ESL students need to talk. They need to practice in order to get better at putting spoken sentences together. For some kids, that’s not a problem. I have one girl this year who has grown exponentially in English, simply due to the fact that she’s a Social Sue who LOVES to talk and work in groups. Her brother, on the other hand, has made much slower progress because he tends to be shy and doesn’t like to speak in front of people. Recently, we started creating movies and screencasts and I realized that he is much more likely to practice speaking when we are using these methods. When I started thinking about it, I realized that there’s a lot to be gained from this method.
From the students’ point of view:
- They get to plan out what they say ahead of time.
- They can re-record or edit if they mess up.
- There’s no one staring at them, making them nervous.
From the teacher’s point of view:
- The students use their spoken language.
- The students can listen to themselves and begin to identify their own mistakes.
- There is a physical record to show to parents or include in a portfolio.
Now, I know you’re saying – I don’t have 20 video cameras in my room. Neither do I! I am lucky enough to have an iPad, which has a built in video camera, and the apps Educreations, Morfo, Explain Everything and Puppet Pals – all which work for recording students. I also have a laptop with a webcam and sound recording capability. One thing I quickly realized was that video doesn’t always mean a video of a person talking. Programs like Jing that allow for screencasts are just as much of a way for students to practice speaking. Here’s a video one of my language learners created using Educreations.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try video with your ESL students. If I have – perhaps you should try my Earth Day Video Collaborative Project at Global Teacher connect. It’d be a great first project! My kids are already super excited about it.
Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Would you like to view an hour long presentation on this topic? I recently presented on Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo. Now you can grab the presentation for just $3.95 from Teacher’s Notebook.
Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!