Larry Ferlazzo’s blog aims at helping teachers meet the needs of their diverse learners, ESL students mostly, and it was interesting to learn about the wide variety of resources out there that aid teachers in teaching English to English Language Learners (ELLS) by using technology that involves little or no preparation.
Back home and in the States, I constantly get asked how I became fluent in English, and my response is and will always be “thanks to American TV shows and movies”. I owe it to media in learning English as a foreign language, and that is definitely what I would suggest to any learner perusing to learn English for whatever purpose(s). Larry Ferlazzo, who is an English and social studies high school teacher and author, writes a post that truly backs up my suggestion. He starts by saying; “movies and television shows can be an effective tool for teaching and learning English (or, for that matter, any academic subject) if used strategically and not as a “babysitting” device.” Ferlazzo talks about his two primary uses of movie clips in his classroom, which are: 1- using a video clip that is connected with the lesson theme (which is no more than 10 minutes), and 2- using it in the “back to the screen” technique. I believe that both uses would help greatly in learning English by learning a specific jargon, and getting their ears exposed to correct word pronunciation, among learning to infer, sequence events, and reflect on what is being viewed through cooperative learning activities, such as think-pair-share, or reflective discussion.
In the same post, the author gives a list of many movies and TV shows that are appropriate to teach English to ELLs, as well as resources teachers can refer to. A certain resource that I found extremely helpful was http://movieclips.com/. This site is ideal for teachers wanting to teach the English language through the use of video clips. The video clips are categorized into movie, actor, director, genre, mood, theme, and more. As a future ESL teacher, I could, for example, use a video clip from this site to teach English to ESL kindergarteners through exposing them to commands. Here’s an example:
I can use this short video clip from the Disney movie the Aristocats with ESL kindergartners to teach them the language by them following commands: “wiggle your nose”, “tickle your chin”…besides learning face parts and certain verbs, this will prepare them for other activities that involve physical movement, like the total physical response and total physical response storytelling activities, which allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the language through physical movement.
I hope you find this resource helpful as well.