Making Short Films in a Foreign Language:
A Performative Pedagogy that Pushes
Textbooks off the Scene
by: Maher Bahloul
The paper demonstrates ways in which short film production is integrated in teaching and learning new languages. As such, it promotes the growing field of performative-based learning: “a teaching method in which students acquire new knowledge and skills in the course of designing, planning, and producing some product or performance” (Simkins 2002:2). The paper drafts briefly on current research and evaluation of arts integration that includes short film production in order to provide a theoretical and practical context. It will then describe sample productions in which film, arts, and culture are used in language learning. Learning spaces, teachers’ qualifications, and learning methodologies are shown to challenge traditional language learning settings which rely on the textbook. A Textbook-Based Approach (TBA) is contrasted to a Film-Based Approach (FBA) with the latter showing much more promise and proving much more effective. Finally, benefits of filmmaking and video arts are shown to have an impact on teaching methodology, learners’ motivation, learners’ visual and media literacy skills, and effective learning.
Key words: ELT, Textbook-Based Approach, Film-Based Approach, Storyboarding, Filmmaking, Arts Integration
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