Lesson 3: The Case for Visual Medial to Teach Culture

Video-based Instruction

Video materials provide a unique opportunity to present, teach, and internalize authentic information—linguistic, cultural, and visual—about the target country. Because these materials can be edited for presentation, they are also excellent venues for focusing our students' attention on specific details and for creating exercise materials based on the video itself. In short, judicious use of these material can substantially increase the quantity and quality of time spent on task with the language and culture.

Take some time to think about what you would consider to be a language teacher's highest priorities. Consider including the following:

  • To develop language learners into active learners within the limited time frame of a standard university course.
  • To make authentic video materials essential components of the interactive FL classroom.
  • To simulate "real life" environment to facilitate acquisition of linguistic and non-linguistic elements of communication.

Though using authentic video materials present one way to integrate culture more aggressively into our language classes, we need to consider carefully what materials we use and how we use them.

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On video-based instruction.

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Choose a short scene in a favorite film in your native language. Watch the segment with the sound turned OFF and with a critical eye for moments in which the action might not be immediately clear to a non-native viewer. What could you do to make these moments more intelligible or clear?