Film and Language Learning in Victorian Schools: A Study of the 2009 Next Gen Program of the Melbourne International Film Festival

By Bianco, Hana Lo | Babel, November 2010 | Go to article overview

Film and Language Learning in Victorian Schools: A Study of the 2009 Next Gen Program of the Melbourne International Film Festival


Bianco, Hana Lo, Babel


Abstract

This article investigates the role of film in language education based on a study of the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). It is structured around a literature review and results from surveys of students and teachers who participated in the young people's section of the program, Next Gen. The article argues that film can provide an effective link between formal language education and natural/ immersive contexts, but discusses some limitations of normal speed feature films and viewing context. The author identifies issues and offers recommendations for the practical use of film in support of language learning

Keywords

film, cinema studies, language learning, authentic language, context

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The role of film in foreign language education

A key problem in second language learning in Australia has been the difficulty of immersion (De Courcy, 2002). By immersion I refer to opportunities to use a language which is being learned, that is, to find environments that are partially learner contexts and partially real world contexts. Language learning uses many metaphors related to swimming and water. The opposite of immersion is submersion, where a student is 'thrown in at the deep end' and effectively drowns. Immersion allows students to enter the world in which a language is used by accomplished speakers in a slow and measured way, while students use the language for all their daily needs. This happens when the accomplished speakers, or the teacher in class, adjust communication to the level of the learner (Lotherington, 2001). Because a learner has incomplete knowledge of the language but still has specific communication needs there is usually a problem of wanting to say things far beyond the skill the learner has gained. An effective way of learning a language is to link what is formally taught in class as language structure with what is used in natural environments (Lightbown & Spada, 2006).

Films offer such opportunities for learning, practising, and encountering second languages in authentic, real world contexts. However films, like the real world of language use, can represent both immersion and submersion, both swimming and sinking. Recent research in Australia shows that students in secondary schools, the 'next generation', are calling for increased cultural immersion activities in their language learning, and that they perceive the classroom dominated approach of most language teaching as holding back their growth towards proficiency (Slaughter, 2009).

Within this context, this article reports research undertaken in collaboration with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) exploring the role of film in learning and teaching languages, with specific reference to the young people's section of the program, Next Gen.

For the 2009 festival (24 July to 9 August), Next Gen Coordinator, Chloe Brugale, programmed ten titles of which only two were English language films. The languages included Czech, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Turkish. Across Australia, the most taught languages in the school system are, in order: Japanese, Italian, Indonesian, French, German, and Mandarin (DE&T, 2007; DEEWR, 2009). As such, Next Gen programming in 2009 was broadly reflective of the priorities in the curriculum. When interviewed, Brugale stated, 'obviously, Next Gen can only respond to what films are out there but, nevertheless, there is some special emphasis put on searching for films in these specific languages'.

The approach to teaching languages in Victorian schools is guided by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS, 2009). According to this framework there is an equal balance between 'communicating in the language' and what is called 'intercultural competence and language awareness'. The aim is for students to gain cultural insight into the society and culture where the language is spoken as well as actually learning to use the language. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Film and Language Learning in Victorian Schools: A Study of the 2009 Next Gen Program of the Melbourne International Film Festival
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.