Films in the Language and Culture class

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This presentation provides some hints to use films in the Language and Culture class. (at teacher training colleges - Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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Films in the Language and Culture class

  1. 1. F I L M SA Journey to Language and Culture in the Language and Culture class Universidad Nacional de San Martín Primeras Jornadas de Literatura y Cine en Lenguas Extranjeras 15 y 16 de octubre de 2010 Mercedes A. Foligna
  2. 2. LANGUAGE AND CULTURE II Objectives  Material  Written  Cultural  History textbooks knowledge  Primary sources  Newspaper/magazine articles  Language  Electronic sources proficiency  Audiovisual  Fiction films  Documentary films
  3. 3. OUR STUDENTS Buenos Aires Province CABA T.T.Colleges (J.V.González, J.R. Fernández) Average Entrance B 1/B2 C1/C2 level (intermediate) (upper-int./advanced) (CEFR) Classes in English(clock hours per year) 364 hs 476 hs. (2nd year)
  4. 4. OUR CLASSES Oral work  Discussion of material ss. have read  Analysis of events, stories and films  Correction of viewing guides  Sharing of individual discoveries  Presentations of research work
  5. 5. HOW MUCH THEORY DO THEY NEED?This is not a Literature This is not a Film course, but... Studies course, but... they need the basics  they need the basics of of  Literary Criticism  Genre Conventions  Marxist Criticism  Visual and Audio Code  Feminist Criticism  Composition  Psychoanalitic  Narration Analysis  Focalization
  6. 6. FILM AND REALITY Do films reflect reality? Are they a trustworthy source to learn History?
  7. 7. FILMS IN THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE CLASS Visual impact of historic periods or events Springboard to begin research work Memorable depiction of an event Artistic interpretation of a fact Source to understand the feeling for a time
  8. 8. Subjective and Political“What we are seeing did not actually happen, but is a version of what happened, given to us via researchers, a script, etc. ” Actors Researchers Scriptwriters Decorators Producers DIRECTOR Make up Art director costume Casting Music score Film editing Cinematography
  9. 9. THE LANGUAGE DIMENSION Average L & CII student: between B2 and C1(CEFR) Students need:  to expand their semantic scope  for recognition  for production  to improve their accuracy in  the grammatical area  the pragmatic area
  10. 10. THE LANGUAGE DIMENSION FILMS EXPOSE STUDENTS TO  listening to native speakers of the language  different dialects (regional, social)  extensive language input  intensive language input (film guides)
  11. 11. THE CULTURE DIMENSION Language and culture: “ to understand and appreciate the cultural modes of different native users of the foreign language” What English?  American?  British?  Australian?  Indian?  South African?
  12. 12. THE CULTURE DIMENSION“Language is at once an outcome or a result of the culture as a whole and also a vehicle by which the other facets of the culture are shaped and communicated” (Gladstone 1969)
  13. 13. OUR OBJECTIVE To teach students to discriminate fact from fiction. To make them take profit from the possibilities the medium offers. To let them have extensive and intensive language input. To teach them work with intertextuality. To replace the “popcorn” approach to films by a critical one.
  14. 14. ONE EXAMPLE: “T h e S e r p e n t ´s E g g” BEFORE YOU SEE THE FILM-DIRECTOR-Find information about the director of this film.-HISTORICAL BACKGROUND-What problems did Germany face after World War I?How did Hitler rise to power?-CULTURE-How would you describe the German culture? What adjectives would you use? What are Germanpeople like?-VOCABULARY--Find idioms that contain the following words:HOUSE-EYE-HEAD-TAKE OUT ON- DROP-TIME-BUSINESSFind different ways of offering things:Find different ways of insulting:
  15. 15. “T h e S e r p e n t ´s E g g” WHILE YOU SEE THE FILMPay attention to the opening scene. What do you think this represents? What message do you think the directorwants to convey?-SHOTS-Find one scene in the film in which one of the following shots is used. What effect is the director looking for?(Remember that he has chosen this shot out of a set of options.) SHOT SCENE EFFECTExtreme close-upClose-upMedium shotAmerican shotFull shotLong shotExtreme long shot
  16. 16. “T h e S e r p e n t ´s E g g” Dynamic Shots SHOT SCENE EFFECTPanPush inPull backZoom inZoom out
  17. 17. -SOUND- Can you find any of the following sound effects in the film? What is the effect? SOUND EFFECT SCENE EFFECTVoice overOff screenFilterAmbient soundSilence -LANGUAGE- Which idioms that you looked up before are used in the film? Who uses them?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  18. 18. AFTER YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILMGENREWhat genre does this film belong to? What makes you think so?SETTING IN PLACEWhy is the setting in place important? What settings are there inside the setting?SETTING IN TIMEHow is the setting in time connected to the setting in place?CHARACTERSHow is the main character constructed visually?How is the character constructed through dialogue?How is the character constructed through performance?What is the significance of the position we are put in as spectators forresponding to character?Can those who make the film control our response?HISTORY IN THE FILMWhat historical facts are mentioned in the film?What is the context? What facts/ events/ people do they talk about?Does History prove these statements true?
  19. 19. Fiction films in History Period/Event FilmThe hollocaust The PianistIsraeli-Arab conflict MunichCommunist movements in L.A. Motorcycle DiariesSecond World War AtonementVietnam War Apocalypse NowVietnam War Born the Fourth of JulyThe Hollocaust The Boy in the Striped PyjamasSecond World War CasablancaIndustrial Revolution Modern TimesAtomic anxiety Dr. StrangeloveMcCarthism Good Night and Good LuckIndia´s independence GhandiRussian Revolution Dr. Zhivago
  20. 20. Fiction films in History Film Theme/TopicWall Street Capitalism – GreedThe Remains of the Day Traditions – Love – RepressionThe Go Between Forbidden love – Traditions – Social classesBilly Elliot Discrimination – PrejudiceThe Full Monty Unemployment – The effects of neoliberalismThe Godfather Organized crime – Men and womenCitizen Kane American dream – isolationThe Empire of the Sun Growing up – Japanese concentration campsA Passage to India Imperialism - Discrimination
  21. 21. INTERNET SITES www.filmeducation.org www.rottentomatoes.com www.imdb.com www.filmsite.org
  22. 22. Thank you! Film as dream, film as music. No art passes ourconscience in the way film does, and goes directlyto our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls. Ingmar Bergman

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