During the month of October, Vista Higher Learning offered five webinars that highlighted the importance of incorporating video input, projects, and real-life tasks in the Second Language Classroom. These webinars were specifically tailored to the target languages Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Incorporating authentic videos in the second language classroom has numerous benefits. It provides learners with realistic language input, immerses them in the target culture, enhances their comprehension skills, increases motivation, exposes them to multimodal language, different registers and genres, and provides them with current and relevant content. Additionally, it promotes cultural awareness, fosters authenticity, and enhances motivation.
During the webinars, we discussed the difference between scripted and authentic videos. Scripted videos are carefully crafted dialogues and narratives that present language structures, vocabulary, and pronunciation in a controlled manner. On the other hand, authentic videos provide learners with exposure to natural, unscripted language use by showcasing native speakers’ authentic pronunciation, intonation, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and cultural references.
To support learners when using authentic videos in the classroom, instructors can incorporate pre-viewing activities, post-viewing discussions, comprehension tasks, vocabulary exercises, or collaborative projects that connect the video content to learners’ own experiences and interests.
Our final point in these webinars focused on projects and real-life tasks; and how they can help learners develop their language skills. By engaging in tasks that mirror real-life situations, learners can practice using the target language in meaningful and authentic ways. This improves their fluency, accuracy, and overall language proficiency. Additionally, these tasks help learners develop their interpersonal and communication skills, such as negotiation, persuasion, active listening, and cooperation. These skills are essential for effective communication in the target language. Furthermore, these tasks promote higher-order thinking skills and help learners think critically and strategically in the target language. Finally, these tasks foster cultural awareness and sensitivity, aiding learners in developing intercultural competence and a deeper understanding of the target culture.
If you want to learn more, you can visit our Professional Development Webinar Website to watch any of our events on demand and according to your schedule.