Using a video text in class is quite similar to using an audio text – except you get pictures! All of the activities listed in the Using an Audio Text lesson plan (p.57) can be easily adapted for use with a video text. The main difference will be that SS can discuss and write about what they can see, as well as what they can hear. In any case, the focus in an English language classroom should be on the English language, which is contained in words rather than pictures.
If anything, using video rather than audio will make it easier for the SS, because they will receive a wealth of secondary information from what they see, which will help them to establish the context. Here are a few notes that are specific to using a video text rather than an audio text.
- Before playing the video extract for the listening for general understanding activity, T could play it first without sound and try to elicit from the SS what it is about, what is being said, and/or information about the people, place, time, and so on.
- After completing the main task, SS could use free practice time to direct and act out their own version of the extract – or adaptation, continuation, or prequel, etc. If possible, SS could film their work using a video camera, and edit a final version on a laptop, then show it to an audience – other SS, other classes, teachers, family members, etc.
- It is not necessary to use video in an English language classroom – students can learn English very well without it. If it is not possible to use video in your classroom, don’t worry about it. If you do use it, your focus should be on creating a framework with a logical structure for studying the words – the language – rather than simply relaxing with your class by watching a film or TV programme. (Although, of course, that may have its place too, in a syllabus or programme of study.)
- See also Video Commentary, p.86.