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Repercussion Theatre

MONTREAL, MAY 18, 2011 Students in the Common Core Basic Education program (CCBE) at the Marymount Adult  Education Centre in Côte Saint-Luc  recently embarked  upon a creative new project  to use multimedia and digital film to help increase English speaking and comprehension.
Teachers Hilda Smolash and Melissa Grimaldi invited students to create their own skits using real-life scenarios in a classroom setting.  Students did not follow a script,  but improvised their roles in common situations, ordering food at a restaurant, dealing with family drama and working with the public as TV journalists and reporters.  Everything was recorded using digital and video cameras and edited into short movies.

“We wanted to keep it as close to reality as possible” says Hilda Smolash, the creator of the project. “In real-life there are no scripts or lines to follow in these situations.”

Student groups then met with their respective teachers privately to discuss their mistakes and competencies in learning English.

Just as the world of sports and business uses video to promote athletes and learn how to handle job interviews, seeing and hearing oneself on film can help improve performance and build confidence when learning a new language.

“This fun and engaging project is catching on in other classrooms” notes Smolash, “We hope to continue with this and to come up with other new and exciting ways to use technology to enable adults to learn language and literacy.”

You can see the videos on the EMSB Vimeo Channel at or contact the Marymount Adult Education Centre at 514-488-8203 for more information on the CCBE program..


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213