Using Video in the Foreign Language Classroom

Practice makes Perfect! It’s widely known that one of the most effective ways to learn a foreign language is to practice. This is why video lends itself very nicely to the foreign language classroom. No matter the project, video can help get students excited about speaking the language. Here are five ideas of how you can incorporate video into your foreign language curriculum. 

Act Out Scenes

Have students write a script for a scene in the language and act it out. First, they’ll be learning through writing and perfecting the script. Next, they’ll be speaking the language. In order to create the best video possible students will likely have to take more than one take, meaning more practice! 

Help keep students focused by assigning a specific topic related to your current unit. For example, when you’re learning about foods, have students create a restaurant scenario. One student is the waiter and the others are the patrons. 

Conduct Interviews 

Similar to acting out narrative scenes, conducting interviews is a natural way to get students practicing the language. The difference here is that the interview isn’t scripted. One student can write the questions and the other has to answer them on the spot, recording their answers. The students can be answering questions as themselves, a fictional character from a story you read in class, or a famous figure. 

Travel Vlog 

This is a great project to incorporate green screen into your foreign language classroom. Have students ‘visit’ a country that speaks the language and create a travel vlog. Many vlogs are actually done with selfie videos and only one person, so this project is appropriate for students to do individually or with a group. This project teaches language and culture simultaneously. 

You can also add in stock footage with a voiceover. Remember the student doesn’t need to be in the shot the entire time!

Alternative Assessment 

Giving students the ability to demonstrate their knowledge in ways other than exams can be effective, fun and motivating for students. Set up a Padcaster outside or in the hallway and have students go one at a time to record themselves with the Padcaster. Give students a list of questions, either beforehand or on the spot, and have them answer the questions in front of the camera. The benefit of doing this on video instead of one-on-one with the teacher is that you can replay the video to point out any mistakes and rewatch it with the student at any time.

Skype 

It’s crucial that students hear the language from speakers other than just the teacher. Skype in native speakers from countries that speak the language! These can be adults or other students the same age. The students can ask questions about what it’s like to live in another country and have a conversation in real-time. 

Tags: Education

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