Using Video with English Language Learners
Video can be an effective and powerful tool for learning English. The visual element is appealing and familiar to students, and teachers can use video to provide experiences otherwise unavailable in the classroom.
A 1990 study by the National Captioning Institute found that second-language learners show increased acquisition of vocabulary and greater conceptual understanding when captioned text is combined with video.
For more information, visit the National Captioning Institute.
Hot Tips for Teachers of English-Language Learners:
- Use PAUSE frequently to check for understanding, provide examples, make comparisons, ask questions, and provide expanded descriptions.
- View dramatic programs so students can observe the way characters communicate through spoken language, nonverbal gestures, and body language. Have students observe how communication varies according to the setting.
- Repeat the viewing of a program to discover additional environmental clues.
- Have students discuss how the content of a program reflects situations they've experienced. How would they handle a similar situation?
- Use closed-captioned programs to enhance word recognition, pronunciation and spelling skills, and repetition of key vocabulary.
- Have students record their thoughts and opinions about a program in a variety of ways, such as creative writing, original artwork, journals, autobiographies, and student-written skits.
- Show a program without sound, providing your own narration or giving students an opportunity to ask questions based on the visuals.
- Use video to provide background images for student reading. For example, if students are reading a historical piece from colonial America, it may help to first show them a program presenting early pilgrims and their dress, homes, and towns.
- Select video programs that model language and provide settings and events familiar to students' real-life experiences.
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