jueves, 7 de julio de 2011

Destroy the Brain

Thursday night is zombie night. So I've decided, anyway. My evening intermediate class are going to be doing Shaun of the Dead this month.

He's got an arm off!!!!
Tonight's instalment.

Warned them they wouldn't understand much, but not to worry - there wasn't going to be a test. A watch through the first 10 minutes or so of the film, without subtitles. Were they able to tell me anything about the characters or their interactions? Bugger all, really.

Scripts of scene one handed out. We read it several times, changing roles. Speaking slowly but as much acted as possible, reading for emotive content. Worked informally on linking and emphasis, especially on pronouncing phrases, not words. Developed the idea of Liz's frustration with Shaun. Then watched the relevant scene once more, again without subs.

Ditto with two more scenes.

All the scenes we read are from the first few minutes, in which the dynamics between the characters are established: Shaun is a thirtyish underachiever frittering his life away in a dead-end job. His flatmate/landlord Pete and longsuffering girlfriend Liz both berate his laziness and his attachment to the porcine, disfunctional Ed, long-term potato on their couch.

Mission accomplished? I think so far so good. When the hour was up, my protegés had made modest progress with really dense, rapid, colloquial English, both in production and reception. They had got a handle on the character dynamics, which are really the key to the comedy, at least until the shambling undead arrive.

But that will be next week.

Till then, keep those windows and doors shut.


Truth Stranger than Fiction.


Reality Stranger than Truth

EDIT: If you'd like the scripts for these scenes, join edmodo and send me a connection request. Sandy has blogged about it here.

6 comentarios:

  1. Like the idea of having the students take different roles and then swap them around. Great for repetition and focussing on the importance of various words and phrases.

    Must try to do this when I get back from the winter vacations. Thanks for sharing, Alan!

    P.S. Nice choice of movie... do I take it from your picture at the bottom that 28 Days later is going to be the next film to be showcased?

  2. I'm delighted to see that I'm not alone in thinking that there just aren't enough zombie activities in ELT. I recently posted an activity on my blog that I think you - and maybe even your students - might enjoy... very fun, very conversation driven:


  3. OH yes, Adam. Thanks a million for the link - I remember reading it actually. And then cleverly forgot to use it.

    D'you think there might be a Special Interest Group in this? ZEFL?

    Actually, you know Scott Thornbury is writing an A-Z. http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/ Bet he hasn't got a Z lined up.....

  4. Exactly, Alan. I seem to recall Z being Thornbury's Achilles heel in the first edition. I'll help you set up the SIG... there are definitely one or two other like minded souls who'd help us, too.

  5. We need to get out there biting people.