Tuesday, September 2

Important Information

Teaching Grammar with Movie Segments

Movie segments can be a fun, less threatening alternative to assess students’ learning of various grammar points, such as reported speech, verb tenses, modal verbs, among others. This blog will provide a number of fun, challenging activities and tips to develop your own tasks.

Teaching grammar is often exhausting and not appealing to students. Teachers usually spend several sessions dealing with the same grammar point. The teacher can certainly provide the students with fun activities to foster learning. However, when it comes to assessing the students’ achievement of a certain grammar point, teachers often rely on traditional, mechanical exercises that help them check whether their lesson goals have been met. These exercises can formally state the grammatical features the teacher wants to test or make sure the students have actually learned. For the student, though, this is a threatening moment that demands concentration, introspection, analysis, and tension. Because he/she has been working with the grammar point for such a long time, they tend to be stressed out for the assessment activities, feedback that is crucial for the teacher to know what features of the lesson still need reinforcement. The teacher can find more exciting and less formal tools to assess the achievement of teaching goals

It is evident that movie segments are extremely attractive to most of the students. Watching a short movie segment is a moment when the students can listen to genuine language in context, plug off from the classroom environment, speculate about possibilities, come up with opinions about a certain topic, and have fun in the classroom. Using video segments to assess the students’ performance can be an enjoyable, attractive, and effective manner to provide the teacher with consistent feedback of the students’ learning.

Why Use Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals?

• Students like movie segments
• A break from previous grammar sessions
• Less threatening than traditional tests
• Students use the grammar point based on genuine language
• Connection between listening comprehension and grammar practice
• Instant feedback
• Assessment in a relaxed atmosphere

Tips on How to Prepare an Effective Assessment Tool

• Segment length: from 2 to 7 minutes
• Use subtitles in English
• Always prepare a written exercise to assess the grammar point
• Consider both the content of the segment and the grammar goal
• The whole activity should not last longer than 20 to 25 minutes
• Peers may work individually or in pairs
• Do not let the students do the exercises while they are watching the segment
• Make sure the students write down their answers
• Provide the students with feedback as well