More than a simple hello...
Foreign Language students, especially those learning English in the United States, depend on quality and authentic input to survive and communicate in their new environment. It is imperative to give beginners, for example, the ability to say a simple ‘hello,’ or to efficiently communicate in an interview or at a meeting. For higher-level students, it is also important to foster a sense of global culture, prime them to have the ability to carry on conversations and be knowledgeable, in L2, of local cultural and global issues.
The importance of using video talks in class
With these small, relevant presentations, students will be able to analyze language at sentence level while practicing their listening skills with something other than simple dialogue. Watching the speakers talk may also benefit from hearing and seeing other linguistic and paralinguistic features such as anecdotes or body language.
A sample task
This speech/vocabulary building exercise will consist of listening to a TED talk and relating that talk to a few key vocabulary words.
I’ll engage them by sharing relevant yet devastating statistics regarding poverty in Africa.
All information taken from this article: http://borgenproject.org/10-quick-facts-about-poverty-in-africa/
I’ll ask them if they’ve ever experienced poverty (might not get many participants, but I’ll ask and share myself). Ask them if they could think of any creative solutions to resolve this world crisis.
Then, I’ll introduce them to the TED talk we are going to watch and give some background information. I will then hand out worksheet with instructions; I will read them out loud and then, I’ll play the TEDtalk on the class screen.
The Good News about Poverty
A. (Directions for students) As you watch carefully, listen for the words below. Try your best to write down your own definition based on the words and meanings before and after the target vocabulary word in Bono’s talk.
b. After the talk, reflect on what the speaker said about poverty and change. Do you agree with what he said? Write down any other thoughts you may have had while watching the video.
Post-Task (for teacher)
- Ask students what definitions they came up with – discuss with the whole class
- Discuss dictionary definitions of these word; review sentences from TEDtalk with vocabulary words in them.
- Discuss TEDtalk, but also the students’ opinions about it