If you’ve ever been frustrated because you feel like you’re not getting enough out of Movie Talk, the following may help . . .
If you’ve ever wanted to try using El Internado in your Spanish class but you’re not sure where or how to start, the following may help . . .
One of my goals for this new school year is to better utilize El Internado, which almost always means going slower than I tend to go. Mike Peto sums up a good pace as always going slower than the students want. Students from last year’s classes would laugh at the idea of going even slower than we did, but I think there is more we can do/get out of the program if we take our time.
As I was preparing to show the first part of episode 1 to a class this year, I used the following steps. I believe these steps can also be very helpful when applied to any video as Movie Talk. It’s a more scripted alternative to what I would normally do.
- Select a clip and write out the narration. I grabbed a pencil and a few sheets of paper and started the video. I paused the video often and wrote out everything that could be used as narration of the story. Even for someone who has used Movie Talk for years, this step revealed how much language was actually embedded in a short clip. I quickly filled 2 sheets of paper. This step may sound tedious and unnecessary, but I found it very helpful and was actually excited by how much I was finding that I would have otherwise disregarded.
- Evaluate the narration notes. I used different color pens and started marking any structures that would not be already known or not well-internalized by my students. I made distinctions between structures that could be gestured, structures that were high and low frequency, structures that were used often in the episode . . . etc.
- Create new vocabulary structures. Based on all my colored markings, I selected and formed three structures to be the focus. Because the structures were mostly nouns and cognates, they were easily internalized. For this particular episode of El Internado, they were:
- se escapa por la ventana – she escapes through the window
- sube un árbol – she climbs (goes up) a tree
- hay un lobo en el bosque – there’s a wolf in the woods
- Create a gestures list. Honestly, I do not typically do a lot of gesturing beyond some TPR actions at the beginning of the year for verbs that will be essential to all stories. However, I wanted to be able to get some other vocabulary into this MT without overloading the amount of language in the focus structures. For this clip, I chose
- se quita – she takes off
- se pone – she puts on
- se cae – she falls
- dice – she says
- salta – she jumps
- encima de – on top of
- debajo de – below
- sonríe – she smiles
- está preocupada – she is worried
- Create screenshots. This IS the tedious part. If you are using the first 5 minutes of El Internado, you can use the presentation linked below. I created a screen shot slide for everything that happens in the clip.
- Present the new structures. Now, it’s time to get the students involved. I presented the three focus structures and asked some personalized questions. We talked a bit about trees and forests and where there are wolves.
- Present and practice the gestures. I acted them out. Students acted them out. I said them without moving. I did them without saying anything, and students said them. All the TPR tricks.
- Watch the clip. We watched the first 5 minutes of El Internado. I paused to question from time to time. Some teachers get the bulk of their reps at this step. Sometimes I do too, but not for this version. We did some talking here, but the majority of the repetitions occur in step 9.
- Lead the students through a retell of the clip. Using the presentation linked below, we went through the first section of slides (no text) together with me asking and circling. This is a very important step, as it is where most of the input occurs.
- Students read aloud. We did this in partners. The second section of the presentation contains slides with narration text. Students simply take turns reading the text displayed over the images.
- Students fill in blanks. The third group of slides contains text with blanks. Students read aloud and filled in the blanks with the correct words.
- Students retell. The fourth section of slides (Yes, it’s a long presentation) contains no text. Students retold the events by just looking at the images. This step could be very difficult if it were the first task, but after input from the teacher and slowly removing text, students completed it with little trouble. It would be possible to even add another step between, in which more blanks are added if needed.
- Watch the second section. We watched the section section (5:00-9:05), and I paused, questioned and circled in more of a traditional Movie Talk style. I felt the second part worked better this way, and it allowed some variation in our process.
- Students read and complete. Using the following document, students selected the correct word in some sections and wrote in the correct word in others.
- Writing Assessment. Students completed a writing assessment in class with no resources other than images. The assignment is on the last page of the following document.
Here is the presentation. It includes an intro and link to the trailer for El Internado and the 4 sections of slides that were referenced earlier.