Saturday, December 3, 2016

Addressing Low Proficient Learners – 3

There are several ‘silent’ cartoons that can be used to facilitate proficiency development in language. The audio tracks of GAZOON series for example, contain only music and other sound effects but not any language.  Each episode is presented in average time duration of 3 minutes. I have found them useful for all levels of learners. Presently, I will share with my readers how the activities can be carried out.

Developing narratives based on an episode in GAZOON

1. Preparing TLM

·         Identify the dramatic moments in the cartoon film and grab stills of these to capture the whole story (we can do this using the “take snapshot” option given of ”video” given  in the top bar of the VLC media player.  It is better to go for 30 to 40 such snapshots; I got 40 snapshots from the video segment). Get printouts of all these pictures on A-4 sheets.
·         Develop the piece of narrative containing three to four sentences for each snap shop so that you get a long narrative at the end. This is to be used as a reading material later.
·         Select a set of 9 pictures from the whole set; these should capture the main events in the story. Number the pictures sequentially.
·         Divide this set of pictures into 3 sets again each containing 3 pictures. The first set is for the whole class activity; the next set may be set aside for the groups to work with and the remaining set of pictures may be used for the learners to work with individually.  

2. Process of Transaction: Whole Class Activity

  • Screen the video episode so that the learners know what the story is and how it progresses.
  • Elicit names of the characters and the place where the story is shown to have taken place (What is the name of the cartoon video? Who are the characters? Where is the story taking place?); write these on the chart.
  • Display the first picture (not the whole set) before the whole class and elicit three or four sentences related to the actions depicted in it (What do you see in the picture? Who do you see? What is he doing? ).  Write the relevant sentences after building up whole class consensus on each.
  • Elicit a caption for the picture and write the number of the picture and the caption above the sentences that have already been written. Ask a few students (at random) to read all the sentences written on the chart.
  • In this manner complete the second and third pictures in the first set.
  • Display the chart containing your version of the first part of the story. Include the left out snapshots and texts pertaining to this part of the story; you have not used them for the whole class activity suggested above.
  • Ask small groups of students to read the whole of the narrative by taking turns. Ensure that all are engaged. You too have to read the text at the end with proper voice modulation.
 Group Activity

  • Display the next set containing 3 sequenced pictures before the whole class.
  • Let groups collaborate and write the story related to the second set of pictures. Give specific instructions to ensure that every member contributes at least one idea to the group. The text of the story is to be written on a chart for presentation. A copy of the same should be there in the notebooks of all members of the group.
  • Ask the groups to present their versions of the story pertaining to the second set of pictures. Make sure that each member is presenting the story related to the picture he has worked on.
  • Edit the work done by the groups through negotiation.
  • Display 2 or 3 pictures that were not given to the groups and elicit the groups to narrative the story depicted in these pictures. This will be helpful to engage those students who have fairly good language proficiency.
  • Display the full text of your version of the story along with the other left out pictures related to the second set.
  • Ask small groups to take turns and read the full text of the second part if the story.
Individual Work

  • Display the three sequenced pictures in the last set before the whole class.
  • Let the learners write the story related to this set of pictures individually. At this point we can encourage individual learners to take up some of the left out pictures for developing the inclusions in the narrative.
  • Let them sit in small groups and refine the individual work they have done with the help of their peers. There is no need to go for a single group product.
  • Ask a few of them to present the story at random.
  • Display a few more pictures belonging to the last part of the story for those learners who are willing to orally present inclusions in the story.
  • Display the full text of your version of the last part of the story along with all the left out snapshots.
  • Ask small groups to take turns and read the full text aloud.

The strategy suggested here can be applied to any of the episodes in the GAZOON series or to any other cartoon film for that matter. I know teachers have to spend some time for preparing TLM required for carrying out the kind of activities suggested here. But the efforts are worth taking.

The whole set of pictures and the narratives I had developed on them will be shared with my readers in my next post.

Dr KN Anandan

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