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Author Topic: Using Movies without Subtitles  (Read 10603 times)

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Using Movies without Subtitles
« on: July 07, 2010, 02:23:00 PM »
Since my exams are finished and so is our text book for this year, I have been requested to show some movies in class. Now typically, I don't have the subtitles running as I believe that it distracts the students from focusing on the language and if they are available, I will turn on the English subtitles to the movie.

At any rate, this raised a few eyebrows from my co-teachers. The students hate it and tune out. Should I just give in and turn on the Korean subtitles or stick to my guns on this one? I understand that it is hard for some students to keep up, but I do feel that most just want to sit back and do nothing.

Has anyone encountered this? How are you using movies in your class room?

Offline rhetoric

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 05:03:37 PM »
Stick to your guns.  Watching English language movies with Korean subtitles most probably retards their ability to speak, listen to, read, and comprehend English.  Young children will sit through the movie grooving on the colors, if nothing else, and pick up some components of the language.  Older children can be more feisty.  Since it's a discipline issue, there are a myriad of ways to handle it: You could pause the movie and ask the student talking to stand up, and read the English language subtitle on the screen, each time, until they tire of having the movie paused. 

If the other teachers complain, you might ask them to explain to the students that roughly 40% of what they read in a subtitle is a mistranslation, and that if they can learn to watch movies in English, their comprehension will improve, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah . . . or . . . **** [MOD EDIT: be quiet]. 

English subtitles seem essential(you can download the subs for most films) and it might help to give the students a choice of which movie to see, showing them the film trailers to inform their choices. 

I was showing a film to an English club today and one of the teachers came in and started translating bits of the film into Korean.  I took her aside and told her I could get the Korean subtitles for the film.  "Oh, could you?" she enthused.  Yes, but this is an English club.  Sigh.  "But they can't understand . . . "  Of course, they can't understand everything, but we can't either / / there's too much information on the screen.  So we selectively perceive.  For foreign language learners, staying outside of their Mother tongue for longer than a few minutes can be a challenge, so some students are simply learning that when they sit quietly and let an English language movie wash over them.  Any yammering in Korean, or subtitles, would destroy it as a learning Experience. 

Unfortunately, few movies will satisfy everyone, and students accustomed to being the center of attention may be disruptive at the slightest discomfort.  I have found that having new movies is a plus.  Optimally, class time spent viewing movies is a very legitimate exercise if it teaches the students to spend part of their entertainment time in the target language instead of Korean: This will reduce their study time, so it's a win-win. 

If they insist on being disruptive, you might move to singing, which is also legitimate.  There are some PPTs to songs on this site, and many of the vids on Youtube have lyrics on screen: The World cup "Waving Flag" one is popular at the moment.  Be forewarned: Someone has invented Korean lyrics for the tune, so if some AH starts shouting that during the lesson, you might have to switch to another song if he doesn't pipe down.  You can shut off the sound and rehearse the lyrics with the video's graphics prior to playing the tune.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 07:37:27 AM by Dayle »
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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 05:39:52 AM »
Thank you very much for the reply. I think that I will start using some different lesson plans for the following week. I think that there are a few Mr. Bean lesson plans that the students may like.

As for the movies, there is an interesting article in this months KOTESOL journal about using movies in the classroom that is worth the read. The biggest problem is, IMHO, are the students attitudes towards it. They are not disruptive but nonexistent. Most just fall asleep during the movie. I know it is picky and I probably did the same when we watched a movie but when half the class falls asleep it is a hard one to take.

The main argument that I explained to my coteachers was from my own Korean language study. If I watch a movie in Korean with the English subs on, I learn nothing. Nothing forces me to listen for the words that I already know to understand the story or to find out what the characters are talking about. I just read along as if nothing is different, which is something that my students are quite used to given the amount of Hollywood movies here.

At any rate, I have a few lessons planned to get them back in the spirit of learning that I hope they will enjoy. For the future if anyone has any tips for movie classes please share them here.

Offline CT

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 07:27:29 AM »
I have the same problem but only with the lower grades which is understandable.
Does anyone know where I can get subtitles for the movies? Usually Disney or Harry Potter?
Thanks!

Offline Graumpot

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 07:47:05 AM »
I think this is a tough one. I'm a new teacher and I am planning on using a movie or 2 during my summer camps. What about using english subtitles? Although they still might not be able to follow everything going on they might be able to pick up more from english audio and subtitles. Please let me know what you think as I have to choose between movies with audio only, audio and korean st or audio with eng st.

Offline jeswat

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 08:10:41 AM »
I'm not so sure about that. If you have time to show a movie after the end of your lessons they've obviously worked hard and maybe deserve a break. Why even give them a movie if they can't enjoy it? Have them answer specific questions about the movie intermittently if you want them to practice their English. I don't see the problem with having them see one English movie with Korean subtitles once in a while just as a treat to the students.

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 08:58:06 AM »
I think you are right for the most part. It is a treat for them. They have just finished the exams and completed the text book. I guess that I am just worried about "slacking off" although it is usually requested that I play a movie rather than the lesson that I have planned.

As for the questions, that raises another problem "tuning out" I teach a lot of lower level learners and a lot just tune out. Worksheets and questions barely get answered. Unfortunately, I think I just have to accept that that these are not really classes but filler lessons before the end of the term.

Offline k_belle

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 09:01:13 AM »
http://www.grammarmancomic.com/movies.html

I used the Shrek Resource for my middle school students last year, English subtitles. It worked really, really well!

Offline be the ball

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 11:13:41 AM »
http://www.grammarmancomic.com/movies.html

I used the Shrek Resource for my middle school students last year, English subtitles. It worked really, really well!

What an awesome website! Thanks so much for sharing.

As far as the original thread. Do whatever you want. If you want to give the kids a break, show the Korean subtitles. If not, don't. It's a post-exam filler class, no reason to stress out about it.

Offline kaymac

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 11:48:37 AM »
Just to throw my two cents in to the ring, when I show a movie for fun I usually do put the subtitles on whether it be a full class movie or a short ten minutes of Simpsons. Most of my high schools would be hopelessly lost trying to watch a movie without subtitles. When you consider how slow you need to speak with a class full of students listening to you, and the average problems of comprehension at the slow speed, a movie with fast talking different accents etc would be beyond frustrating for almost 90% of my kids. Having said that, even with the subtitles on, I hear the kids repeat some English they hear. Doing worksheets is a good suggestion as then they have to take what they've seen and consider it in English. I did the Mr.Bean activity with my students and they loved it. Having had a chance to read the dialoge before watching they were able to keep understand even the speaking parts.<okay, so maybe this was fifty cents> if my students were a higher level, I could see how English subtitles only would work with English movies, but the majority would not be able to enjoy it.

Offline CT

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 11:51:00 AM »
This is a great site. Thanks.
Any sites for other korean subtitles? I'm looking for Disney movies and
also Harry Potter movies?

Offline rhetoric

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2010, 01:57:08 PM »
Putting a subtitle on a movie involves downloading the .srt file  (google the movie title and "subtitle".  I usually use opensubs.org).  Most .srt's come zipped and are safe to unrar.  Place the .srt in the same folder as the .avi, and make sure both have the exact same name (eg, movie.avi and movie.srt; it is permissible to use movie.en.srt).  Jet Audio, a free English download, from Cowan, a Korean company, has an excellent facility for changing the font, timing, and other display options. 

Movies seem easier to use during classes held during the recess period.  The class size is smaller, and it's possible to gauge interest.  In a recent vacation class the movie they responded to best was Hannah Montanna's!  The iconography of the opening sequences is razor-sharp. 

The foreshadowed ubiquity of English language culture demands an unmediated response.  The goal of the current EFL pedagogy is to ensure that response is always mediated, with the Korean language given primacy.  The same basic pedagogy subsists in the rest of East Asia, and it stems from the response developed during the 19th century encounter with the Occident.  ("Western  learning for trivial/technological matters, Chinese (or Japanese) learning for substantive, spiritual matters" was the, translated, maxim.)   Owing to ancient rivalry with proximate neighbors, where teaching the mother tongue to an outsider was a capital crime, the Korean grip on their culture/language is very tight.

A topical cream isn't needed to keep those knuckles white.  The government, and the media oligarchy, maintain a high pitched national chauvinism and are on guard against semiotics which might lead to a reduction in xenophobia.  It's good for business and it's helps to maintain tradition.  Pearson, Longman, et. al., could have been hired to design an efficient national curriculum to bring our young charges into English language culture directly. That we are not all the human tape recorders the national curriculum relegates us to be is owed to Korean culture's rootedly anarchic bits. 

You may be hearing the distant, obedient, echoes of that national chauvinism in your charge's simulated discontent.  Perhaps it would be worthwhile to keep on trying, hunting and downloading and showing bits of English language culture until you run across a stash that these students prefer to ingest uncut.  Your enthusiasm for the movie may be very important, too: If the rest of the audience sees and feels your involvement.  Co-teachers and other faculty can be enormously helpful, too;  if the students see them watching in rapt attention, they will be more prone to do the same.

And don't forget the game.  Most popular targeted for teens movies have games that will play on the Nintendo Lite, a PC, and other platforms.  All of your students with a DS Lite will have a crack chip, and you can download the game and slip it on there (in English).  The goal is to get them to spend some of their entertainment time in the target medium; English should be play, not study, especially in the Confucian sense of the term study.

I like both the book and the game for _The Tale of Desperaux_: The movie comes third.  With advanced planning, students who opted out of the chosen title might be allowed to bring their PMP's with them, onto which you could load a different English language culture movie with English language subtitles; or do an audiobook through headphones on their .mp3 player.
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Offline k_belle

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 01:21:56 PM »
Here's another site I just ran into while looking for Mr. Bean handouts, might help...

http://www.english-4kids.com/videosheets.html 

Offline fishead

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2010, 07:26:33 AM »
For what you are trying to do I suggest going into EFL Classroom 2.0. there slogan is" When one teaches two learn. It is hosted by someone named David Duebelisse who is an active member of Ko-TESL. They have a section of video's called" Wallace and Gromit" Choose a "A Close Shave" It has easy to read subtitles in simple English.

You might also want to look into" Lost" season One. Episode one "The Pilot". This follows the initual plane crash it has lots of action that is exciting to watch plus tons of short simple dialogue.

Offline chunsa88

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2010, 07:45:54 AM »
Quote
Now typically, I don't have the subtitles running as I believe that it distracts the students from focusing on the language and if they are available, I will turn on the English subtitles to the movie.
I agree that subtitles distract the kids from the dialogue. I'm a Korean - Australian and have been to many Korean movies shown in Australia with English subtitles. I have found that even though I understand what the people are saying in the movie, my eye automatically redirects itself to the subtitles. So with my classes I turn on the English subtitles for the English movie. They may not understand it but I'm teaching English to them not Korean so I stick to my guns no matter how many times they complain. It's good training for listening as well.

Offline KiwiInKorea

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2010, 08:18:15 AM »
If you do show the movie with the subtitles, perhaps you could give the students questions about certain scenes and discuss them in English after you've watched it.

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2010, 09:34:56 AM »
My thoughts were sparked by chunsa88's post, specifically, but I also wanted to offer more general advice on using subtitles with movies.

I agree that they can be a distraction but I don't think that's always the case.  When I watch Korean movies, actually, when I watch any movie with subtitles my eyes automatically hone in on the subtitles.  Still, with Korean movies, I've found that having the English subtitles gives me a chance to see what native speakers would more than likely say in a given situation compared to Korean speakers.  This has been invaluable to me in learning what little bit of Korean I have learned. I say that because I've noticed that what I read and what I hear aren't always direct translations and sometimes something different altogether.  In other words, I've been able to pick up some great situational Korean.

I don't think there's any "correct" way of showing subtitles though not to say there aren't incorrect ways.  It all depends on the aims of that day's lesson plan.  Sometimes you're looking more so to ensure that the students comprehend and enjoy the movie so you can implement that comprehension into something else that follows in the lesson plan.  Perhaps that's a worksheet or some other type of activity.

You could play a video first with Korean subtitles and then play back and review the English used in a pre-selected portion of the video since I'm sure the goal wouldn't be for the students to understand everything that was being said verbatim.

If the focus for the day's lesson is listening, then don't use Korean subtitles, or any subtitles, and check for comprehension during the video or after.

How we approach using video content in our lessons is and should be contingent upon our aims for that class and the ability of the students in that class.  Basically, my advice is not to get bogged down thinking there's only one way to utilize video/media content.  There's a myriad of of ways to do so that can be effective and enjoyable.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 10:58:26 AM by halcyon »

Offline kayli_blue

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2010, 10:17:57 AM »
Still, with Korean movies, I've found that having the English subtitles gives me a chance to see what native speakers would more than likely say in a given situation compared to Korean speakers.  This has been invaluable to me in learning what little bit of Korea I have learned. I say that because I've noticed that what I read and what I hear aren't always direct translations and sometimes something different altogether.  In other words, I've been able to pick up some great situational Korean.

I completely agree with you.  When I was living in Peru, I found that watching Spanish movies with English subtitles, or (even more helpful) English movies with Spanish subtitles, helped show me how native speakers would phrase something, and prevent me from speaking awkward Spanish with a lot of L1 interference.  I can see the benefits to playing things with English subtitles, and for some short videos (like videos from Eat Your Kimchi), I'll turn on English subtitles, but only if it's discussing content the students already understand!  So if we're watching a video about Korean street food, they can handle the English because they are already familiar with the subject.  If it's a longer movie, or a TV show, I think it would be too stressful and not incredibly beneficial for them to watch it without Korean subtitles, so I'll turn them on.

Offline salabbe

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Re: Using Movies without Subtitles
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2010, 10:41:04 AM »
I totally agree with you halcyon. Well put. In my personal experience as a language learner I find that subtitles play different roles at different stages of learning.

For example:

1) Different Scripts/alphabets: If you are an absolute beginner learning Korean there is not much use in watching a movie with Korean subtitles. However, after mastering Hanguel, watching a film with Korean subtitles helps my spelling and comprehension. Of course, this does not neccesarily help my listening (i.e. no subtitles at the bar!).

2) Grammar/sentence construction: Even at intermediate levels, watching a movie with target language subtitles can help re-enforce how grammar is used in speech. Linking the written construction with a natural conversation can be very helpful.

3) Pronunciation/inflection/style/mannerisms...etc: While every culture and language has their own set of gestures and emotional expressions, the pronunciation and inflections of our various accents throws a curve ball in our students path. That is to say, as EPIK and private teachers, we hail from a variety of countries, each with distinct backgrounds and means of expressing ourselves which are not only very different from the our student's culture and language, but very different from each other's.

A student who watches American Hollywood films during her childhood will inevitably have problems with Eagle vs. Shark, as a Kiwi flick, Guy Ritchie films, trying to distinguish why Kevin Costner in Robin Hood doesn't sound like the guys from the Full Monty, as well as Aussie films like Chopper and Bad Boy Bubby (given, these should not be shown to you Middle and Elementary students!).

The list goes on. Long story short. I believe that switching up the medium is the best way to avoid bad habits and maintain interest. If you always show movies with Korean and/or English subtitles, at one point, your students will not benefit as much as they could had you forced them to pay attention to the spoken language and the interaction that occurs during a conversation. Same idea as a good lesson plan.

Que tengan suerte!