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#LanguageWorld2011 – Reframing languages

Reframing languages  – presented by Dr Shirley Lawes , subject leader PGCE languages at Institute of Education; Mark Reid, Head of Education, British Film Institute and Muriel Huet, Lampton School

This talk reported on project funded by Esmee Fairburn Foundation carried out with 4 schools in conjunction with Institute of Education and the British Film Foundation

Why use short films?

  • short (5-6 minutes)
  • subject matter often wacky, outside learners experience
  • introduces to film technique

Why do the project?

  • revitalise the KS3 curriculum
  • optionality means we need to attract learners in Y9 onwards
  • what it means to learn another language
  • PGCE MFL experience proved it a great way of learning

Aims

  • to improve motivation/attainment
  • develop interest in film as a cultural form
  • develop cultural knowledge

 

Learners experienced 3 sequences of 5 lessons over 3 terms.

The project marks a development of work done by the BFI on using film in literacy, moulding it to the needs MFL teachers in mind – Cine-minis a DVD of short French films is the result.

One of the techniques used was “Tell me” grids with boxes for story / mood / character / setting – en français, qu’est-ce qui se passe? / ambience / qui? / où? ou quand? The soundtrack of the start of the film is played and learners fill it in with their ideas.

This encourages learners to build up pictures from sounds in their head, drawing on their  knowledge of the world and of film / narrative / text.

Once the first part of the film is shown, another grid considers surprises – is it as you expected? And what’s going to happen next?

I’m not going to spoil it, but we watched Les crayons and it was very unexpected!

Muriel was one of the four teachers involved and she shared the outcomes for her and her pupils.

It motivated her pupils greatly, leaving them more willing to take risks without necessarily realising it. It took them out of their comfort zone  whilst easily linking to curriculum, using the lack of prescribed content to an advantage.

For teachers, Muriel reported that the project gave an opportunity to

  • develop new pedagogical knowledge / approaches
  • develop their knowledge / confidence in exploring film as a cultural medium
  • change of their expectations in terms of attainment
  • integrate more ICU into teaching

Muriel reported that you need to have confidence to take risks professionally, to try out new ideas, be original and develop yourself professionally -and that this was an opportunity that she was given and took.

Cine-minis is available from http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk

 

 

And here are some free downloadable PDFs of information about film and languages.

Can’t wait for them to do some short Spanish films (hint hint!)

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