I am very proud of this very underused resource- our karaoke dialogue page. You get a full ebook of all the blank dialogues + Karaoke or video files of the full dialogue or with parts missing where the student can reply with their own voice. It’s a stellar activity and try it below or go directly to the Karaoke Dialogue page. This post , “The Blank Dialogue Refreshed” explains how I developed this approach.
The “gems” series will continue all month. Here are the previous posts.
Beyond TEFL certificate training, I first got into giving serious workshops through and about “Karaoke in the classroom”. I find karaoke a great tool for not just improving reading skills but also getting students some controlled speaking practice.
In that vein, find lots of karaoke on EFL Classroom 2.0. However, today I’d like to highlight our Kid’s Karaoke. A sterling set of kids songs. See them in video but also download the karaoke player and play the files from your desktop, class computer. Slow the tempo, change words, make a cloze, it’s easy! Enjoy these great kids songs….
The blank dialogue is a very “natural” teaching approach. Something intuitive about it. I used it in my early days of teaching – just pausing a dialogue on cassette tape and asking students to respond. You had to get skilled with using those big buttons! That is what being a teckkie used to entail!
Most blank dialogues are receptive – students listen and fill in. Then repeat the lines and try to do it “without looking”. That’s okay – Molinsky and Bliss would be in bliss – however, nowadays with video and technology, I believe we can do more.
Blank dialogues are highly engaging to students because they do some important things:
1. They embrace a powerful principle of teaching – anticipation. Students don’t know what will be coming and must respond. So it is very engaging. Also, it teaches (in a controlled fashion) how to tolerate the “ambiguity” of language.
2. They recycle language and are repetitive. The form is controlled and students just substitute.
3. They allow production of language by students in a controlled fashion. Students can produce language and self correct themselves immediately against a model. Swain and Long are two researchers who stress the importance (and value) of production for language acquisition.
4. Students can personalize language. They utter the words, they can change them about, say them differently. Even respond differently than the original model.
Let me show you clearly, how I envision the video blank dialogue.
1. Here is a standard dialogue for language learning. The teacher plays. The students repeat. The teacher asks questions. blablabla…. Standard and non anticipatory.
2. Here is the video as a blank dialogue. Much more engaging. The teacher can even get this in Karaoke and slow the dialogue ever so slightly and make it easier for the students. I even made a book using 20 dialogues with cloze scripts.
You can even go one step further and get students to record the lines and produce their own video! This is the direction I want EnglishCentral to go. Where the actual recording is interactive and there is simulated communication (however controlled). This I believe would revolutionalize the now a bit tired and too true blank dialogue.
What do you think ?
Here’s my own recording! I just used NCH’s Wavepad to “silence” selected parts of the audio. Then put that into Audacity and recorded over the track. Finally, used the karaoke editor to put it all together (Studio version allows you to produce a video). Get all this on the Software for Education page I put together.
The last 3 weeks, when I could spare a moment, I’ve been learning how to make a Kinetic Typography style video. I think this technology offers great “power” for contextualizing and presenting language for learners. For a long number of years – I’ve been a karaoke fan, producing thousands of karaoke files for learners/teachers. Not anymore! It’s going to be all KT. The world moves on and I must with it…..
What is it? – in a nutshell, it is “moving type”. However, it is a lot more. It allows one to control the display of text and even insert images. Here’s an example. Or try the original and what started it all – The Girl Effect.
How do you make one? – well it ain’t easy! You’ll need Adobe Illustrator and After Effects and a lot of time! This tutorial and also this one – are both good places to start. However, many have been made already so you don’t need to make one, just borrow one.
Where do I “borrow” one? Do a search on video sites. But I’ve really done the curation work and have two pages of what I consider the “best” out there. Go HERE or HERE on EFL Classroom 2.0. Or just search some examples with materials in our video player. You can even download these examples for use offline (through our supporters A/V player - click the arrow).
How do I teach with this? Well, many of the KT made videos are songs (see my fav. example below with foldem lyric sheet). So use them as you would any song. Lastonestanding is a great game. As a listening activity (cloze). Etc ….. Also, many of the pre-made KT videos are movie clips. Dialogues from movies. Students could try to reproduce the dialogue and use it as a script to learn the intonation/pause/voicing of the speech. Give separate videos to different groups and have them perform the dialogue.
Vocabulary/Grammar: Find a video that highlights a grammar point or vocabulary set you are teaching. Use it to illustrate the usage, “in situ”, in action.
For the most part, KT videos will be used as “engagement”. Meaning, at the beginning of a lesson to prime the students minds about a topic and grab their attention. They work wonders this way – introducing a lesson topic/focus.
This example is over the top! What’s your favorite KT style video?
Karaoke is a great tool for teachers and students that I’ve been promoting for ages. Lots of posts on here about it. It is great for both controlling audio and text, contextualizing audio and listening/reading skills coupled with phonemic awareness. It is multimodal and really has the WOW factor.
I finally updated the tutorial on how you can make your own karaoke file. Watch – it really is simple. Also, in the first part , I outline the resources available for instant addition to your library and meeting your classes’ needs. One great thing about crowdsourcing and teachers sharing these great resources.
PS. I didn’t mention but with the editor, you can download any song and then in the editor, copy the lyrics, paste and print for a transcript for your students. That’s a pretty cool backdoor!
I’m really proud of the karaoke on EFL Classroom! We have so many options for teachers – see this post for how to get these and set up the player and make your own karaoke.
However, often not mentioned, is a cool alternative, Go Sing.
Go Sing is a traditional karaoke player that is in the public realm. You can’t edit and it just has a standard karaoke background music. So it is different from the Karafun player here. Yet it does have its strengths.
You can get many songs on the Go Sing site but if you want to avoid a lot of time downloading all of them individually, just Go HERE and download. Thousands of songs to save you time! Install the player and right click the screen. You can change the main picture – a picture of your class/school works wonders! Using the arrow keys, you can scroll your library and even fast forward through parts of the song. See the screencast below for a nice visual run through of what to do….
Go Sing is a great tool for learners, especially for parties and less formal learning environments. Give it a try! (also, make sure you get a microphone for your class!).
We have LOADS of karaoke for use in the classroom here. See the links assembled below.
Karaoke is a great tool for any language teacher. It really helps with phonetic recognition (connecting text to speech – reading) and highly motivational. It also is adaptable and you can vary the speed, the context (pictures) , the presentation and even have students record.
Visit this discussion to get Gosing – where you can instantly have a very basic, traditional Karaoke player in your classroom.
I’ve always loved Charles Bukowski. Though much of his writing is “off” when he hits it – he’s dead on. God like.
I was reading today, thinking about the writing process and Bukowski’s wonderful poem, “IF I Taught Creative Writing” came rushing back to me. So here it is below. Along with a recent Bukowski video I made of his immortal “Broken Shoelace”. — He always gives good advice. Get other videos I’ve made HERE and HERE – if you like this one.
Michael Jackson will never die! I truly believe that and when we commit to excellence, no matter what else our manner, a part of us will live forever. Michael Jackson touched eternity and we will enjoy his genius forever and anon.
I’ve traveled and taught English around the world. Wherever I was, I could count on one thing — being able to talk about the music of Michael Jackson. He truly was an idol, an icon everywhere and everyone, no matter their language knew a smattering of Michael’s songs. He brought us together and was truly an international “teacher” of English.
In his honor and to maybe get your students to “taste his music”, I’ve created a few nice Mix Tube playlists. If you missed it on “Websites of the Day” – here they are again.
Mixtube is a really simple way for teachers to make a list of their favorite Youtube videos You simply put in the url/address of the video and it will be added to your list. You can “borrow” a list of others and use it as the foundation to build your own. (just go to the bottom of the list and select – “create your own playlist based on this”. It is really simple! VeeWow is another option but Mixtube is even more user friendly.
The music industry is making it VERY hard for teachers to use music in their classrooms. They are the “Nazi’s ” of the Net. Mix Tube came about as a solution to the trials of Muxtape – a great site that now is limited and on Vimeo (a great place to find new artists/bands). Also, we know well what happened to our beloved MixWit! (see an example here – our past contest winner Justinnoxxi , we preserved this one!)
Here’s a huge one of great songs for the EFL classroom that have subtitles. No need to scour youtube for this anymore. Just go there and practice. You can also just use it for background music and shuffle it……. (Also see our Dizzler or Jukebox for the same thing!) If you want to add subtitled music videos, please do so and submit the new url to me! I’ll update for us! Can you help us build this great playlist? Let’s go!