ the exchanges between our taps. This can be done using the subtitling app DoubleSub whereby students can see and create subtitles in two languages for a film or clip. Please see our Apps to Support Filmmaking resource in the downloads section. This activity can be done just as easily on paper.

  2. Create intertitles between shots or scenes in a film, that recap, summarise, or comment on the action. In motion pictures, an intertitle (also known as a title card) is a piece of printed text that has been filmed and edited in between the images at various points. Again, this can also be done on paper.

  3. Dub your own voices onto a sequence of dialogue in a film, by muting or deleting the original and replacing it with your own. In fact, this last activity doesn’t have to use fancy technology - it can be set up as a ‘live lip syncing’ activity as a piece of classroom drama.

Extension Activity

We’ve attached some handy guides to working with creative technology in the download section at the bottom of this step, if this is something you’d like to pursue further.

If you create any video content please upload it to YouTube and copy and paste the link to the comments section. See the instructions at the bottom of this step to see how it’s done. If you do decide to upload a video to YouTube please remember to set your listings to private, in instances where learners are using audio/video featuring students. And please do not add video content of young people without written parental permission or video content of adults without their consent.

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This video is from the free online course:

Short Film in Language Teaching

The British Film Institute (BFI)

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