My world language friends, it is TIME to try the technique: Clip Chat (MovieTalk) if you haven’t yet! 

Last week, I had the opportunity to work with teachers from Southern New Jersey, as approximately sixty World Language teachers came together on a Friday. The fact that this district has SO many world language teachers is truly amazing!

We delved deep into three main areas: Planning & Preparation, Assessment Design & Classroom Experience and we used information from the TELL project to help guide our reflective questioning, strategies modeled & ideas shared.

As many teachers had expressed their interest in learning more “CI” based methods, I shared a few techniques with the whole group. Here is the compiled list below.

Total Physical Response

Think/Pair/Share

Visual Prompts 

Teaching Proficiency Through Reading & Storytelling

Station Activities

Pic-Tell     

Gesture Reading Circling

Reader’s Theatre Socrative Seminar

Embedded Reading Reciprocal Reading  (Informational Text)

Literature Circles (Narrative Text) Writers Workshop

Brain Breaks Pre-During-Post Reading Strategies

My focus was set on ClipChat (or Movie Talk*) as an interpretive listening technique and I was able to provide a short demonstration using a silent film from the series: Simon’s Cat. Since it was Valentine’s Day the day before, I thought a film about “amor” would be appropriate. This could have also served as a catalyst for discussing & exploring how other cultures celebrate Valentine’s Day or how others show love or kindness to one another.

First, I created a script and then pulled out important vocabulary words that I would highlight & make sure to repeat during the actual Clip Chat. Then, I designed pre-viewing and after-viewing activities for novice learners of Spanish. I also created a “cheat sheet” for myself and placed it in the back of the “classroom” so I could keep repeating my selected keywords.

Key Vocabulary:  Hay,  juega(n), rasca(n), se limpia(n), quiere, mariposa

Demonstration Video: Simon’s Cat

Presentation (with resources!)

Prior to viewing this video, I had the keywords/structures on eraseable cubes for each table to “roll” and either: draw, define or use the word in a sentence. This became my “pre-viewing” activity but there are so many other ways to get students to interact with key vocabulary prior to actually viewing the film. After I conducted a Clip Chat (approx. 14 minutes), the participants were handed envelopes with sentence strips and they had to put the sequence of events in order at their tables. Both activities selected were created with the Novice learner in mind and I really tried to gauge the attention of the non-Spanish speaking individuals in the room throughout this demonstration. Throughout the workshop, participants/students were using their interpersonal speaking abilities, interpretive listening and interpretive reading skills throughout the activities planned. If I wanted to take it a step forward, I could have the participants/students focus on presentational writing/speaking however, I was providing this demo for really “first year, first day/week” Spanish students, so I opted to delay any forced output so soon in the school year but rely on other methods to check for comprehension & understanding.

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to Silent Films and this is a Database that I have used in the past. But you can really use anything if you turn off the sound such as commercials or music videos!

In 2015, at both the FLENJ & ACTFL conferences, I also highlighted Clip Chat as a powerful technique for all Language teachers. Here is the link to that Prezi presentation.

I have witnessed excellent Clip Chats thanks to the educators who are willing to share, such as Martina Bex & Alina Filipescu, I highly recommend watching others before starting!

Any ideas or comments are welcome below! I look forward to learning about your experience with using this engaging technique with your classes!