Movietalk in the Primary (Elementary) Classroom

Most CI teachers rave about Movietalk. Movietalk is using a short video/film as an engaging method of sneaking in repetitions of specific target structures. Martina Bex has a very detailed explanation on her website. Catharina mentioned in our last Skype call that her students (junior primary) absolutely love movietalk and constantly ask for another one. It was a technique that I was both been very keen to try and yet was also apprehensive about trying it. While I knew students would enjoy watching and talking about a movie clip, I am aware that my students only have a very small pool (puddle) of acquired structures and also that I am still a real TPRS beginner!! Circling, PQA etc are TPRS techniques I am still developing and the idea of doing them all on the fly about a video was slightly intimidating. So, I read up about it, looked at  video clips recommended by other teachers and put it in the ‘maybe later’ basket. Then on the moretprs listserve, this Mr Bean video was posted as a good Movietalk option. As soon as I saw it, I was struck with how perfectly it supported:

  • terlalu besar – too big
  • terlalu kecil – too small
  • pas – just right.

So on the weekend I watched the video and took some screen shots to make up a smart notebook file. This way unfamiliar vocabulary eg towels, bathers, shirts, toothbrush, toothpaste etc could be labeled and thus be easier for us to talk about them without needing to lapse into English.

terlalu besar, kecil atau pas




I also wrote up on the board some vocabulary that would help the discussion but is not a focus:

  • libur – holiday
  • tas – bag
  • mengepak – to pack

Finally I felt comfortable enough to dive in the deep end and attempt a Movietalk.

On Wednesday, the year 3’s were the first class to do a Movietalk with me. Together we went through the notebook file, talked about the screenshots and then watched the movie. Thank goodness it was the year 3’s who were my guinea pigs!! For various reasons, the notebook collection of screenshots was not that successful. Mostly because the quality  of the pictures was poor which together with a fading smart board bulb meant students had difficulty grasping what we were talking about! I realised towards the end of the lesson while we were actually watching the video, how much better and easier it would be to watch the video and just stop it when needed.

So with the year 5’s, I did just this and it was brilliant. Students really became involved in the discussion and the repetitions of the above structures were brilliant. The story line was much clearer and students got far more involved with the craziness of Pak Bean.

So if you too, are keen to have a go at Movietalk, read up about it on Martina Bex’s blog, watch a few YouTube clips of teachers demonstrating Movietalk (watch this or this) and then search for the perfect clip to try it with.  If you have trouble finding a clip for specific target structures, I recommend asking the moretprs listserve or joining Ben Slavic’s website. Both provide awesome TPRS support.

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