Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Teaching film as text

Difficulty: 0

What's an interpretation of something?

If I was to put it down, what's an interpretation?


Yeah, so there is a bit of allowance in this task

for you to use your creativity and you look at your views, alright?

I'll hand out the sheets and we'll go through it.

My name is Zoe Hilliar.

I'm an English, history and drama teacher

at Centralian Senior College

in Alice Springs.

"You need to investigate, analyse and communicate

"your interpretation of Alfred Hitchcock."

So let's just have a look at those words.

Investigate. What does that mean?

-GIRL: Find something out. -Find something out.

Yeah, so how do we find something out?

-Research. -Research. Fantastic.

I find assessing student learning

to be just as much about the continuation of their learning

as it is in me assessing it.

Informally, I will have students complete tasks in class

that they will then report back to the class

or read documents that they then need to draw out the main ideas from

so I can gather their level of understanding.

So I've got three articles I pulled off the net.

If you could work in pairs,

and just read through it and work out...what are the key ideas?


We had 'How to Turn a Boring Movie Into a Hitchcock Thriller'.

So there are basically 13 different steps.

And what are those steps about? What do they represent?

Well, stuff like the camera angles, how they create deeper meaning.

GIRL: How to draw the audience in

and make them pay attention to what you're trying to show them.

ZOE: When I'm working one-on-one with students,

it is usually a form of informal assessment.

I'm working out where they're at, what their needs are

and in a way, planning what my next class is going to be

because if they really understand a concept I was going to teach

it's a waste of time for me to stand up there and bore them with it,

but if they're struggling

on something that's completely unexpected,

which is more frequent than I would expect,

then I know I've got to teach that explicitly in the next class.

What you want to look at here is trying to get down to more...

Yes, they're looking at HOW to do things,

but what you're looking at here is what is the effect,

what is he actually trying to achieve

or what are the themes that he is obsessed with or...

Thematic concerns. Is that what the term is?

-Yeah. -Never heard that term before.

ZOE: I also use more formal methods

where there will be a set of standards

which I will look at their work against

and certainly go through it more thoroughly.

So I strongly believe in the principles of assessment for learning

so I think that students need to be well aware from the very beginning

what criteria I'm assessing and what that actually means for them.

Dramatic elements is the language of the performance standards for drama.

Really what we're looking at there is your filmic techniques.

So things like what?

Camera angle, yeah. Wonderful. Lighting. Sound.

ZOE: There's a range of strategies I use.

At the beginning of every class, I go through it.

At this stage of the year,

I'm trying to get them to repeat back some of those key ideas to me.

I also create a checklist

because we use performance standards

where the language probably isn't something

the students are that familiar with.

So I break it down for them

so they can really go through and check

that they have addressed each part of the criteria,

they know what it means.

In the drama course, analysis is an important skill

that the students do struggle with

so I make sure that in any task that we do

there's an analytical component - the who, why.

I also think with analysis

they're scared of the word 'analysis' a lot of the time.

They can do it. They just don't think they can.

You need to be explicit in your analysis.

What does 'explicit' mean?

GIRL: Of course. I was just thinking about last time.

When we were thinking of 'explicit', we thought 'naughty'.

Yeah, you did. That's exactly right. Last time you thought 'naughty'.

But we discussed it. It's telling everything.


You need to be able to tell me everything.

So don't assume that I know...

If you're going to write in Point, Evidence, Comment,

don't assume that I know how your evidence proves your point.

Even if you think it's obvious, you need to tell me how

because that's the key.

You need to be able to tell me

how and why the evidence that you give,

which will be from the films,

proves the point that you are making about Hitchcock and his style.

ZOE: It's important to be flexible in your approach to teaching.

I often come into a class and start running it

and the questions that are being asked by my students

indicate that what I had assumed was their prior knowledge

or what I had taught before and assumed they remembered

they in fact don't.

So I do need to throw away what you've planned

and go back over some of those key skills

and re-scaffold some of the essential ideas

so that your students are where they need to be

to be able to understand the lesson you had planned.

The Description of Teaching film as text