It’s what the students do – Part Two

dscn4355My previous post referred to the importance of what we get the students to do. This post is a continuation of that idea because we have reached the end of another semester and students have completed some of their projects.  Take a peek at our Portuguese language blog that I call “É isso aí” and check out the video clips from my students who were enrolled in our advanced grammar course.  I just can’t stop watching these clips.  How creative can the students be?  I am totally impressed.  Here’s the URL for the blog: http://kelmbrazil.wordpress.com/

In terms of language learning, what impresses me is the way that the students built the projects.  In class we ask students to write about a given topic.  We then review the video clips of Brazilians who also discuss the same topic (http://www.laits.utexas.edu/orkelm/ppe/intro.html).  Then the students videotaped skits about those same topics.  The assignment was to also add the transcripts, translations, notes, analysis, etc. to those clips.

So not only did we tie in the topics among those various activities, but the students ended up combining references of their own video clips  in subsequent clips.   I even heard specific language patterns that we had discussed in class that they tried to incorporate into the clips.

At the end of the semester one of my students mentioned that our grammar book “sucks the life out of Portuguese.”  Compared to the video clips I totally understand where she was coming from.  There is a pretty good chance that future sections of the class will not have to worry about having that book any more.  Instead, we’ve found a much better way to see what the students can do.

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