Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Spicing up the dialogue with returnees - slow it down!

Apologies about the accent with the character one the left (interviewer); memo to self = preview before publishing (and avoid accents on Xtranormal - they are thick & heavy).

Summer Holiday interview
by: lunajim
Hana & Suzu mash it up in Luna's YLE classsroom

My returnees can fly through a conversation on everyday topics in a very haphazard and blazee attitude; quickly, relevantly, but with very little thought/development beyond answering the question as fast as possible. That leaves me scrabbling to diagnose 'what happened' & sourcing more material  to develop the conversation...bored students, frustrated teacher, progress little. In flying through their exchanges my students realise their goal of saying "finished" as quickly as possible; how often do you say thay in a meeting, phone call or chatting with granny?

Kids love cartoons, and using the keyboard is a profound playing leveller - certainly in Japan; few kids here are fluent typists. This inevitably slows things down - mini aim - so that we can focus on getting the nuts & bolts right. Not necessarilly spelling for a conversation (but we are typing it so why not in the process of making sure we get the words in the right order?)

My kids also have a habit of clock watching (in this class); in this situation the clock is on my side the entire time. The conversation they are working up was in note form from last week, and they want to stretch 'my' time into an hour. So, short ansers won't achieve that goal - make the answers longer/detailed! In doing this, also means the director can add more movement/camera shifts/noises/poses etc. Students edit each other much more readily than softly softly teacher, so we have peer learning/teaching going on too (much more likely to take note than to me). As we get towards the top of the hour there's a 'hurry up' factor & a desire to see the finished product.

The xtranormal site needs a minute or three to 'cook' i.e. render the video...you'll have to wait until next week to see it in class :)  Oh, the antici----pation!