3 Techniques for using videos in French class

I’d like to offer you 3 techniques you can use in French class tomorrow morning with videos. These work with any video, not just with ours (Booksmarts & Planet French). Videos are a powerful component in a language teacher’s toolkit.

Here are 3 techniques on how to use videos to add a whole new dimension in aural practice to your French class.

Appropriate videos can be a godsend to the French teacher, but it’s not about just letting the students watch the film ! 

As one teacher said, “We can add a whole new dimension to aural practice in the classroom by using video. The setting , action, emotions, gestures, etc that our students observe on a video clip, provide an important visual stimulus for language production and practice.”

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Technique #1: Split viewing
Some students see and hear a sequence, others only hear it. Activities based on information-gap procedure follow. Those who haven’t seen it act as reporters and question students who have seen the clip.
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Technique #2: Vision on/sound off

Students view the scene with the sound turned off. Ask the students, “Who are they”, “Where are they”, go through the 5Ws. Then play with the sound on and check how right they were.

A good variant to this is, first play with the sound off. Students thenpredict the content of the scene, write their own script and perform it while standing next to the screen. After the performances, students watch the scene with the sound on, and decide which group was the funniest or nearest to the original.
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Technique #3: Vocab-objects
This works well for beginner students especially with scenes where there are lots of objects to see and therefore write in their vocabulary books or on a board. You can also ask students to match words with on-screen objects, put events in their proper order or ask true-false questions.
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Technique #3 B: Vocab-clothing
In this variant, we focus the students’ attention on the clothing worn by on-screen characters. This works very well for beginners to describe everyday clothes, but it also works well when learning specialty clothing, such as in sports equipment or weather related gear.