HINT FOR WATCHING QUICKTIME VIDEOCLIPS ON THIS PAGE: It is recommended that you configure your browser preferences ("helpers" or "applications") to use an external player for QuickTime Movies (MIME type: "video/quicktime"; suffix/extension: "mov"; file type: "MooV"), rather than a browser plug-in. In this way you may switch back and forth between clips and web pages more conveniently.

Listening Activity: "Draw the Movie Scene"

This activity is comparable to "Draw the Party", but has different technical requirements and possibilities for interaction between receive sites and the origination site.

Objective/ product

Students draw, in cartoon form, a scene (that is, a still frame) from a movie as they hear it described by a fellow learner, the teacher, or another informant.Details described may include the appearance of people and objects in the frame, the space they are in, and what they are doing. Note how the activity fits the criterion of being task-based: there is an information gap and a product. After this activity is finished, the process will be repeated with a different image, and with origination-site and receive-site students switching roles.

Followup: the accuracy of the drawings is checked against the actual scene, giving the students needed feedback on their performance.

Materials needed

A videocassette of a movie and a video player with freeze-frame capability.

Alternatively, still-frame photo(s) from a movie.

Procedures for traditional classroom

As in "Draw the Party," students listen and draw individually. The description should be repeated several times.

Followup stage: Students may work in pairs to check the ordering of topics; the video can be played again to reconcile differences in answers.

Adaptations for ITV

No adaptation of this activity is necessary for its use in the ITV classroom.

In the followup stage, the teacher may gather student worksheets and choose one for anonymous display on the visual presenter. The group can comment on the accuracy of the ordering. Alternatively, students may be invited to check results with a neighbor. Receive sites may compare results with each other over the audio channel while the sound monitors (speakers) at the originating site are suppressed, so as to reduce classroom noise. Or an originating-site student can be paired with a receive-site student through the use of headphones.


Sample Clips

In this activity sequence, the instructor makes use of a still image from the 1956 feature film Zhu Fu (The New Year's Sacrifice), directed by Sang Hu, Beijing Film Company (available here) to develop students' descriptive abilities.

Prior to this activity, students have viewed some segments from the film and learned some expressions and cultural themes connected with the celebration of Chinese New Year. The image centers around the custom of brushwriting auspicious New Year's couplets.

Set-up for task. By the point where the clip begins, the technicians, at the request of the teacher, have already hidden the still image from the receive sites -- only the originating site can see it. Notice the teacher's interaction with technical personnel as she directs the technicians to forward the videotape a few frames ahead to the still image that she wishes to use.


Speaking task. Origination-site students take turns describing features of the image while receive-site students work on their drawings. Notice how the information gap in this task is configured to stretch across sites: unlike in the traditional classroom, there really is distance between the speakers and listeners. Also notice that in the clip, the individual speakers are not visible, apparently because the instructor did not direct technicians' attention to individual contributors. What is the effect? Observe. (Note: The student is saying, "The old man is holding a writing brush in [his] hand.")


Set-up for checking. The instructor directs the technicians to display one of the remote sites' drawings to everyone using the image sent from the visual presenter at that site.


Checking. Students describe features of the drawing they see, thereby "recycling" language they have learned as part of the activity; the teacher provides feedback.



1999 Stephen Fleming, NFLRC, University of Hawai‘i.All rights reserved.