March 27, 2010

Video Vocabulary

Classes have started and with new-found energy, I've added a few things to the English program, one of which is an online lesson called 'Video Vocabulary'. And since I don't speak Mongolia, we also started an 'English Club' that meets every Saturday and whose principle task is to help me translate for the Video Vocabulary lessons and also for the online Medical English lessons.

Our first English Club was almost too successful, with almost 30 students from both my classes and Tsetsgee's students (I only have 20 chairs in my classroom). Each table was given a page from our visual dictionary to translate. Then each group wrote it's translations on the board for the rest of the students to critique. Not always straightforward like you would think. For example, most Mongolian's use the same word for jaw and chin.

Then, after the students have all gone home, the real work begins with editing the Video Vocabulary wordlists, double-checking the translations and spelling with other translators, drawing visual dictionary pages, and finally creating a video of the vocabulary. All in all, it took me about four solid days to complete. Hopefully the next lesson will be faster.

Since my theme for the lesson was the body, I decided to use pictures from classical sculpture to 'show' the vocabulary using pictures from Flickr.com under the 'creative commons' license. I couldn't get iMovie to work (kept crashing) so I ended up using iPhoto to make a slideshow. So, making it's debut to my family and friends, here is Lesson 1 People: Body & Face:



And if you think this is good work, just think what I could do with the right software. I could probably cut the time it took to make this in half at least. My old iMovie isn't working well, so I created this video in an older version of iPhoto. But the new iMovie, which comes as part of iLife ($79), is too high for my teacher salary (at least in Mongolia). So, if you would like to help me help my students, consider buying a copy of iLife and I would be happy to dedicate all the work in your name. Just drop me an email (look in the stamp in the sidebar) and I'll give ya' my address.