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How Hollywood Movies Are Helping Using blockbusters to teach native thinking Posted by WE Press on November 16, 2014 There are many trains of thought regarding children viewing videos in class. While many foreign teachers encourage the idea as a way to introduce new information and ideas to the student, some parents worry it may encourage students to watch even more television outside of class.

Although there is merit to both sides, there appear to be some benefits to allowing students to view at least a certain amount of video during their classroom sessions. Tramel Woodard, founder and CEO of Woodard Education feels video should be an integral part of one-on-one English instruction.

"The best way to learn a language is through immersion," said Woodard. "Immersion involves not only remembering words and phrases, but also includes explaining your feelings about any given topic in the language. Immersion and replication is how the brain retains most of any foreign language you are going to use."

Woodard states that the best way to learn in a one-to-one class is to use "video immersion", a term he coined for the process he created some two years ago.

"The students are definitely not wasting time with our method," reassured Woodard. "Our students watch 15 minutes of a movie each 2-hour class session. The students are then encouraged to create a list of 20 words they are not familiar with they heard in the movie. The teacher then reviews this vocabulary list and assigns a writing assignment on the movie in which they must use all of the words they chose."

As for now, it seems that the method is working.

"Many of our students are showing drastic improvement in their ability to express themselves within a matter of months," said Woodard. "One of the surprising results of video immersion is the students are starting to include phrases and sentence structures they've heard in the movie or in a lesson about the movie. Vocabulary lists are usually made of words that hold no memorable connection with each other, which is why it's hard to then use these words in our everyday speech. However, films string together a series of events that the students are able to remember even two years later. This is a method that I have created about two years ago and we are really happy with the results."

So far, Tramel Woodard has seen a mostly positive response from parents and students alike. He did however mention there would always be worry from parents who may have a stigma tied to entertainment.

"Of course some parents believe that watching TV of any kind is a waste of time and detrimental to their children's education. However, videos are not major tools in our classrooms. They are supplements for a comprehensive education. Being able to express yourself is crucial for the IELTS exam, TOEFL test, visa interviews and establishing global relationships. Our method is especially important for our students."


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