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Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?

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  • dk
    It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that the idea
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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      It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
      so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
      the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
      appealing.

      A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
      researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
      classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
      After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
      end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
      for each book they read.

      Very interesting.

      Dave Kees

      Read the article:
      http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html

      Excerpts from the article:

      "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
      youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
      completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
      and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
      books read) per year."

      "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
      Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
      reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
      and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
      rewards stopped."

      "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
      paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
      difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
      learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
      size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
      cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
      kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
      than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
      says. 'Isn't that cool?'"
    • Akio FURUKAWA
      Dear DK and every one, ... Yes, this is the reason why our SSS group teachers stick to READING IN CLASS and advise our students which books they should read in
      Message 2 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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        Dear DK and every one,


        > It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
        > so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
        > the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
        > appealing.
        Yes, this is the reason why our SSS group teachers stick to READING IN CLASS
        and advise our students which books they should read in class.

        If they do not have the time to read in class, most of them cannot
        continue reading.

        In-class reading and guiding helps the student to read fluently and feel
        the joy of reading,
        so some of them read at home.

        If students are given books easy to read and fun to read, they can read
        at least 300,000 words
        per year averagely.

        In fact, at my school, even 7th grader students who started learning
        English from last April,
        they have read averagely 344,319 words after 10 month of extensive reading.

        Here is the data:

        Number of students: 203
        Target: 7th grader (most of them started learning English from March in
        2010.
        Average of total amount of words they have read: 349,093

        1,000,000 up 7 students (including two returnees)
        500,000 - 999,999 21 students
        300,000 - 499,999 59 students
        200,000 - 299,999 35 students
        100,000 - 199,999 71 students
        50,000 - 99,999 10 students
        0 - 49,999 0 students

        Our 7th graders students love to play Nintendo and lots of homework, but
        they can read at least 100,000 words in a year, so I believe every
        university student
        can read more if they are rightly guided.

        Best regards,

        FURUKAWA Akio
      • John Paul Loucky
        Thanks so much for this fantastic article and research that shows us that indeed: Crime doesn t pay, but Reading does, or should! Read the article:
        Message 3 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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          Thanks so much for this fantastic article and research that shows us that indeed:

          “Crime doesn’t pay, but Reading does, or should!” 


          Read the article:
          http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html

           

          John Paul Loucky, Ed.D.

          jploucky@...

           

          Homepage: www.CALL4ALL.us

          Reading Resources Repository: http://call4all.us///home/_all.php?fi=r

           

           

          From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dk
          Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 1:08 AM
          To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?

           

           

          It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
          so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
          the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
          appealing.

          A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
          researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
          classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
          After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
          end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
          for each book they read.

          Very interesting.

          Dave Kees

          Read the article:
          http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html

          Excerpts from the article:

          "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
          youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
          completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
          and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
          books read) per year."

          "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
          Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
          reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
          and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
          rewards stopped."

          "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
          paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
          difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
          learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
          size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
          cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
          kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
          than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
          says. 'Isn't that cool?'"

        • Glen Hill
          Comparing HS and JHS reading time with university students is a bit tricky. HS students have club activities, as do university students. But most HS students
          Message 4 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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            Comparing HS and JHS reading time with university students is a bit tricky. HS students have club activities, as do university students. But most HS students know each other most of the years they are together, while uni students do not, especially in their first year, so they tend to socialize instead of spend time reading (IMO). Socializing can include dating or meeting non-dating friends (especially in clubs and circles), but it can also mean other things. At my uni, there is a first-year course in spring and fall that also sucks their time away with field work (spring) several hours per week and seminars (fall) they must prepare in groups. And, when science students get to their 3rd year, they begin far more lab courses and research, which detracts from pleasure reading time.

            What is really needed is to get kids motivated, interested, and simply aware of ER long before they hit university. Then it becomes a habit, and if we have a large collection of books for them, they can continue this habit. Perhaps even some of those shiny level 5 and 6 books will even get opened then!

            Bigger universities have an advantage over smaller ones, too. Not only in terms of budgets for books, but in terms of numbers of courses and teachers where students can be influenced into ER. At my uni there are only 4 FT English teachers (one doesn't even touch ER, another barely scratches its surface) and 3 PT teachers (one of which tries to encourage ER but teaches a writing class). I applaud Akio's success, but I think it should be put in perspective. Students need in-class reading time, yes, absolutely! They also need some advice about choosing the right books and how to manage vocabulary lists. But many also need some structured lecture-like lessons on reading skills beyond HS and JHS days, and there is a limit to what a couple of teachers (at my school) can do in that regard.

            Despite our 1800 books, nice comfortable room staffed with Japanese students, and a barcode reader to facilitate checkouts, not only do we have serious problems with more than 1% of students coming back to check out books on their own after first year, even when books are required, many do not even touch them. I don't think all of our teachers will agree to a system like Tom Robb has, where ER is a part of every course's grade, no matter what the course is (even though I like this idea myself), so what can a couple of guys to to buck the system?

            Glenski

            On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 7:08 AM, John Paul Loucky <jploucky@...> wrote:
             

            Thanks so much for this fantastic article and research that shows us that indeed:

            “Crime doesn’t pay, but Reading does, or should!” 

            John Paul Loucky, Ed.D.

            jploucky@...

             

            Homepage: www.CALL4ALL.us

            Reading Resources Repository: http://call4all.us///home/_all.php?fi=r

             

             

            From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dk
            Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 1:08 AM
            To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?

             

             

            It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
            so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
            the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
            appealing.

            A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
            researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
            classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
            After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
            end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
            for each book they read.

            Very interesting.

            Dave Kees

            Read the article:
            http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html

            Excerpts from the article:

            "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
            youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
            completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
            and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
            books read) per year."

            "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
            Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
            reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
            and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
            rewards stopped."

            "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
            paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
            difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
            learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
            size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
            cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
            kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
            than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
            says. 'Isn't that cool?'"


          • Scott
            Thanks for the link to the article, Dave. So if I m reading the article correctly, only one of the four cities saw tangible results in improvement on test
            Message 5 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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              Thanks for the link to the article, Dave.

              So if I'm reading the article correctly, only one of the four cities saw tangible results in improvement on test scores (Dallas). What separated Dallas from the other cities is that they paid money per book read, rather than paying children for attendance and class grades.

              So if students read, they'll get results, perhaps regardless of what moves them to do the reading. Sounds reasonable. The article says that the gains extended to the second year, when the money motivation was taken away. I'd like to see more details about that. Did the gap between these students and the control groups continue to widen? Or did they just maintain the gains they made in the previous year? If the latter, then it suggests that the students are reading less, and the gains they made might disappear further down the road.

              The main issue I have with the study is what did the control groups do? I suspect they did nothing but follow traditional reading methods (intensive reading, worksheets, no chance to self-select books, etc.) which we already know do not work so well.

              How about a study comparing cash incentives with student having access to a variety of interesting books to choose from, and time in class for SSR? Which group will get better immediate gains? Which group will have more students continue to read a lot years after the program ends?


              --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "dk" <davekees1@...> wrote:
              >
              > It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
              > so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
              > the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
              > appealing.
              >
              > A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
              > researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
              > classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
              > After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
              > end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
              > for each book they read.
              >
              > Very interesting.
              >
              > Dave Kees
              >
              > Read the article:
              > http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html
              >
              > Excerpts from the article:
              >
              > "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
              > youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
              > completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
              > and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
              > books read) per year."
              >
              > "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
              > Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
              > reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
              > and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
              > rewards stopped."
              >
              > "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
              > paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
              > difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
              > learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
              > size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
              > cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
              > kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
              > than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
              > says. 'Isn't that cool?'"
              >
            • dk
              ...not only do we have serious problems with more than 1% of students coming back to check out books on their own after first year, even when books are
              Message 6 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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                "...not only do we have serious problems with more than 1% of students
                coming back to check out books on their own after first year, even when
                books are required, many do not even touch them"


                That is why I am experimenting with movies. It's not for English beginners
                but can be very useful for intermediate level.

                By hacking the subtitles and making them appear longer, selecting movies
                with simpler dialog and slower speaking and choosing exciting movies the
                students get quite attracted to them.

                Here is a sample from The Matrix.

                http://www.davekees.com/file.php/1/the_matrix_escape_clip.avi

                Dave
              • Glen Hill
                Dave, I got an error message as follows when I clicked on that link. Error: Database connection failed. It is possible that the database is overloaded or
                Message 7 of 29 , Jan 11, 2011
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                  Dave,
                  I got an error message as follows when I clicked on that link.

                  Error: Database connection failed.

                  It is possible that the database is overloaded or otherwise not running properly.

                  The site administrator should also check that the database details have been correctly specified in config.php



                  Not that my students are anywhere near intermediate level, but I just thought I'd see what you had put together.

                  Glenski



                  On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                   

                  "...not only do we have serious problems with more than 1% of students
                  coming back to check out books on their own after first year, even when
                  books are required, many do not even touch them"

                  That is why I am experimenting with movies. It's not for English beginners
                  but can be very useful for intermediate level.

                  By hacking the subtitles and making them appear longer, selecting movies
                  with simpler dialog and slower speaking and choosing exciting movies the
                  students get quite attracted to them.

                  Here is a sample from The Matrix.

                  http://www.davekees.com/file.php/1/the_matrix_escape_clip.avi

                  Dave


                • Mark Brierley
                  Thanks for the Interesting article, Dave. Perhaps some systems that do give students some kind of reward for each book they read will have a similar kind of
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                    Thanks for the Interesting article, Dave.

                    Perhaps some systems that do give students some kind of reward for each book they read will have a similar kind of effect to paying cash. This can work especially online (where everything is free!) For example, Tom's Moodle Reader module adds a picture of the book cover to the student's page; our online system shows a tree that grows as students read more. It may also be possible to do this with paper-based systems, for example using stickers. We used a colour-coded book reporting system, so that students would get different colours for each book they read.

                    I agree completely with Akio that reading in class is very important. Not just because it will guarantee that students spend at least some time reading, but also it will show students that the teacher considers reading to be important. 

                    Another thing that is probably important is the teacher reading in class, which will show students that reading is so important that the teacher should be reading a book rather than actually teaching.  (I'm not 100% sure about this though...)

                    Mark

                    On 12 January 2011 09:33, Scott <scottmiles67@...> wrote:
                     

                    Thanks for the link to the article, Dave.

                    So if I'm reading the article correctly, only one of the four cities saw tangible results in improvement on test scores (Dallas). What separated Dallas from the other cities is that they paid money per book read, rather than paying children for attendance and class grades.

                    So if students read, they'll get results, perhaps regardless of what moves them to do the reading. Sounds reasonable. The article says that the gains extended to the second year, when the money motivation was taken away. I'd like to see more details about that. Did the gap between these students and the control groups continue to widen? Or did they just maintain the gains they made in the previous year? If the latter, then it suggests that the students are reading less, and the gains they made might disappear further down the road.

                    The main issue I have with the study is what did the control groups do? I suspect they did nothing but follow traditional reading methods (intensive reading, worksheets, no chance to self-select books, etc.) which we already know do not work so well.

                    How about a study comparing cash incentives with student having access to a variety of interesting books to choose from, and time in class for SSR? Which group will get better immediate gains? Which group will have more students continue to read a lot years after the program ends?


                    --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "dk" <davekees1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
                    > so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
                    > the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
                    > appealing.
                    >
                    > A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
                    > researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
                    > classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
                    > After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
                    > end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
                    > for each book they read.
                    >
                    > Very interesting.
                    >
                    > Dave Kees
                    >
                    > Read the article:
                    > http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html
                    >
                    > Excerpts from the article:
                    >
                    > "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
                    > youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
                    > completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
                    > and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
                    > books read) per year."
                    >
                    > "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
                    > Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
                    > reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
                    > and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
                    > rewards stopped."
                    >
                    > "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
                    > paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
                    > difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
                    > learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
                    > size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
                    > cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
                    > kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
                    > than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
                    > says. 'Isn't that cool?'"
                    >




                    --
                    Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                    May 21st and 22nd
                    http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                    第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                    5月21日22日
                    発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                    --
                    Mark Brierley
                    School of General Education
                    Shinshu University
                    Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                    +81 263 37-2923
                    mobile 090 4464 6391
                  • dk
                    The link is working for me. I m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know. The advantage of movies is that they are
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                      The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                      The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                      The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                      Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                      Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                      Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                      Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?

                      http://www.davekees.com/file.php/1/the_matrix_escape_clip.avi


                      Dave

                       

                       

                    • Glen Hill
                      Dave, I got it to work now. Must ve been a temporary glitch. I like the larger subtitles you created. I suppose the yellow versions need to be explained to
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                        Dave,
                        I got it to work now. Must've been a temporary glitch.

                        I like the larger subtitles you created. I suppose the yellow versions need to be explained to students that they are simpler translations of what is above them in white.

                        I noticed that you cut out some words. If students don't know that, they may be confused a little when reading and listening.

                        As for choosing movies with simpler dialog and slower speaking, I agree that it's necessary, but there is a lot of dialogue in this clip that is pretty darned fast. (I compared it to some YouTube videos I chose that seemed relatively slow, too, yet many students said they were too fast. Go figure.) It would take considerable effort to find movies with simple dialogue and those which most students are interested in. You wrote that "Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book." I find that to be only partly true. There are probably fewer movies out there than books, so there is probably a greater possibility that more students will have seen a movie than read a particular book, but that doesn't mean more students percentage-wise will be interested in movies we choose. Movies will just be more visually attractive in general. (This is probably one reason why www.englishcentral.com uses movie trailer clips as a form of corpus/collocation tool.

                        As for "seeing sentence structure" in a movie subtitle, students will need to have that pointed out somehow, I feel, otherwise it will just breeze right past them. With ER in graded readers, they get far more exposure to sentence structures (with the same lack of pointing them out), so they are more likely to absorb them. Of course, in a movie clip like yours, we could always point things out, but it seems too laborious, not to mention hit and miss.

                        I can tell you one thing we definitely agree on, though. I, too, want to know how to make copies of videos that provide slower speeds. Maybe that's babying students too much. Maybe it's not necessary with things like Media Player being able to do that already (if we teach students, and if they have the same version). Maybe it's not necessary if we already have CALL rooms where the software in place already allows users to manipulate the speed. (We're supposedly getting such a thing next week.)

                        How did you tweak/hack the subtitles, by the way?
                        And, thanks for providing this clip.

                        Glenski

                        On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                         

                        The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                        The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                        The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                        Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                        Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                        Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                        Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?


                      • dk
                        Five important aspects in movies for students: Interest. Simplicity of dialog. Speed of dialog. Accents. Subtitles. POPULAR MOVIES - Unlike books, some movies
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                          Five important aspects in movies for students: Interest. Simplicity of dialog. Speed of dialog. Accents. Subtitles.

                           

                          POPULAR MOVIES – Unlike books, some movies are major hits. They are almost “must sees”: Avatar, Transformers, Titanic, The Matrix, etc. Of course, some of those don’t qualify for our students due to the reasons above. But generally, I think it’s much easier to choose a movie that will please more students than choose a book. Yesterday’s big hits are often still popular with students. (Most of my students really like “Regarding Henry”, a 1991 drama with Harrison Ford. It is a slow but touching drama. My students generally like action, comedy, romance and animation. “Regarding Henry” is none of these but my students are moved by this story. About 10 minutes into the movie, Henry gets shot in the head and consequently his speech becomes much slower and simpler making it easier for students to follow.)

                           

                          SUBTITLES INCOMPLETE – Actually for The Matrix, I just used the subtitles that I downloaded for the movie. These were for the hearing impaired and they sometimes skip a word here and there. That is probably not good for our students and I should correct that.

                           

                          YELLOW SUBTITLES – These are my comments to students to define word meanings. When I hack the subtitles, I add some introduction at the very beginning of the movie so that the students understand the purpose of the yellow subtitles.

                           

                          SPEED OF SPEECH – Even though The Matrix, compared to most movies, has relatively slow speech, some of the speech at points is still too fast for our students. But students don’t have to get every word or even every sentence to get a lot of benefit from the movie.

                           

                          SENTENCE STRUCTURE – I wouldn’t say I’m trying to help students “see” the structure. But to hear the structure, to be exposed to it, to get so wrapped up into the drama that they are hanging on every word and every sentence, this is going to benefit their grammar and sentence structure skills.

                           

                          SLOWING DOWN MOVIES ON PLAYBACK – Some movie players like PowerDVD can play movies at 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%. PowerDVD will playback with no deep voiced alteration to the sound. The speaking will be in the original pitch. Playback at 75% provides very good sound quality at normal pitch and students don’t have a clue that it is playing slower. From action research that I did in my classrooms, student comprehension improves at the slower speed. Music soundtracks don’t sound so good at the slower speed though. Playback at 50% has normal pitch but the speaking is so slow it is a bit unnatural and noticeable.

                           

                          SLOWING DOWN MOVIES IN THE COPY – I’m sure I will be able to do this when I get a proper movie editing program. Right now I am making the hacks in a simple way.

                           

                          PRODUCING MY MOVIE CLIP – I used KMPlayer, a free and very powerful movie player. With KMPlayer I can play the movie and add “external” subtitles. I can then make these subtitles any size. These subtitles are razor sharp clear and easy to read. KMPlayer can slow the movie down and maintain the pitch but there is some other sound distortion. KMPlayer can record clips and is great if you want to capture a segment of the video.

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Glen Hill
                          Sent: Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 16:55
                          To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Books vs Movies

                           

                           

                          Dave,
                          I got it to work now. Must've been a temporary glitch.

                          I like the larger subtitles you created. I suppose the yellow versions need to be explained to students that they are simpler translations of what is above them in white.

                          I noticed that you cut out some words. If students don't know that, they may be confused a little when reading and listening.

                          As for choosing movies with simpler dialog and slower speaking, I agree that it's necessary, but there is a lot of dialogue in this clip that is pretty darned fast. (I compared it to some YouTube videos I chose that seemed relatively slow, too, yet many students said they were too fast. Go figure.) It would take considerable effort to find movies with simple dialogue and those which most students are interested in. You wrote that "Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book." I find that to be only partly true. There are probably fewer movies out there than books, so there is probably a greater possibility that more students will have seen a movie than read a particular book, but that doesn't mean more students percentage-wise will be interested in movies we choose. Movies will just be more visually attractive in general. (This is probably one reason why www.englishcentral.com uses movie trailer clips as a form of corpus/collocation tool.

                          As for "seeing sentence structure" in a movie subtitle, students will need to have that pointed out somehow, I feel, otherwise it will just breeze right past them. With ER in graded readers, they get far more exposure to sentence structures (with the same lack of pointing them out), so they are more likely to absorb them. Of course, in a movie clip like yours, we could always point things out, but it seems too laborious, not to mention hit and miss.

                          I can tell you one thing we definitely agree on, though. I, too, want to know how to make copies of videos that provide slower speeds. Maybe that's babying students too much. Maybe it's not necessary with things like Media Player being able to do that already (if we teach students, and if they have the same version). Maybe it's not necessary if we already have CALL rooms where the software in place already allows users to manipulate the speed. (We're supposedly getting such a thing next week.)

                          How did you tweak/hack the subtitles, by the way?
                          And, thanks for providing this clip.

                          Glenski

                          On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:

                           

                          The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                          The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                          The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                          Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                          Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                          Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                          Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?

                           

                        • dk
                          Here are some instructions that I wrote for another teacher. - DK ~~~~~~~~~~ About hacking the subtitles, these subtitles are actually just a text file like
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                            Here are some instructions that I wrote for another teacher. – DK

                             

                            ~~~~~~~~~~

                             

                            About hacking the subtitles, these subtitles are actually just a text file like any other .txt file. Yes, there are special programs, many of them free, for editing these subtitles. You can find them by a search. But I haven't used these. I open the subtitle file with Word and then I can see the text like this:

                             

                            {18794}{18814}Thomas Anderson?

                            {18869}{18903}Yeah, that's me.

                            {19095}{19123}Great.

                            {19157}{19185}Have a nice day.

                             

                            I believe these numbers are the frame codes. Some subtitles use time codes with the hour, minute, second and thousandth of a second. These tell when to start and end one line of subtitle. Please note in the first line that the ending time in the first line is different than the beginning time in the second line. Now if we can change the ending time of the first line to be the same as the starting time of the second line then we will have subtitles that are always visible in the movie. In other words, the subtitles will wait or linger until the next line comes.

                             

                            Here is the same sample again but with my modifications:

                             

                            {18794}{18869}Thomas Anderson?

                            {18869}{19095}Yeah, that's me.

                            {19095}{19157}Great.

                            {19157}{19588}Have a nice day.

                             

                            So that is all we have to do to make the change. How to do that? There are probably many ways but I do it in Word. I’m afraid this may seem a little difficult if you are a novice at using Word and macros. I don’t know your level of expertise. I’ll give you a basic explanation here and if you have trouble understanding then let me know and I’ll add more detail. Learning to use macros is a very useful skill and you can use them in many ways to save you time and headache.

                             

                            In Word, I “record” a macro and assign it to a hotkey to make one change. The hotkey could be anything, Ctl-Q, Shift-Alt-9, any kind of key combination like that but not a common key combination that you use for other things like Ctl-C and Ctl-V. Then by simply holding down that key, Word will quickly go line by line and make the changes. “Recording” a macro means that Word will watch all the keys you hit in Word and will remember them. Then you can play back the macro and Word will go hit all those keys again in the same way. It’s sort of like those old player pianos that used to actually move the keys and play the music. Once made, my macro takes about 30 seconds to make the changes to a whole subtitle file.

                             

                            So start the macro record function and choose the hotkey.

                             

                            Now search for the time on the left by hitting Ctl-F and in the search window put:

                            ^p{

                             

                            That is, a “new paragraph” code (this is an invisible code that Word can see but you don’t see – it tells Word where to start a paragraph) plus the character “{“. This only occurs at the beginning of the line of a subtitle. Then I block off that beginning time by pressing: Shift-Ctl-Right arrow. Hit right key one time. Then Ctl-C to copy. Then I go one line up with the up arrow key. Then I search for:

                            }{

                             

                            This only occurs at the beginning of the end time. Hit right arrow one time. I block off that end time by pressing: Shift-Ctl-Right arrow. Follow that with: Ctl-V and this will replace the old end time with a new end time that is actually the beginning time of the next subtitle. Then press the down arrow key one time.

                             

                            Stop the macro recording.

                             

                            If you can do that, congratulations. You have recorded a macro to make one change in one subtitle line. Once you have done that, simply hold the hotkey down and it will do it thousands of times and change all the end times in your subtitles in about 30 seconds.

                             

                             

                          • Jeremy Taylor
                            Like many authors, publishers and I presume ER enthusiasts, I am keen to see how e.books develop. If you have time to do a short survey, I will happily share
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                              Like many authors, publishers and I presume ER enthusiasts, I am keen to see how e.books develop. If you have time to do a short survey, I will happily share the results once 100 people have done the survey. It can be found at http://bit.ly/e2oJTE and there are just ten questions.

                                 Thanks in advance

                               

                                 Jeremy

                               

                              Jeremy Taylor
                              Freelance Writer, Teacher Trainer
                              http://www.jeremytaylor.eu

                               

                               

                            • Glen Hill
                              Dave, Thanks for that detailed reply. I can see more clearly where you are coming from and I really do agree with most of your points. I think we are in a bit
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                                Dave,
                                Thanks for that detailed reply. I can see more clearly where you are coming from and I really do agree with most of your points.

                                I think we are in a bit of a disagreement on "seeing/hearing structures", but that's perhaps a pedagogical difference. Exposure is exposure, and that is largely what ER itself is about.

                                I would like to look more into PowerDVD and KMPLayer to see what they are like. I'm mulling over whether to give these (or something similar) to students as homework tools and/or in-class tools, as well as use them to create slower versions of things myself. Right now in my listening class, almost every lesson has a dictation exercise where I try to speak at normal, slow, and slightly slow speeds to give students 3 chances to hear 50-80 word stories. If I could record these and have exactly a certain slower speed presented to them, it would be consistent and not based only on my feeling of what is "slow" vs. "slightly slow".  [Sorry to stray from the ER topic, folks.]

                                Again, thanks for this message and the other with subtitle hacking info.
                                Glenski

                                On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 7:13 PM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                 

                                Five important aspects in movies for students: Interest. Simplicity of dialog. Speed of dialog. Accents. Subtitles.

                                 

                                POPULAR MOVIES – Unlike books, some movies are major hits. They are almost “must sees”: Avatar, Transformers, Titanic, The Matrix, etc. Of course, some of those don’t qualify for our students due to the reasons above. But generally, I think it’s much easier to choose a movie that will please more students than choose a book. Yesterday’s big hits are often still popular with students. (Most of my students really like “Regarding Henry”, a 1991 drama with Harrison Ford. It is a slow but touching drama. My students generally like action, comedy, romance and animation. “Regarding Henry” is none of these but my students are moved by this story. About 10 minutes into the movie, Henry gets shot in the head and consequently his speech becomes much slower and simpler making it easier for students to follow.)

                                 

                                SUBTITLES INCOMPLETE – Actually for The Matrix, I just used the subtitles that I downloaded for the movie. These were for the hearing impaired and they sometimes skip a word here and there. That is probably not good for our students and I should correct that.

                                 

                                YELLOW SUBTITLES – These are my comments to students to define word meanings. When I hack the subtitles, I add some introduction at the very beginning of the movie so that the students understand the purpose of the yellow subtitles.

                                 

                                SPEED OF SPEECH – Even though The Matrix, compared to most movies, has relatively slow speech, some of the speech at points is still too fast for our students. But students don’t have to get every word or even every sentence to get a lot of benefit from the movie.

                                 

                                SENTENCE STRUCTURE – I wouldn’t say I’m trying to help students “see” the structure. But to hear the structure, to be exposed to it, to get so wrapped up into the drama that they are hanging on every word and every sentence, this is going to benefit their grammar and sentence structure skills.

                                 

                                SLOWING DOWN MOVIES ON PLAYBACK – Some movie players like PowerDVD can play movies at 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%. PowerDVD will playback with no deep voiced alteration to the sound. The speaking will be in the original pitch. Playback at 75% provides very good sound quality at normal pitch and students don’t have a clue that it is playing slower. From action research that I did in my classrooms, student comprehension improves at the slower speed. Music soundtracks don’t sound so good at the slower speed though. Playback at 50% has normal pitch but the speaking is so slow it is a bit unnatural and noticeable.

                                 

                                SLOWING DOWN MOVIES IN THE COPY – I’m sure I will be able to do this when I get a proper movie editing program. Right now I am making the hacks in a simple way.

                                 

                                PRODUCING MY MOVIE CLIP – I used KMPlayer, a free and very powerful movie player. With KMPlayer I can play the movie and add “external” subtitles. I can then make these subtitles any size. These subtitles are razor sharp clear and easy to read. KMPlayer can slow the movie down and maintain the pitch but there is some other sound distortion. KMPlayer can record clips and is great if you want to capture a segment of the video.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Glen Hill
                                Sent: Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 16:55
                                To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Books vs Movies

                                 

                                 

                                Dave,
                                I got it to work now. Must've been a temporary glitch.

                                I like the larger subtitles you created. I suppose the yellow versions need to be explained to students that they are simpler translations of what is above them in white.

                                I noticed that you cut out some words. If students don't know that, they may be confused a little when reading and listening.

                                As for choosing movies with simpler dialog and slower speaking, I agree that it's necessary, but there is a lot of dialogue in this clip that is pretty darned fast. (I compared it to some YouTube videos I chose that seemed relatively slow, too, yet many students said they were too fast. Go figure.) It would take considerable effort to find movies with simple dialogue and those which most students are interested in. You wrote that "Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book." I find that to be only partly true. There are probably fewer movies out there than books, so there is probably a greater possibility that more students will have seen a movie than read a particular book, but that doesn't mean more students percentage-wise will be interested in movies we choose. Movies will just be more visually attractive in general. (This is probably one reason why www.englishcentral.com uses movie trailer clips as a form of corpus/collocation tool.

                                As for "seeing sentence structure" in a movie subtitle, students will need to have that pointed out somehow, I feel, otherwise it will just breeze right past them. With ER in graded readers, they get far more exposure to sentence structures (with the same lack of pointing them out), so they are more likely to absorb them. Of course, in a movie clip like yours, we could always point things out, but it seems too laborious, not to mention hit and miss.

                                I can tell you one thing we definitely agree on, though. I, too, want to know how to make copies of videos that provide slower speeds. Maybe that's babying students too much. Maybe it's not necessary with things like Media Player being able to do that already (if we teach students, and if they have the same version). Maybe it's not necessary if we already have CALL rooms where the software in place already allows users to manipulate the speed. (We're supposedly getting such a thing next week.)

                                How did you tweak/hack the subtitles, by the way?
                                And, thanks for providing this clip.

                                Glenski

                                On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:

                                 

                                The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                                The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                                The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                                Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                                Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                                Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                                Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?

                                 


                              • dk
                                I would prefer that my students read than watch movies. I think reading allows the student to really soak in the words, pause, reflect, recall, consider. But
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
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                                  I would prefer that my students read than watch movies. I think reading allows the student to really soak in the words, pause, reflect, recall, consider. But the fact of life is that movies are much more popular than books.

                                   

                                  Although some members of this list seem to have little problem getting students “hooked on books”, I know for you and me it has always seemed a major struggle. In that way, I identify with your travails more than with the experiences of many other list members.

                                   

                                  In Asian martial arts, students are taught to use the power of the opponent to your own advantage. I think it is wise to use the power of the student to advantage. If the student is crazy about movies and we can figure out a way to use movies to teach then it is a powerful tool.

                                   

                                  There are some definite problems to using movies, though. But if we can look at each of those problems and solve them one-by-one then we will have a great tool.

                                   

                                  Speaking is too fast? Find movies with slow speaking or just slow down the whole movie.

                                   

                                  English is too complex? Find movies with simpler English and/or add definitions into the subtitles.

                                   

                                  Strong regional accents? Find movies without problem accents or save those movies for students who would benefit from them. My students tell me they have a problem with Indian, African and Filipino accents. Heck, I’m American and I can’t understand some American accents. “Liiiiife iiiisss liiiiike ah booox of chocolateeees.”

                                   

                                  If you wanted to use movie audio with your students you can use the free program Audacity to slow down and save mp3’s. Together with portions of movie scripts you could have your students do a read along. I would show the movie clip first. Then as the students go over the text they will be picturing the action in their heads. This will make the experience more exciting and memorable for them.

                                   

                                  Dave

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Glen Hill
                                  Sent: Thursday, 13 January, 2011 10:09
                                  To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Books vs Movies

                                   

                                   

                                  Dave,
                                  Thanks for that detailed reply. I can see more clearly where you are coming from and I really do agree with most of your points.

                                  I think we are in a bit of a disagreement on "seeing/hearing structures", but that's perhaps a pedagogical difference. Exposure is exposure, and that is largely what ER itself is about.

                                  I would like to look more into PowerDVD and KMPLayer to see what they are like. I'm mulling over whether to give these (or something similar) to students as homework tools and/or in-class tools, as well as use them to create slower versions of things myself. Right now in my listening class, almost every lesson has a dictation exercise where I try to speak at normal, slow, and slightly slow speeds to give students 3 chances to hear 50-80 word stories. If I could record these and have exactly a certain slower speed presented to them, it would be consistent and not based only on my feeling of what is "slow" vs. "slightly slow".  [Sorry to stray from the ER topic, folks.]

                                  Again, thanks for this message and the other with subtitle hacking info.
                                  Glenski

                                  On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 7:13 PM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:

                                   

                                  Five important aspects in movies for students: Interest. Simplicity of dialog. Speed of dialog. Accents. Subtitles.

                                   

                                  POPULAR MOVIES – Unlike books, some movies are major hits. They are almost “must sees”: Avatar, Transformers, Titanic, The Matrix, etc. Of course, some of those don’t qualify for our students due to the reasons above. But generally, I think it’s much easier to choose a movie that will please more students than choose a book. Yesterday’s big hits are often still popular with students. (Most of my students really like “Regarding Henry”, a 1991 drama with Harrison Ford. It is a slow but touching drama. My students generally like action, comedy, romance and animation. “Regarding Henry” is none of these but my students are moved by this story. About 10 minutes into the movie, Henry gets shot in the head and consequently his speech becomes much slower and simpler making it easier for students to follow.)

                                   

                                  SUBTITLES INCOMPLETE – Actually for The Matrix, I just used the subtitles that I downloaded for the movie. These were for the hearing impaired and they sometimes skip a word here and there. That is probably not good for our students and I should correct that.

                                   

                                  YELLOW SUBTITLES – These are my comments to students to define word meanings. When I hack the subtitles, I add some introduction at the very beginning of the movie so that the students understand the purpose of the yellow subtitles.

                                   

                                  SPEED OF SPEECH – Even though The Matrix, compared to most movies, has relatively slow speech, some of the speech at points is still too fast for our students. But students don’t have to get every word or even every sentence to get a lot of benefit from the movie.

                                   

                                  SENTENCE STRUCTURE – I wouldn’t say I’m trying to help students “see” the structure. But to hear the structure, to be exposed to it, to get so wrapped up into the drama that they are hanging on every word and every sentence, this is going to benefit their grammar and sentence structure skills.

                                   

                                  SLOWING DOWN MOVIES ON PLAYBACK – Some movie players like PowerDVD can play movies at 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%. PowerDVD will playback with no deep voiced alteration to the sound. The speaking will be in the original pitch. Playback at 75% provides very good sound quality at normal pitch and students don’t have a clue that it is playing slower. From action research that I did in my classrooms, student comprehension improves at the slower speed. Music soundtracks don’t sound so good at the slower speed though. Playback at 50% has normal pitch but the speaking is so slow it is a bit unnatural and noticeable.

                                   

                                  SLOWING DOWN MOVIES IN THE COPY – I’m sure I will be able to do this when I get a proper movie editing program. Right now I am making the hacks in a simple way.

                                   

                                  PRODUCING MY MOVIE CLIP – I used KMPlayer, a free and very powerful movie player. With KMPlayer I can play the movie and add “external” subtitles. I can then make these subtitles any size. These subtitles are razor sharp clear and easy to read. KMPlayer can slow the movie down and maintain the pitch but there is some other sound distortion. KMPlayer can record clips and is great if you want to capture a segment of the video.

                                   

                                  .

                                  Image removed by sender.

                                • Thomas McCarthy
                                  The article was very interesting. Since I ve read and been told for many years now that giving outside incentives is a good way to reduce the targeted behavior
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
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                                    The article was very interesting.
                                    Since I've read and been told for many years now that giving outside incentives is a good way to reduce the targeted behavior (as stated in the article), I'm skeptical.
                                    However, if it worked, it worked. I'd like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides this article?

                                    Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be achieved by having small groups of students with an interested adult discuss books and encourage each other to read?



                                    --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "John Paul Loucky" <jploucky@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Thanks so much for this fantastic article and research that shows us that
                                    > indeed:
                                    >
                                    > "Crime doesn't pay, but Reading does, or should!"
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Read the article:
                                    > http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > John Paul Loucky, Ed.D.
                                    >
                                    > <mailto:jploucky@...> jploucky@...
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Homepage: <http://www.call4all.us/> www.CALL4ALL.us
                                    >
                                    > Reading Resources Repository: <http://call4all.us/home/_all.php?fi=r>
                                    > http://call4all.us///home/_all.php?fi=r
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                    > [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dk
                                    > Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 1:08 AM
                                    > To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > It is not easy to get our students hooked on books. It seems that they have
                                    > so much other work to do and pressing deadlines, homework and tests, that
                                    > the idea of reading a book in a foreign language for pleasure is not very
                                    > appealing.
                                    >
                                    > A "Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education
                                    > researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of
                                    > classrooms in multiple cities." He paid students for their performance.
                                    > After millions of dollars were handed out there was almost no improvement on
                                    > end of year standardized test results except for the students who were paid
                                    > for each book they read.
                                    >
                                    > Very interesting.
                                    >
                                    > Dave Kees
                                    >
                                    > Read the article:
                                    > http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html
                                    >
                                    > Excerpts from the article:
                                    >
                                    > "Schools in Dallas got the simplest scheme and the one targeting the
                                    > youngest children: every time second-graders read a book and successfully
                                    > completed a computerized quiz about it, they earned $2. Straightforward -
                                    > and cheap. The average earning would turn out to be about $14 (for seven
                                    > books read) per year."
                                    >
                                    > "And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all.
                                    > Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their
                                    > reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year -
                                    > and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the
                                    > rewards stopped."
                                    >
                                    > "So what happens if we pay kids to do tasks they know how to do? In Dallas,
                                    > paying kids to read books - something almost all of them can do - made a big
                                    > difference. In fact, the experiment had as big or bigger an effect on
                                    > learning as many other reforms that have been tested, like lowering class
                                    > size or enrolling kids in Head Start early-education programs (both of which
                                    > cost thousands of dollars more per student). And the experiment also boosted
                                    > kids' grades. 'If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher
                                    > than if you actually pay a kid for grades, like we did in Chicago,' Fryer
                                    > says. 'Isn't that cool?'"
                                    >
                                  • dk
                                    I d like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides this article? Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn t be achieved by having small
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      "I'd like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides
                                      this article? Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be achieved by
                                      having small groups of students with an interested adult discuss books and
                                      encourage each other to read?"


                                      Why don't you try it? I think sometimes we rely too much on other's research
                                      and don't try it out with our students. Set up a control class and an
                                      experimental class and see what happens and tell us about it.

                                      You may not have money to hand out but it seems like you have ideas for
                                      plenty of alternatives.

                                      Dave
                                    • Jez Uden
                                      Hi Dave having small groups of students discuss books (with an interested adult) certainly works with adult ESOL learners in the UK. I ve been doing this for
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Dave

                                        having small groups of students discuss books (with an interested adult) certainly works with adult ESOL learners in the UK. I've been doing this for quite a while now, outside of schools, in cafes where the learners choose their own books, read in their own time, and meet once a week to discuss and swap books. Very cost efficient too! ... i've had real success with this and I'm now doing talks about this idea for the British Council...

                                        In a typical ESOL classroom in the UK, the learners only have one class a week for 2 hours. My learners each buy a Cambridge reader, read at home, then discuss the books at the start of each lesson, then swap them. As well as the readers bringing the benefits of ER they can also generate great learner discussions...

                                        So yes, i can say that the majority of my learners are 'hooked on books'

                                        Jez 

                                        www.jezuden.edublogs,org



                                        To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: davekees1@...
                                        Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:25:23 +0800
                                        Subject: RE: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?

                                         
                                        "I'd like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides
                                        this article? Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be achieved by
                                        having small groups of students with an interested adult discuss books and
                                        encourage each other to read?"

                                        Why don't you try it? I think sometimes we rely too much on other's research
                                        and don't try it out with our students. Set up a control class and an
                                        experimental class and see what happens and tell us about it.

                                        You may not have money to hand out but it seems like you have ideas for
                                        plenty of alternatives.

                                        Dave


                                      • Glen Hill
                                        Jez, As much as I will congratulate you on your success, please allow me to lay Devil s Advocate from the standpoint of Japanese university learners.
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Jez,
                                          As much as I will congratulate you on your success, please allow me to lay Devil's Advocate from the standpoint of Japanese university learners. University classes in Japan usually meet only once per week for 90 minute, so it's a similar schedule to yours. But we have more problems. I imagine that some of them are related to the lesser enthusiasm towards English for the "local kids" compared to those who chose to live abroad.

                                          There aren't that many places for them to buy readers here. Students seem to be more eager to join sports clubs/circles than to do much else, including read in a foreign language. And, first-year students are quite busy at my school, with a special course that takes hours per week of their time. Did you know that most Japanese university students actually take about 15-18 different courses per semester, too? To add even one book reading per 2 weeks (in my own case) resulted in half the class not even reading a single thing, so to pile on any heavier work load will be met with resistance here. With some of our universities, there are thousands of available free books, yet they can be hardly touched.

                                          As for the "real success" you have had, I hope you don't mind a few questions.  I would like to know how you proposed your outside of class reading program/project, and how it actually got off the ground, let alone how what percent of students participate. Do they discuss their books in English or a foreign language? Are you concerned with students choosing a proper level of reader? Just how many do they actually read, and have you measured any increase in English fluency as a result?

                                          I've been an avid reader all my life, and I can easily talk to students about practically any book they may choose even if I have not read it. But, to find time to meet with students outside class is very hard for me, so I wouldn't even imagine being that interested adult to join their discussions. Who does it at your school, and how? And, just how old are those ESOL adults? Age could play a significant factor in the interest level of a reader.

                                          Hoping you won't be offended by these questions.
                                          Glenski

                                          On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 12:15 AM, Jez Uden <jezuden@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          Hi Dave


                                          having small groups of students discuss books (with an interested adult) certainly works with adult ESOL learners in the UK. I've been doing this for quite a while now, outside of schools, in cafes where the learners choose their own books, read in their own time, and meet once a week to discuss and swap books. Very cost efficient too! ... i've had real success with this and I'm now doing talks about this idea for the British Council...

                                          In a typical ESOL classroom in the UK, the learners only have one class a week for 2 hours. My learners each buy a Cambridge reader, read at home, then discuss the books at the start of each lesson, then swap them. As well as the readers bringing the benefits of ER they can also generate great learner discussions...

                                          So yes, i can say that the majority of my learners are 'hooked on books'

                                          Jez 

                                          www.jezuden.edublogs,org



                                          To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: davekees1@...
                                          Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:25:23 +0800
                                          Subject: RE: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?


                                           
                                          "I'd like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides
                                          this article? Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be achieved by
                                          having small groups of students with an interested adult discuss books and
                                          encourage each other to read?"

                                          Why don't you try it? I think sometimes we rely too much on other's research
                                          and don't try it out with our students. Set up a control class and an
                                          experimental class and see what happens and tell us about it.

                                          You may not have money to hand out but it seems like you have ideas for
                                          plenty of alternatives.

                                          Dave



                                        • Jez Uden
                                          Hi Glen As for the real success you have had, I hope you don t mind a few questions. Not at all…you’re more than welcome I would like to know how you
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
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                                            Hi Glen

                                             

                                            As for the "real success" you have had, I hope you don't mind a few questions. 

                                            Not at all…you’re more than welcome

                                             

                                             I would like to know how you proposed your outside of class reading program/project,

                                            Well, admittedly my situation appears somewhat more ideal in that my learners are incredibly motivated. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of book clubs though never been a part of one, and the idea of a book club for foreign language learners sounded like a good idea to me. To begin with it was solely for my learners at the college. However there are more frequently friends of friends of the learners who now come along too. Even some of the more reluctant learners in the classes began to gain an interest after hearing the others talking about the book club.

                                             

                                            How did it get off the ground,

                                            I began with a selection of various published readers. My learners had a look and settled on the Cambridge readers. I’m not saying there isn’t other good published material out there, but these are what my learners chose. The reading, I told them had to be comfortable, there shouldn’t be any need for dictionaries (going on Day’s i-1 theory) ..etc etc…they found their own levels, and I was happy with that.

                                             

                                            what percent of students participate.

                                            All of my students read extensively with graded readers at the college.

                                            The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth.

                                             

                                             Do they discuss their books in English or a foreign language?

                                            English! The book clubs integrate ER with socialising and purposeful language learning in one activity. Lots of opportunities for ‘negotiation’ …

                                             

                                            Are you concerned with students choosing a proper level of reader?

                                            Sometimes I think learners want to choose something that probably has too high a vocabulary load for them, and I’m not sure what the answer to this is…I tend to re-stress the importance of reading at a comfortable level (to allow partially known vocabulary to become acquired in order to develop a good sight vocabulary,to increase reading rate, fluency, comprehension etc) But yes, it can be tricky finding that balance, not wanting to discourage them from reading, but trying to make sure they are reading at the right level. However, I do ask them to record any unknown vocabulary, which they then make word cards out of… judging by this, you can usually tell if someone is reading at the wrong level.

                                             

                                            Just how many do they actually read

                                            You’re gonna hate me… Some of my learners read 5 readers a week! This isn’t typical though…most read just the one each week.

                                             

                                            and have you measured any increase in English fluency as a result?
                                            The speed reading tests I do in the class (not for the book club) show positive results regarding the words per minute measured against the comprehension questions (as in Nation’s course)…but I couldn’t say that this is related to the extensive reading. What I would say in all sincerity though is that the impact ER has had on the ‘affective’ aspects of the learners has been incredible.

                                            One of my learners from the book club works in a factory 20 miles away from my City. She has told her colleagues (Lithuanian and Polish) about the book club, but unfortunately it’s too far for most of them to travel to. However she told me a few months ago that they started buying their own Cambridge readers…reading them at home then chatting about them at work. This is nothing to do with me whatsoever…

                                             
                                            I've been an avid reader all my life, and I can easily talk to students about practically any book they may choose even if I have not read it. But, to find time to meet with students outside class is very hard for me, so I wouldn't even imagine being that interested adult to join their discussions.

                                            I can imagine this wouldn’t be ideal for most. However, I’m doing an MA at present, and have reduced my teaching hours. It therefore suits me to run an extra curricula book club a couple of evenings a week…something extra for the learners, and very little preparation for me.

                                             

                                            Who does it at your school, and how?

                                            Good question! I’ve recently had a meeting with the relevant managers and staff, and our college is now in the process of buying a large order of readers for the library. I’m hoping book clubs similar to mine can be created within the college. However, for many of the staff this is an entirely new concept though…many ESOL tutors are not well qualified or experienced, so the whole idea of ER is a new one on them. Also the ESOL curriculum was based on the national literacy standards (don’t ask!!!) and so little of it is based on any SLA research!! Therefore there are quite a few conflicts. I read a ‘teacher training’ book for ESOL teachers recently which said that graded reading courses are bad, and what teachers should do is take children’s books and adapt them for adults, I don’t think if I was learning Italian, I’d want to read an adapted version of Peter Pan!! … Anyway to answer your question, unfortunately just me so far…

                                             

                                            And, just how old are those ESOL adults?

                                            The students are anywhere between 18 and 65. It’s a really mixed bunch!

                                             

                                            Age could play a significant factor in the interest level of a reader.
                                            I haven’t found anything to suggest this would be the case as I have all ages, as mentioned above, coming to the book club. What is more interesting for me, is that it tends to be more females than males. Is there anything to suggest that gender plays a part in reading??


                                            Hoping you won't be offended by these questions.

                                            Not at all…its great to hear how experiences of ER are affected by different cultures and contexts. I’m learning a lot from this discussion group!!!

                                             

                                             

                                            Jez

                                            P.s there are some photos of some of the book clubs on this site

                                            www.jezuden.edublogs.org



                                            To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                            From: glenahill@...
                                            Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 00:33:29 +0900
                                            Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?

                                             
                                            Jez,
                                            As much as I will congratulate you on your success, please allow me to lay Devil's Advocate from the standpoint of Japanese university learners. University classes in Japan usually meet only once per week for 90 minute, so it's a similar schedule to yours. But we have more problems. I imagine that some of them are related to the lesser enthusiasm towards English for the "local kids" compared to those who chose to live abroad.

                                            There aren't that many places for them to buy readers here. Students seem to be more eager to join sports clubs/circles than to do much else, including read in a foreign language. And, first-year students are quite busy at my school, with a special course that takes hours per week of their time. Did you know that most Japanese university students actually take about 15-18 different courses per semester, too? To add even one book reading per 2 weeks (in my own case) resulted in half the class not even reading a single thing, so to pile on any heavier work load will be met with resistance here. With some of our universities, there are thousands of available free books, yet they can be hardly touched.

                                            As for the "real success" you have had, I hope you don't mind a few questions.  I would like to know how you proposed your outside of class reading program/project, and how it actually got off the ground, let alone how what percent of students participate. Do they discuss their books in English or a foreign language? Are you concerned with students choosing a proper level of reader? Just how many do they actually read, and have you measured any increase in English fluency as a result?

                                            I've been an avid reader all my life, and I can easily talk to students about practically any book they may choose even if I have not read it. But, to find time to meet with students outside class is very hard for me, so I wouldn't even imagine being that interested adult to join their discussions. Who does it at your school, and how? And, just how old are those ESOL adults? Age could play a significant factor in the interest level of a reader.

                                            Hoping you won't be offended by these questions.
                                            Glenski


                                            On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 12:15 AM, Jez Uden <jezuden@...> wrote:
                                             
                                            Hi Dave

                                            having small groups of students discuss books (with an interested adult) certainly works with adult ESOL learners in the UK. I've been doing this for quite a while now, outside of schools, in cafes where the learners choose their own books, read in their own time, and meet once a week to discuss and swap books. Very cost efficient too! ... i've had real success with this and I'm now doing talks about this idea for the British Council...

                                            In a typical ESOL classroom in the UK, the learners only have one class a week for 2 hours. My learners each buy a Cambridge reader, read at home, then discuss the books at the start of each lesson, then swap them. As well as the readers bringing the benefits of ER they can also generate great learner discussions...

                                            So yes, i can say that the majority of my learners are 'hooked on books'

                                            Jez 

                                            www.jezuden.edublogs,org



                                            To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                                            From: davekees1@...
                                            Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:25:23 +0800
                                            Subject: RE: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Hooked on books? Or, hooked on bucks?


                                             
                                            "I'd like to know what kind of followup there has been. Anything besides
                                            this article? Also, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be achieved by
                                            having small groups of students with an interested adult discuss books and
                                            encourage each other to read?"

                                            Why don't you try it? I think sometimes we rely too much on other's research
                                            and don't try it out with our students. Set up a control class and an
                                            experimental class and see what happens and tell us about it.

                                            You may not have money to hand out but it seems like you have ideas for
                                            plenty of alternatives.

                                            Dave




                                          • dk
                                            The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth. Jez, just a
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
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                                              "The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current
                                              learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth."

                                              Jez, just a few more questions if you don't mind.

                                              You hold it in a coffee shop?

                                              How many come to your club each week?

                                              You said 20% of your current learners. How many current learners do you
                                              have?

                                              Dave
                                            • Glen Hill
                                              Jez, Thanks a lot for your answers. I think part of your success comes from having more than just a single group of nationalities, and the fact that you are
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Jez,
                                                Thanks a lot for  your answers. I think part of your success comes from having more than just a single group of nationalities, and the fact that you are in the UK, not a country where English is not a native tongue. Students seem more motivated to learn English when they aren't in their home countries.  But you probably already surmised that after reading my own trials and tribulations.

                                                In my own reading course, after the class warm up of 30 minutes of silent reading, I always propose that they discuss something specific about their books, whether in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. I leave it to them to choose Japanese or English. In a class of 40 students, I am lucky if anyone uses English.

                                                Thanks again.
                                                Glenski

                                                On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 6:53 AM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                 

                                                "The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current
                                                learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth."

                                                Jez, just a few more questions if you don't mind.

                                                You hold it in a coffee shop?

                                                How many come to your club each week?

                                                You said 20% of your current learners. How many current learners do you
                                                have?

                                                Dave


                                              • Mark Brierley
                                                Hi Glenski, There certainly seem to be big differences between ESL an EFL, but I m sure there are things we can copy with some effect. One thing I ve been
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jan 13, 2011
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Hi Glenski,

                                                  There certainly seem to be big differences between ESL an EFL, but I'm sure there are things we can copy with some effect.

                                                  One thing I've been doing for the past couple of years is conduct paired interviews with students during the 30 minutes reading time at the beginning of each lesson.  I get through a pair in about 10 minutes, and the whole class in four or five weeks.  Previously I'd taken two whole classes to do this. 

                                                  I'd planned to start this after three or four weeks of ER orientation, when they'd got into the habit of sitting quietly reading (which Japanese students are remarkably good at!) But in the event I didn't start till the last five weeks of term!

                                                  I wonder whether it would be good to take groups of four or five students out of the classroom while the others are reading, and discus books with them. Anyone tried anything like this?

                                                  Mark



                                                  On 14 January 2011 08:53, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:
                                                   

                                                  Jez,
                                                  Thanks a lot for  your answers. I think part of your success comes from having more than just a single group of nationalities, and the fact that you are in the UK, not a country where English is not a native tongue. Students seem more motivated to learn English when they aren't in their home countries.  But you probably already surmised that after reading my own trials and tribulations.

                                                  In my own reading course, after the class warm up of 30 minutes of silent reading, I always propose that they discuss something specific about their books, whether in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. I leave it to them to choose Japanese or English. In a class of 40 students, I am lucky if anyone uses English.

                                                  Thanks again.
                                                  Glenski


                                                  On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 6:53 AM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                   

                                                  "The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current
                                                  learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth."

                                                  Jez, just a few more questions if you don't mind.

                                                  You hold it in a coffee shop?

                                                  How many come to your club each week?

                                                  You said 20% of your current learners. How many current learners do you
                                                  have?

                                                  Dave





                                                  --
                                                  Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                                                  May 21st and 22nd
                                                  http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                                                  第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                                                  5月21日22日
                                                  発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                                                  --
                                                  Mark Brierley
                                                  School of General Education
                                                  Shinshu University
                                                  Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                                                  +81 263 37-2923
                                                  mobile 090 4464 6391
                                                • Ben Shearon
                                                  Hi Mark I did it individually, pulling students out for a couple of minutes each. It worked quite well, but was a bit tiring for me (!). Doing it in groups is
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Jan 14, 2011
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Hi Mark

                                                    I did it individually, pulling students out for a couple of minutes each. It worked quite well, but was a bit tiring for me (!). Doing it in groups is a great idea that I will try next semester. Thanks!

                                                    ==========
                                                    Ben Shearon
                                                    ==========



                                                    2011/1/14 Mark Brierley <mark2@...>
                                                     

                                                    Hi Glenski,


                                                    There certainly seem to be big differences between ESL an EFL, but I'm sure there are things we can copy with some effect.

                                                    One thing I've been doing for the past couple of years is conduct paired interviews with students during the 30 minutes reading time at the beginning of each lesson.  I get through a pair in about 10 minutes, and the whole class in four or five weeks.  Previously I'd taken two whole classes to do this. 

                                                    I'd planned to start this after three or four weeks of ER orientation, when they'd got into the habit of sitting quietly reading (which Japanese students are remarkably good at!) But in the event I didn't start till the last five weeks of term!

                                                    I wonder whether it would be good to take groups of four or five students out of the classroom while the others are reading, and discus books with them. Anyone tried anything like this?

                                                    Mark



                                                    On 14 January 2011 08:53, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:
                                                     

                                                    Jez,
                                                    Thanks a lot for  your answers. I think part of your success comes from having more than just a single group of nationalities, and the fact that you are in the UK, not a country where English is not a native tongue. Students seem more motivated to learn English when they aren't in their home countries.  But you probably already surmised that after reading my own trials and tribulations.

                                                    In my own reading course, after the class warm up of 30 minutes of silent reading, I always propose that they discuss something specific about their books, whether in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. I leave it to them to choose Japanese or English. In a class of 40 students, I am lucky if anyone uses English.

                                                    Thanks again.
                                                    Glenski


                                                    On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 6:53 AM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                     

                                                    "The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current
                                                    learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth."

                                                    Jez, just a few more questions if you don't mind.

                                                    You hold it in a coffee shop?

                                                    How many come to your club each week?

                                                    You said 20% of your current learners. How many current learners do you
                                                    have?

                                                    Dave





                                                    --
                                                    Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                                                    May 21st and 22nd
                                                    http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                                                    第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                                                    5月21日22日
                                                    発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                                                    --
                                                    Mark Brierley
                                                    School of General Education
                                                    Shinshu University
                                                    Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                                                    +81 263 37-2923
                                                    mobile 090 4464 6391


                                                  • Mark Brierley
                                                    (We re getting a bit off ER here), but Movies are certainly interesting (otherwise they wouldn t sell) they re usually authentic and they can be
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Jan 14, 2011
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      (We're getting a bit off ER here), but Movies are certainly interesting (otherwise they wouldn't sell) they're usually authentic and they can be comprehensible, so they meet at least two out of three of the criteria for good learning materials. 

                                                      Subtitles do help understanding, although turn movies into a reading exercise rather than a listening exercise. I use movies in one class where each group must chose a scene from a movie, prepare pre-watching schema-building and vocabulary questions, prepare comprehension questions and prepare discussion questions.  This is not always the most efficient lesson, but I think students watch the same movie, and the same scene from that movie several times in preparation, which should be good for acquisition. Maybe not extensive, but certainly repeated.  I used to switch the subtitles to English, (which is so easy with DVDs) but now I tell them to switch off the subtitles, which I think is better. 

                                                      Movies do (obviously!) contain dialogue and can give learners exposure to spoken English, which can also be true of fiction. 

                                                      I learnt today (from a first-year Engineering student's presentation on history of movies) that the first words spoken in a movie were "You ain't heard nothin' yet", which I think is wonderfully non-literary! Apparently until Al Jolson said that on camera, nobody had thought about actors actually speaking, and they immediately went away and wrote some dialogue.

                                                      Mark

                                                      On 12 January 2011 17:29, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                       

                                                      The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                                                      The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                                                      The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                                                      Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                                                      Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                                                      Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                                                      Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?




                                                      --
                                                      Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                                                      May 21st and 22nd
                                                      http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                                                      第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                                                      5月21日22日
                                                      発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                                                      --
                                                      Mark Brierley
                                                      School of General Education
                                                      Shinshu University
                                                      Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                                                      +81 263 37-2923
                                                      mobile 090 4464 6391
                                                    • Glen Hill
                                                      It d be a nice idea if all you want to do is discuss the book, but (forgive me for asking) what is the point of the discussions? Not trying to be a smart aleck
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Jan 14, 2011
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                                                        It'd be a nice idea if all you want to do is discuss the book, but (forgive me for asking) what is the point of the discussions? Not trying to be a smart aleck here, just asking sincerely. If you can only get through all students once in 4-5 weeks, then you can do each student maybe 3 times a semester. Is that enough to encourage them to read (more) or perhaps to like reading (more)?

                                                        And, I don't know about your kids, but there is a hefty percentage of mine that can barely speak even one word in English. I am not joking! By the time they hit university, I don't feel they should have much Japanese thrown at them for such a simplistic task. How do yours do, Mark?

                                                        I have a feeling that if I were to stick my nose in the classroom secretly, I'd find some that were doing chemistry instead, or sleeping.  Which raises the point: what do you all do if your student forgets his book?

                                                        I do agree that there are things ESL and EFL teachers can do similarly. Don't get me wrong about that.

                                                        Glenski

                                                        2011/1/14 Ben Shearon <sendaiben@...>
                                                         

                                                        Hi Mark


                                                        I did it individually, pulling students out for a couple of minutes each. It worked quite well, but was a bit tiring for me (!). Doing it in groups is a great idea that I will try next semester. Thanks!

                                                        ==========
                                                        Ben Shearon
                                                        ==========



                                                        2011/1/14 Mark Brierley <mark2@...>

                                                         

                                                        Hi Glenski,


                                                        There certainly seem to be big differences between ESL an EFL, but I'm sure there are things we can copy with some effect.

                                                        One thing I've been doing for the past couple of years is conduct paired interviews with students during the 30 minutes reading time at the beginning of each lesson.  I get through a pair in about 10 minutes, and the whole class in four or five weeks.  Previously I'd taken two whole classes to do this. 

                                                        I'd planned to start this after three or four weeks of ER orientation, when they'd got into the habit of sitting quietly reading (which Japanese students are remarkably good at!) But in the event I didn't start till the last five weeks of term!

                                                        I wonder whether it would be good to take groups of four or five students out of the classroom while the others are reading, and discus books with them. Anyone tried anything like this?

                                                        Mark



                                                        On 14 January 2011 08:53, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:
                                                         

                                                        Jez,
                                                        Thanks a lot for  your answers. I think part of your success comes from having more than just a single group of nationalities, and the fact that you are in the UK, not a country where English is not a native tongue. Students seem more motivated to learn English when they aren't in their home countries.  But you probably already surmised that after reading my own trials and tribulations.

                                                        In my own reading course, after the class warm up of 30 minutes of silent reading, I always propose that they discuss something specific about their books, whether in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. I leave it to them to choose Japanese or English. In a class of 40 students, I am lucky if anyone uses English.

                                                        Thanks again.
                                                        Glenski


                                                        On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 6:53 AM, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                         

                                                        "The book club, off the top of my head is made up of 20% of my current
                                                        learners, 70% off my learners from last year, and 10% from word of mouth."

                                                        Jez, just a few more questions if you don't mind.

                                                        You hold it in a coffee shop?

                                                        How many come to your club each week?

                                                        You said 20% of your current learners. How many current learners do you
                                                        have?

                                                        Dave





                                                        --
                                                        Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                                                        May 21st and 22nd
                                                        http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                                                        第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                                                        5月21日22日
                                                        発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                                                        --
                                                        Mark Brierley
                                                        School of General Education
                                                        Shinshu University
                                                        Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                                                        +81 263 37-2923
                                                        mobile 090 4464 6391



                                                      • Glen Hill
                                                        Actually, I believe it was Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You ain t heard nothing yet. 2011/1/14 Mark Brierley ... Actually, I believe
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Jan 14, 2011
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                                                          Actually, I believe it was "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You ain't heard nothing yet."

                                                          2011/1/14 Mark Brierley <mark2@...>
                                                           

                                                          (We're getting a bit off ER here), but Movies are certainly interesting (otherwise they wouldn't sell) they're usually authentic and they can be comprehensible, so they meet at least two out of three of the criteria for good learning materials. 

                                                          Subtitles do help understanding, although turn movies into a reading exercise rather than a listening exercise. I use movies in one class where each group must chose a scene from a movie, prepare pre-watching schema-building and vocabulary questions, prepare comprehension questions and prepare discussion questions.  This is not always the most efficient lesson, but I think students watch the same movie, and the same scene from that movie several times in preparation, which should be good for acquisition. Maybe not extensive, but certainly repeated.  I used to switch the subtitles to English, (which is so easy with DVDs) but now I tell them to switch off the subtitles, which I think is better. 

                                                          Movies do (obviously!) contain dialogue and can give learners exposure to spoken English, which can also be true of fiction. 

                                                          I learnt today (from a first-year Engineering student's presentation on history of movies) that the first words spoken in a movie were "You ain't heard nothin' yet", which I think is wonderfully non-literary! Apparently until Al Jolson said that on camera, nobody had thought about actors actually speaking, and they immediately went away and wrote some dialogue.

                                                          Mark

                                                          On 12 January 2011 17:29, dk <davekees1@...> wrote:
                                                           

                                                          The link is working for me. I’m not sure what the problem was. If you continue to have problems please let me know.

                                                          The advantage of movies is that they are high interest. Many people may like the same movie whereas many people do not like the same book. Movies have a higher transport ability, they can carry the viewer away into a dramatic situation. Movies are usually an experience.

                                                          The problem with movies is that the dialog is often too complex. We have to select movies with a simpler dialog. Despite the complex plot, The Matrix has relatively simple dialog spoken quite clearly and distinctly.

                                                          Subtitles help a lot. The way I hacked the subtitles helps even more, making the s/t stay on the screen longer. The next thing I want to learn is how to hack the speed of the movie. I can do this on playback with no problem but I want to make copies at slower speeds. I have tested 75% speed and students don’t even know it is slowed down.

                                                          Those of you who have been on the list a few years may recall the discussion with Krashen on this list about “skipping” while reading novels. I apply it to movies and tell my students, “There’s many words in this movie that you don’t understand BUT there are many words you do understand. This will help your English.” I don’t want to overcomplicate things with my students but there are also many words that they are just beginning to learn and the movie will further their understanding.

                                                          Also the movie helps their grammar by seeing sentence structures. It helps their speaking because all dialog in movies is speaking.

                                                          Again, here is the link to a sample from The Matrix. Do you think this would “grab” your students?




                                                          --
                                                          Speak at the 10th JALT Pan Sig Conference in Matsumoto, Nagano
                                                          May 21st and 22nd
                                                          http://jalt.org/pansig/2011
                                                          第10回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会2011年年次大会
                                                          5月21日22日
                                                          発表応募: http://jalt.org/pansig/2011-j

                                                          --
                                                          Mark Brierley
                                                          School of General Education
                                                          Shinshu University
                                                          Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                                                          +81 263 37-2923
                                                          mobile 090 4464 6391

                                                        • Ben Shearon
                                                          2011/1/14 Glen Hill ... 1. to show an interest in the students and develop a friendly relationship (otherwise I could go all semester
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Jan 14, 2011
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                                                            2011/1/14 Glen Hill <glenahill@...>
                                                             

                                                            It'd be a nice idea if all you want to do is discuss the book, but (forgive me for asking) what is the point of the discussions? 


                                                            1. to show an interest in the students and develop a friendly relationship (otherwise I could go all semester without talking to them individually!)
                                                            2. to find out how they are doing
                                                            3. to see what kind of books they like (and suggest ones they might like!)
                                                            4. to make the class a bit more interactive
                                                            5. so I don't get bored ;)
                                                             

                                                            ==========
                                                            Ben Shearon
                                                            ==========

                                                          • dk
                                                            It s funny how movies have developed. First they were silent movies and you could only read the subtitles. Then there were talkies , listen to the actors
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Jan 16, 2011
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                                                              It's funny how movies have developed. First they were silent movies and you
                                                              could only read the subtitles. Then there were "talkies", listen to the
                                                              actors speaking and no subtitles. Now the movies are talkies with subtitles.
                                                              And if students want, and I recommend, they can print out the subtitles of
                                                              their favorite movies and study them.

                                                              HOOKED ON BOOKS

                                                              Jez, I have a couple questions for you and others who have successfully
                                                              hooked students on books. What was the penetration of your student populace?
                                                              Jez, you told us about your book club which sounds very successful with the
                                                              students participating. But how many students are those? You say you meet in
                                                              a coffee shop. I think that must mean a limit of 5 to 6 students, possibly
                                                              as many as 10. But from my experience of meeting with students in
                                                              restaurants and over coffee it is really difficult to talk to more than
                                                              five. You said most of them were former students. How many former students
                                                              have you had? I'm trying to figure out the penetration, how effective it was
                                                              with a body of students.

                                                              At one college I have 200 students that I teach once a week. In the
                                                              beginning the students snatched up all of my books. After 3-4 weeks they
                                                              were snatching no more with the exception of 4-5 students. I suppose I could
                                                              say that they were hooked on books but I can't say that the idea penetrated
                                                              the student body.

                                                              HOOKED ON MOVIES

                                                              Every Monday evening I would have "Uncle Dave's Cinema". This was in a
                                                              language lab and it would fill with about 40-50 students of those 200
                                                              students, about 20-25% penetration. Some students who were not free would
                                                              ask for a copy of the movie so the penetration may have been slightly
                                                              higher. Movies seemed definitely more appealing to my students.


                                                              When it comes to books, I feel I'm having the same problem as Glen. It is
                                                              not easy for students to get hooked on them. It doesn't even seem natural in
                                                              that book reading is not as common a pastime as it used to be. Although not
                                                              universally loved, movies seem much more popular than books. Outside of the
                                                              Extensive Reading community, I think it would be more common to hear people
                                                              saying, "Hey, did you see that movie?" than "Hey? Did you read that book?" I
                                                              would prefer that my students read books but they just don't seem appealing
                                                              enough.

                                                              Dave Kees
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