Look and Discuss 1

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



34 thoughts on “Look and Discuss 1”

  1. So many things to comment on here, so sorry if I ramble:

    1) Using images with CI is great! I also see this as taking the classroom further out of TPRS and into TCI, which I think is a great direction to go. You could use landscapes, images of people, you could make it culturally relevant with famous pieces of art or images OF artists. Thus, not only would you be doing something ‘pre-AP’, but you would also be further aligning with the Cultures standard. You could also illicit their opinions of the piece (if doing art) or ask if they’ve ever been to that place or if they would want to go there — all great and interesting CI using high-frequency structures. (Of course, in keeping with limiting vocabulary, you would want to make sure the language used was review outside of the 4 new terms.)

    2. In discussing the progression of the method, I could see a very natural progression from the Circling with Balls activity into L & D with images — at first making the images related to discussion from Circling with Balls and then introducing other “subject matter”. (For example, you could project an image of a basketball court and then have a discussion with a classmate that you know loves basketball about whether or not they want to go there, etc etc.)

    3. Images and this activity of L & D would also be a great way to do simple Content-Based Instruction about, say, the planets. Or habits (rain forest, desert, plains, ocean, etc).

    The more and more that I think about the implications of TCI and TPRS in the classroom vs. being chained to a textbook curriculum, the more I am excited (and slightly overwhelmed in a good way) by all the possibilities! For me, it’s becoming more and more of a way to not only be truly standards-based in the language classroom, but also aligned with acquisition research AND you really get to know your students on a personal level. So empowering!

    Anyway, just my two cents. Great post, Ben! Should this be a new category? As I could see this becoming another nice tool in our TCI bag of activities.

    1. To add to my comment, you could also do this with short clips (thinking movies, commercials, anything ‘authentic’ — further increasing interest AND showing authentic texts! Win win!

  2. This is good stuff, Ben. A picture is concrete and almost immediately defines the boundaries. The wonder of internet technology these days is that you can almost literally take the four words you want to teach, put them in Google images and find a photo that will work. So, while we are all (justifiably) bemoaning how much harder we work at CI teachers, let’s acknowledge this: the internet is a quick help with L and D. I just want to point out that the moniker L and D recalls for me R and D which is a huge powerhouse in my CI classroom. Because I know and can feel in my bones how R and D works, that transfers for me to how L and D works. Thanks for sharing this. As with so many other things, I’ve copied and pasted the “how to do this” part of the post and it’s now in my CI Classroom file. As I told a workshop full of teachers this weekend, this is the best nearly 5.00 I spend every month!

    1. …you can almost literally take the four words you want to teach, put them in Google images and find a photo that will work….

      And that is exactly what we need to do. Since I myself don’t target vocabulary (I know, I know so I’m a weirdo) I don’t do this. But for those who need to target vocabulary, this is exactly the plan, unveiled in Los Alomitos, by the way, by Paul Kirschling.

      1. Ben, this question is sort of off topic from Look and Discuss, but I’m interested in how you don’t target vocabulary. I don’t need to target vocab since I’m the only French teacher at my school and I think most of the time admistration forgets I’m even here (very nice considering all the things I’m probably not doing well in their eyes…). When you’re looking for an image for L & D do you just find an image you think will be captivating to your students regardless of what vocab it will allow? How do you make sure students have acquired certain vocab (besides the question words) before they move to the next level (or do you?).

  3. This post along is worth the price of admission 🙂 So practical, so easy so COMPELLING!

    Thank you so much Ben,
    on a SUNDAY 🙁

    (I think I will just give up trying to get you to rest on weekends……. no, on second thought, I won’t!)


  4. This will also segue nicely into Movie Talk which Michele Whaley is using with great results. Laurie too. Another technique I have toyed with when watching a film is to take a screen shot from the film and discuss the still image after watching the moving images. I tried this back in December using the cartoon “Trotro” – the clips are on Youtube. You can watch in several different languages – lots of high frequency structures.

  5. Here’s the simplest version Skip:

    1. Find a movie or video clip that will be compelling. (It can be as short as 10 seconds!!))
    2. Show the clip to the students. (No talking is allowed.)
    3. Go back to the beginning of the clip.
    4. Show the clip a few seconds at a time. Stop and discuss with the class what has happened/is happening/will happen in comprehensible language.

    Poof! That’s it in a nutshell. Michele is doing a presentation at NTPRS. She has a number of posts on her website http://www.mjtprswordpress.com We also have a number on the Embedded Reading site (look on the right hand side: Embedded Readings w/Videos)

    You do NOT even have to use a clip in the TL…just mute the sound. Commercials are FANTASTIC!!!!!!!
    * When I first tried this, I did the stop/start/discuss first…then showed the entire clip. It was working very well. Then I went to observe Haiyun Lu and she was doing it the suggested way…have students watch in silence first, then watch and discuss……………….SO MUCH BETTER!!! So I tried it with my own students…..they like it better this way too. (But, if there is a surprise at the end I don’t show that part until after we’ve watched and discussed the rest of the clip!)

    THEY NEED THE VISUAL to discuss….when they have only seen a few seconds, they are not getting enough of “the picture” to really get engaged. So, show in silence first, then show and discuss.

    BTW start with short clips….this is a generation that watches movies at home, not in the theater, so they truly believe that loud, open conversation about the movie is right way to behave…they will need to be retrained to stay silent!!!!

    with love,

      1. Having tried MovieTalk this year – it was great, and I did what Laurie describes. I would like to add some use of screenshots for L & D that could lead to the kids’ writing about the movie. That would be a nice addition, I think. I used the couple weeks before winter break for MovieTalk, and that was a good decision: the kids were able to focus because the movie was compelling to them.
        (Chinese movie: “Lost on Journey” is the English translation.)

  6. L and D is part of how I do movies with my students. It’s not Movie Talk, since I’ve been doing it for years and I use the subtitles in the target language. I call it Reading a Movie. We watch a scene, describe what we can see, read the subtitles, talk about what happens, how the characters feel. Why they do what they do. I give them Embedded readings, sometimes before and sometimes after, adapting to what the scene offers.

    1. Laurie