Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Using short film in the MFL Classroom

On 6th July I had the pleasure of attending "Using short film in the MFL Classroom" at St Aidan's School in Sunderland.

The course was arranged by Links into Languages and was presented by our old friends Holli McGuire and Mike Tait from Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle. (You'll remember them from TMNE09?)

The session was in 2 parts:

1) Introduction to film grammar and using micro-short film

This included technical terms some of which I already knew e.g. close-up and costume and mise en scene to others about which I am still confused: diegesis? graphic matching? and POV?

We were shown some short films (less than 5 minutes long) and given exercises to complete whilst watching them.

These included tasks such as:

  • answering observational questions (like Michael Rodd used to do on "Screentest")

  • identifying aspects of life within the film

  • putting events into chronological order in the film

  • creating identities for the characters in the films

2) Short films in target languages and to use them to support grammar and curriculum themes.

This time the tasks were more MFL based. We were split into groups, Spanish, German, and French specialists. (As a jack of all trades and master of none, I joined the French group.)

We were shown short films (Yohann Gloaguen's "Comme un Air" and Philippe Orreindy's "J'attendrai le suivant") and asked to consider how, or if, we would exploit them with students of different ages and abilities.

The ideas we came up with were:
  • summarising the plot in the TL
  • stopping the film at certain points and asking, "What happens next?"
  • writing a story board and labelling it in the target language.
  • identifying and discussing the social and/or cultural implications of the film
  • creating, producing and editing a sequel or prequel
  • describing the characters in TL

If this is the kind of thing which interests you and you would love to get involved, the course will be run again at the Tyneside Cinema on October 13th 2009 from 5-7:30pm for a very reasonable £20.

If you are not in the North East of England, or cannot attend the course, the following films were used and I have hyperlkinked the sites for you:

One minute guide to planet earth (2007)

Comme un Air

J'attendrai le suivant

Lovefield (2008)


Le cheval 2.1

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