Let's Make a Movie: Filmmaking in the (Language) Classroom

Lorely French

This session has two purposes. The first purpose is to show how filmmaking can enhance language learning, and ultimately, learning in all kinds of subject areas. The second purpose is to generate ideas on future projects. Students studying languages now have all kinds of technological tools to augment textbook learning. These include on-line grammar and vocabulary exercises; audio-visual programs such as Rosetta Stone and Live Mocha; television and radio shows available through internet; films on YouTube; and apps with translations and real-life cultural materials. By viewing the material on these sources, however, students risk falling into a passive mode of language learning. They constantly need activities to spur them to use and practice their language. I claim that filmmaking provides an exceptional means to inspire students to be active language learners, and active learners in general.

During this interactive session I will first present models of how filmmaking has enhanced language learning in my classes. In creating movie trailers, travel advertisements, and short fictional films, students experience heightened interactive language learning. In making "videoblogs" to supplement material in textbooks, I as the professor provide students with current cultural materials. I accompany such films with interactive exercises that make students use the cultural content, grammar, and vocabulary in the films. In producing group films with entire classes, students make cultural, literary, and historical material "their own" in collaboration with others.

Second, after viewing these models, the audience and I will discuss the successes and challenges of such projects. Collaboratively and interactively we will generate a list of ideas for future projects. This list can form the basis for a publication that will aid other instructors of language specifically and instructors of many subjects in general.

While the session is targeted specifically for language instructors, I also see filmmaking as an educational tool for all kinds of subject areas, including history, literature, political science, music, and anthropology, to name a few. I find that students learn best when they actively engage in the material at hand. The implications for the session involve creating a wider forum for sharing ideas to enhance the learning experience through filmmaking. I know that several of my colleagues have also used filmmaking as a tool for learning. In presenting this session, I see my role as a facilitator for sharing ideas and disseminating those ideas to a larger audience in an accessible form.

Abstract

Berglund 145

This session will first show through some specific examples how filmmaking enhances language learning. Second, participants will work collaboratively and interactively to generate ideas for future filmmaking projects that will encourage active learning in a variety of subject areas.

 
Sep 15th, 1:30 PM Sep 15th, 2:30 PM

Let's Make a Movie: Filmmaking in the (Language) Classroom

Berglund 145

This session will first show through some specific examples how filmmaking enhances language learning. Second, participants will work collaboratively and interactively to generate ideas for future filmmaking projects that will encourage active learning in a variety of subject areas.