Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video as a Tool For English Education in Korea

I noticed something the other day while teaching my winter camp classes, and that is Korean kids love Youtube just as much as kids back home. Of course, this should come as no surprise as Korea is a very wired country. But I think seeing videos in the classroom has been a part of their lives since they started school. I for one have used a multitude of math-song videos and for fun, played those cutesy and catchy ones that get their attention.

An excellent evolution has occurred with the use of video in the classroom, and that is teachers making educational videos with their students. The forum waygook.org has already shown areas where teachers are integrating a video-creating lesson into their classes. Also, you catch teacher made videos on youtube with some that are awesome and others quite simple. Here for you are an example of teachers taking the video camera in the classroom and making it a fun tool for English education.

1. Mike Karlan's "Bandit" Videos:
The following is called, "The Color Bandit":

A quirky and fun video with a great example of kids using English in a fun and enthusiastic way, you see the theme of an evil bandit who stole colors. The kids must think of a plan to destroy him so they can use colors again. At least, that is my interpretation. Nicely edited and it shows that the kids were involved and had a good time.


2. Daft Punk's Harder...Faster Song:

I recently was creating a lesson about comparatives and found that other teacher's out there used the Daft Punk Song, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" with their students.

This one from "miathetraveler"

First off let me congratulate these teachers for getting their middle school students to participate in something like this. From what I understand teaching Middle school is challenging in that the students are hard to motivate. 


This one from "danitravels"

I like this one better as you can tell they were really into it and I like the way they organized their signs. This would make a great project for a camp session or an after school group. I think with some patience I might even be able to do this with a group of my first graders. 

Sometimes it is best to just let the kids figure out what to make, and you can do this with a themed "movie camp." Found on waygook.org, are lesson plans and worksheets to use for the camp. The following are video examples of what came out of the project.





What are the benefits?

In my opinion this gets students excited for learning English and the result is something definitely different from the usual hum-drum lesson. However, I am sure if you tell your students, "We are going to make videos!" That there will be a group that sighs and says, "No, I don't want to." Like all lessons it is all about getting them motivated, and this should be no different.

Also, they get to see what their English looks like and sounds like in the final product. This is a great tool for them to understand where they need to improve. Throughout the project, students work on plot, character design and story therefore getting to use their English skills in a productive way. 

Some pitfalls might be that you don't have enough equipment for the students, like cameras and computers to edit with. Also, students will work in groups and as you may already know this is sometimes a hard thing for them. I recall one group I had during a camp where they argued over everything the whole time.

In the end, I think making videos with your students is an overall beneficial part of the English classroom here in Korea. Why not add this to your curriculum? 

Do you have any teacher-student made videos you would like to share?

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