In Kieran’s workshop we explored how short films can be used in the classroom. The advantages of short films are that they are almost free, varied and not time-consuming. Teachers can use them to promote creativity, practice communicative skills – both written and oral – with their students, and boost critical thinking.
Kieran started by quoting that researches and studies have shown that creativity is lost while people are growing up. As one gets older, this ability declines to ¼ of what we are born with. Then he asked us to find ways to use a paper-clip or a cardboard box. The ideas we came up with were quite innovative, creative and funny. Then we watched a short film with the adventures of a Cardboard box. The ways a child perceives the use of a box are limitless.
The second film was about creativity and the 29 ways to be creative. Language teaching can be creative if educators take risks, do not give up and collaborate. The next short film was about a manifesto. What is a manifesto? What type of manifesto could a short film promote? The video is a call for action to live a life passionately and with integrity. It urges viewers to see their lives from another perspective, change what does not satisfy them, change their way of thinking and enjoy life. Kieran suggested that students could create their own manifesto and express what radical changes they would like to have in their lives.
The last video was about secrets and thoughts that people can share without revealing them. It encourages us to think about something positive, exhilarating, something that could make us happy.
The workshop ended with Kieran suggesting to us websites from which we could use short films in the classroom, i.e. futureshorts, vimeo, staff picks, english-english.com
EFL teachers who would like to implement short films in their lessons should visit Kieran Donaghy’s site http://film-english.com/
By Georgia Psarra