Educational videos

The educational videos are intended for the instruction of Czech as a second language, i.e. for a foreigner, who needs Czech in everyday situations in the Czech Republic. The videos capture the situation, when a foreigner enters formal communication with the majority society. The videos have the aim of encouraging foreigners to communicate in Czech even outside of formal situations. It works from the conviction that foreigners cannot integrate well into society, when the only informal ties that they have are contacts only within their own community.

The videos include these topics: Housing (3 situations), Resolving crisis situations, Health care and health insurance (3 situations), Contact with the police, Work, Contact with governmental offices, Travel, Surrounding environment and the weather (2 situations), Contact with the majority society (2 situations).  Two videos were created for each topic; one on language level A1 and the second on language level A2. Moreover, each video is processes in a variation without Czech subtitles and a variation with Czech subtitles.

The educational videos have been prepared to help with the practice of communicative interaction, both in the listening and spoken phases. Specific stimuli and activities for work with the videos can be found in the attached worksheets that have been created for the selected videos. At least one worksheet will be available over time for each of the videos. All of the worksheets are in the formats doc and pdf and are furnished with a key (Key A1Key A2). The editable doc format allows the teacher of to modify the worksheet according to his/her own ideas and the needs of the students. It is thus not necessary for the instructors to use the worksheets in the existing form, if they set another aim of the class hour than arise from the working materials. The teachers can, for instance, use only one of the exercises that serves for their purposes. It is also for this reason that the worksheets are primarily intended for teachers and it Is not assumed that the student would work with them independently without previous instructions. We do not present a detailed methodology for the worksheets, but rather only a selection of ideas and stimuli that should motivate the instructors to use their own creativity. A certain amount of previous experience on the part of the teacher is assumed for work with the videos and worksheets.

Topics:

How many and which videos were created?

A total of 15 situations were treated, where each situation is prepared on language level A1 and on language level A2. So, in total there are 30 videos. It is shown on two language levels that the autonomy of the language user also increases with acquisition of language competence. With greater autonomy, the costs for language assistance of the foreigner decline and at the same time the potential for integration into the majority society increases. The videos are to motivate foreigners to overcome their fear in contact with Czechs, to teach them that they can learn the language and also how to compensate for their (current) insufficient knowledge.

Which topics are in the videos?

All of the videos capture situations when the foreigner enters formal communication with the majority society. The videos include these topics: Housing, Resolving crisis situations, Health care and health insurance, Contact with the police, Work, Contact with governmental offices, Travel, Surrounding environment and the weather, Contact with the majority society.

The topics take into account the needs of the target group of foreigners applying for permanent residence. For instance, in the topic Housing, the foreigners are not staying in a hotel, but resolve a problem with the owner of the flat. They change shift in the topic Work because of the examination from the Czech language and questions focus on the box in the form of the government office.

How were the videos composed?

The initial conception for the production of the videos is the publication Reference Description of Czech for the Purposes of the Examination of the Czech Language for Permanent Residence in the CR – Levels A1, A2. In the preparation of the videos, they also worked from the real language needs of the foreigners and further from the experience of the authors of the videos with the instruction of foreigners in courses of the Czech language.

Who are the videos intended for?

The videos are intended for the instruction of foreigners, who use Czech as a second language, i.e. they need Czech in everyday situations in the Czech Republic. The videos are intended for lecturers of courses of Czech as a Second Language.

Why include the videos in instruction?

The videos mediate to foreigners the whole authentic communication situation and they have the possibility to become acquainted with the language structures in a specific context, and with the sociocultural context.

The foreigners have the opportunity to see and hear various speakers and their speaking styles. The video is understandable and comprehensible for all foreigners, regardless of their level of knowledge of Czech. It is comprehensible even in the case that the foreigners attend courses without a language of mutual communication. Since the context can be seen, it is not necessary to introduce the student to the context verbally, which is often not only difficult with a student-beginner, but even impossible.

The video mediates a situation, which can be difficult to simulate in instruction, and also because they are not represented in the textbooks.

Moreover, the foreigners can master more communication skills in each communication situation, which means that the video recordings can be used within several topics. The videos are composed not only based on topics /at the chemist’s – medicine, with a prescription, on an empty stomach, a cold, to cough/, but also language functions /request, question, apology, thanks, verifying information/.

For the students, the video means a diversification of the instruction. It supports all of the students in the same time segment to activity and acquaints them with the Czech milieu.

The video can be used for training communication strategies, which foreigners can use in many common communication situations (request, apology, verification of understanding etc.) in an authentic context. It also offers students a look into intercultural education – they have the opportunity to become acquainted with typical gestures and habits, which accompany various communication situations.

One of the aims of the videos is to draw attention to the fact that without the willingness of the communication partner agreement on level A1 is difficult and that a native speaker must be helpful for successful communication.

How to handle the video and worksheets in teaching?

  •  The teacher should first become familiar with the video content and scenario. A great helper to understanding the purpose of the video is the table showing what the video specifically develops in the language;
  • Before the teacher uses the video and worksheet in class, he/she must precisely set the teaching aim and why to use the given video in teaching;
  • The students must know why they are watching the given video, and receive clear set tasks for it;
  • It is always suitable to engages activities before, during and after watching the video;
  • In the initial phase, the student should acquire an idea of what the video will concern, what expectations they could have, be introduced to the potentially new vocabulary, which they will hear later, and have explained the key words and phrases, with which they will work later, because it is necessary to avoid student frustration from misunderstandings and the complexity of the text that will be heard in the video, which is again related to a good teaching plan and considered activities.