How to work with a video clip in EJA English classes?

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1 How to work with a video clip in EJA English classes? Introduction Working with projects implies to take into account the students interests and needs, to build knowledge collectively, to focus on the real world, and to use authentic texts. Therefore, the development of a project is not based on the teaching of grammatical structures alone, but on the use of language (CLARK, 1996). By dealing with relevant themes, students can get more motivated and interested in the classes. Hence, projects are not only a relevant and productive way to work with elementary school and high school students, but also with students who attend Educação de Jovens e Adultos (EJA). Considering that they do not have much available time to study and have to manage work and school, it is important that they find the classes interesting in order to get involved with the activities. Based on the Referenciais Curriculares do Rio Grande do Sul (RS, 2009), when we talk about the teaching of an additional language 1, in this case English, it is important to have in mind that, through relevant texts and projects, students have opportunities to think about other realities and, consequently, think about their own. Furthermore, students can be part of and play an active role in practices in which English appears, not turning their backs to these situations. Usually, in English classes, students use dialogues just to practice vocabulary and grammatical structures, or listen to songs in order to fill in blanks without a specific objective. Contrary to these practices, we believe that working with oral genres means to get in touch with language in varied social practices that take place in everyday life as well as with the linguistic aspects and their meaning effects that can be put into use in these practices. Having that in mind, the project proposal 1 As suggested by the Referenciais Curriculares (RS, 2009), we use the expression additional language instead of foreign language, because we want to highlight the fact that it is a language characterized as an addition to the other languages that are part of the student s repertoire, particularly the Portuguese language. paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

2 we have designed is based on two oral genres: song and video clip. It is important to notice that the work with oral genres can involve written genres as well, since there are social practices which deal with both of them. The following section will explain in detail our project proposal, giving teachers an example of how to develop a project involving oral genres. THE PROJECT Our project proposal is based on a previous experience we had with EJA students in English classes. Considering that the students were interested in music and that this topic can embrace different age groups, which was the case of our students, we decided to develop a project involving songs. As the final product, we thought of producing a video clip. In this way, students would choose a meaningful song for the group, having the opportunity to collectively negotiate and build knowledge related to the song already chosen. Besides that, during the project, the students get to work with written genres that are related to the oral genres already mentioned. Now we will show in detail each step of our project named A video clip in our lives. It is important to mention that this project was designed for beginners in English and it can be adapted to different contexts (high beginners, intermediate, etc). Moreover, it is relevant to say that we believe the participants can assume different roles in the project (actor, editor, director, etc.) and that it is important to consider the context of the production, thinking about what we want to accomplish and what we can accomplish considering the duration of the classes, the school s infrastructure, etc. Step 1: Choosing a song In this initial moment, the students will decide with the teacher which song in English they are going to work with. The teacher can bring suggestions in order to start the conversation in case the students get shy or do not remember any songs or paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

3 have any ideas. In order to choose the song, the students and the teacher should take into consideration certain criteria: the students musical preferences, themes that they find interesting and relevant, and songs that somehow might have been important to the group. The students should also decide to whom and where they are going to present their final product, i.e. the video clip. Step 2: Working with the song Ouça pela primeira vez a música (sem a letra). Qual é o ritmo da música? Você gostou? Que imagens ou cenas você associa ao ritmo? Que temas? Por quê? The students will be invited to listen to the chosen song as well as to think about their impressions about it and musical aspects. The teacher can work with parts of the lyrics without translating each word with the students, exploring their central ideas. In order to do that, the teacher can work with reading strategies such as relating similar English and Portuguese words and identifying words already known by students. It is possible for the teacher to work with the chorus by handing in the song s lyrics in English and translated into Portuguese and asking the students to relate each English verse to its proper translation, using reading strategies such as the ones already mentioned. In this way, the students would be given the chance to get used to those reading strategies, not translating each word of the lyrics. Concerning the other parts of the song, the students can relate each one of them to their translation and/or central ideas, putting again into use the already mentioned reading strategies. Depending on the learning goals and on what becomes relevant in the lyrics, the teacher can also prepare tasks related to vocabulary and linguistic aspects. For example, if the lyrics present an often use of a certain verbal tense, and it is or it becomes a learning goal, the teacher can work with it. paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

4 as the following: After understanding the lyrics, the teacher can ask the students questions Você acha que o ritmo da música combina com a que a letra diz? Por quê? Em que outros estilos essa canção poderia ser tocada? Consequently, the song will be worked as a genre as it happens in real life, not only with the lyrics themselves 2. Step 3: Working with the video clip According to Dionisio (2006), oral genres as well as social practices are multimodal, and therefore they can reinforce, contradict or invert the meanings of speech. For this reason, in this part of the project, the students will watch the video clip in order to reflect on how the visual elements and the body language can be related to the song, so that its meanings are reinforced, contradicted or inverted. The different languages involved in a video clip (body, visual, musical, gestural) can help the students comprehend the verbal language, in other words, the idea of the lyrics. After this discussion, the teacher needs to work with the necessary steps to produce a video clip. What does it take to produce a video clip? a) Create a script b) Rehearse c) Shoot the video clip d) Edit the video clip e) Release the video clip 2 For more information concerning the design of tasks related to songs: SOUZA, José Peixoto Coelho de. Canção brasileira: Proposta de material didático para um curso de Português como Língua Adicional. Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso Letras, UFRGS, 2009; RIO GRANDE DO SUL; Secretaria de Estado da Educação, Departamento Pedagógico. Caderno do Aluno: 7ª e 8ª séries. Porto Alegre: SE/DP, paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

5 Step 4: Creating the script The students will have to think about the important parts of a script: plot, scenes; setting; clothes and scenography (if relevant). Having the script in mind, it is important to think about the necessary equipment to shoot it as well as the possible ways to shoot it in different angles. Depending on the learning goals, the teacher can deal, for instance, with specific vocabulary (clothes, places, objects for the scenography). This is an example of how students can build knowledge collectively through real life practices, using English and other multimodal languages. It is also possible to include written texts created by the students to appear in the video clip, using posters for instance. Step 5: Rehearsal Depending on what will be done in the video clip, rehearsal will be required in a higher or lower level. For instance, if there is some kind of dancing or if the students will sing a part or the whole song, they will need to rehearse perhaps many times in order to produce what is expected of a good video clip taking into account the chosen interlocutors. Considering that the video clip will be released, the students will feel more motivated to rehearse and repeat scenes more than once. Rehearsing and repeating the shooting of certain scenes will be necessary and is justified if you want a good final production. Moreover, since we are not taking for granted that the students are actors/ singers, rehearsal can also be useful for them to feel more confident in front of a video camera. Considering the decisions made regarding the scenes, the teacher might need to work with oral practices. It is important to not only work with what is said, but how it is said considering the interlocutors and the situation. If the scenes include, for instance, dialogues in English or the singing of some parts of the song, the teacher should deal, for instance, with pronunciation, articulation and intonation. paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

6 Concerning pronunciation and articulation, the teacher can propose a simple but effective exercise: the students gather in a circle and have to pronounce each word very slowly as well as articulate it in a much exaggerated way. The teacher should go around the circle observing each student and asking them to repeat the exercise a few times. In terms of intonation, the teacher can ask the students to gather in a circle, and each one of them says the same sentence in English with a certain intonation related to a particular emotion (sadness, happiness, anger, etc.). The students can do this exercise more than once, alternating intonations/emotions. During this exercise, the teacher should also explore pronunciation as well as body language and facial expression (the students should interpret the emotions using body movements and facial expressions). Step 6: Shooting When it is time to shoot, the students and the teacher have to take into account what is on the script and what was rehearsed. This is also the time to explore with the students the use of the video cameras. First of all, the students and the teacher have to decide the number of video cameras to be used, in case they want to shoot the same scene from different angles. During the shooting, they should think and discuss about which would be the best angles for each scene. This is also the moment to analyze the conditions of the setting already chosen: if there are external locations, for instance, it is necessary to check the weather conditions, the illumination, and the noise. Step 7: Editing If the students do not know how to edit videos and this becomes a learning goal, the teacher can prepare classes in which the students can read about editing as well as practice it. In this case, and if it becomes relevant, the teacher could work with tutorials and prepare tasks related to them in terms of genre and linguistic aspects. In paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

7 case some students know how to edit videos, they can be responsible for helping their classmates. Either the teacher or the students, the most experienced ones in terms of editing will be in charge of this process, not forgetting that it includes the montage, the insertion of certain information about the song (name of the song, the artist the original singer and/or the group, the album, the record company, etc.) and, if necessary, subtitles. Step 8: Release the video clip Now it is time to present the video clip to the intended audience. In this way, the students will truly realize that the activities developed in class were done for a real reason, i.e. the release of the video clip. Therefore, they will become more motivated to be part of other projects. The students can elect one or some of them to introduce the video clip to the audience. The teacher can help them prepare a brief speech about the project. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS The project proposal that we have described shows that teaching with genres, in this case oral genres, means to reflect on how social practices happen in real life and their characteristics. In addition to that, teachers can think about how to work with these social practices in the classroom in order to promote a more confident participation of the students in these practices. As already mentioned, it is also necessary to consider that the work with oral genres can involve written genres as well, since there are social practices which deal with both of them. During the development of a project, it is necessary for the students to evaluate the ongoing process. When the project comes to an end, it is not only important to evaluate the process once again and the final product, but also to have a moment for self-evaluation. paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

8 Bibliography CLARK, H. H. Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, DIONISIO, A. Gêneros multimodais e multiletramento. In: KARWOSKI, A. M.; GAYDECZKA, B.; BRITO, K. S. (Orgs.). Gêneros textuais: reflexões e ensino. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2006, p RIO GRANDE DO SUL. Secretaria de Estado da Educação, Departamento Pedagógico. Referenciais Curriculares do Rio Grande do Sul: linguagens, códigos e suas tecnologias. Porto Alegre: SE/DP, Janaína Vianna da Conceição - Licenciada em Letras (Português- Inglês) pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Atua como professora de Língua Portuguesa no Programa de Português para Estrangeiros da mesma Universidade. Caroline Scheuer Neves Graduanda em Letras (Português-Inglês) pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Atua como professora de Língua Portuguesa para estrangeiros no Programa de Português para Estrangeiros da mesma universidade. paginas.ufrgs.br/revistabemlegal REVISTA BEM LEGAL Porto Alegre v. 2 nº

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