An ambitious video project undertaken in a number of languages at the Ashcombe School, this collection of French videos treats topics typically taught in beginning French courses - school, sports, holidays and festivals, food, health, friends, family and work.Learners can engage in individual practice by simultaneously listening to and reading the text of video clips of fluent speakers speaking the target language.
Type of Material:
These video exercises are best used for listening comprehension practice and to
suggest formats for talking about everyday topics in French.
These pages require Windows Media Player and work best with IE 6+ or Netscape 6.2+.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Improve listening comprehension by using target language video clips; experience of seeing and hearing fluent speakers; cultural content
Target Student Population:
Learners of French, all levels.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Learners of French, all levels.
These video clips can enrich any language/culture experience by bringing to the classroom and to independent study the voices of native speakers talking about everyday, little ?c? topics. Topics addressed include: health, diet, recreation, pets, housework, and the like. The monologs and interviews on these topics are uniformly engaging and the quality of the video is quite good. Scripts of the video are available with parallel translation in English. An ?accent hint? help feature reminds learners of how to insert accent marks while they complete the cloze quiz.Young learners will relate to the interviewees who are all young students themselves. They are poised, animated and clear speakers. The manner in which they present their topics can serve as a model for students who are preparing their own oral presentations. Scripts of the videos can be accessed or hidden with a mouse click. It is a nice feature to have the option to hide the written word.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
As a means for individual learners to practice simultaneously listening to and reading the text of video clips of native speakers speaking the target language, this is an excellent tool. As learners listen, they are to complete a cloze exercise with key words deleted. There are video control tools that allow for stopping and starting the clips at any point. Independent learners can self check their cloze answers for feedback. Teachers could also make use of these clips and accompanying text by projecting the site for whole class or small group cooperative completion of the listening cloze. There seems to have been an attempt to keep each module simple and direct. Scripts follow a predictable structure,
as an adult asks an interviewee a range of question types. For example, an interview might begin with a yes/no question and work up to open-ended questions like " Tell me about...." There is also a variety of exercise types- cloze, crosswords and multiple choice comprehension questions. While interviews are scripted, they seem very natural and not overly rehearsed. Faculty can draw attention to the demeanor of the speakers when coaching students to speak French.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The authors have included a digital mini-site, accessible from the Video Resources page, which outlines the rationale and the technical processes employed to make the site. The design decisions they made stemmed from a desire to create a web resource that is easy to use, at home or in the classroom and that adds value to the curriculum. They succeed on all counts. They even include some html code for users who might decide to do similar video projects and are thereby exemplary in their willingness to share their expertise. Video clips can be started, paused, stopped and replayed using the controls provided. Learners are directed to fill in all the gaps, then click ?check? to check their answers, pausing the video when necessary. Clicking on ?hint? will get one clue in the form of one of the word?s letters. Using this feature, however, learners lose points from the overall score.
These pages work best with IE 6+ or Netscape 6.2+.
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