MONTREAL, January 18, 2012 - Students enrolled in the English class at Marymount Adult Education Centre in Côte Saint-Luc, in conjunction with the RECIT (Réseau de personnes-ressources au service du personnel scolaire dans les écoles du Québec)- FGA(Formation Generale des Adultes) Regional Service, have taken part in a multi-media project that aims to improve their language skills. Through the production of short video skits based on real life situations, students were given the opportunity to also enhance their communication and writing competencies.
In order to prepare for this project, students were first asked to brainstorm within a group and recreate real-life situations where it was required for them to communicate in English. “This initial activity sparked many animated discussions as each group had to reach a consensus” says Hilda Smolash, the English teacher at Marymount Adult Education Centre.
Over a period of weeks, the students worked collaboratively with their teacher on the pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar of their skits. They were asked to practice without written lines in order to develop the improvization skills needed in real life situations. As they began to film, the students were asked to summarize the main action of their skits by writing short captions in the third person. They were then given the opportunity to act as directors and work collaboratively with Avi Spector (RECIT FGA) in order to incorporate these captions into their video skits. Each group of students analyzed their movies once they were completed, and reflected on their verbal communication skills and the effectiveness of their written captions.
Ms. Smolash shares how having Mr, Spector present to look after the technical aspects of this project allowed her to focus completely on the constructive feedback given to her students and the ability to maximize their English language learning.
Mr. Spector is inviting FGA teachers who would like to develop a similar activity in their English or FSL class to contact him at email@example.com. FGA-RECIT can provide equipment, along with pedagogical and technical support.