Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, July 15, 2005

Supersize Me!

by AJ

I used the documentary Supersize Me with my Russian Studies students today. This went better than my previous attempts at the movie technique (using full length movies). For one, I think documentaries often offer more in the way of discussion topics and issues. Also, they tend to be shorter and more concrete in their focus.

I paused the DVD often and paraphrased and this seemed to help a great deal. Most students (perhaps all) could not understand the direct soundtrack dialogue.

I found today's experience encouraging. There were still problems, but this went fairly well. First, Supersize Me was still too long for me to cover in one class thoroughly. Second, the dialogue is quite difficult.

But these are easy to solve problems-- by using short segments (15 - 30 minute TV shows or newscasts) I can thoroughly cover the material (by playing each scene twice or more and paraphrasing) and still have time for discussion questions after ward.

I checked out the bootleg DVDs available locally... here are a few of the choices:

Sex and The City
Seinfeld (comedy show)
The Simpsons
Buffy The Vampire Slayer