Written by Issac Greaves
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
The Cornerhouse website http://www.cornerhouse.org/resources/ belonging to Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual arts and film, is home to a set of fantastic modern foreign language study guides for teachers and students alike with a view of supporting the study of film at GCSE and AS/A2.
There are currently thirty-three resources available of which just under half are for old and recent Spanish films alike whilst the remaining are dedicated to French, Arabic, Italian, Urdu and Mandarin.
Senior staff from the MFL department at Manchester Metropolitan University (Dr Isabelle Vanderschelden and Dr Carmen Herrero) and the Manchester Instituto Cervantes (Ana Valbuena) are credited here having developed the vast majority, if not all, of the French and Spanish study guides.
Having been created by the same colleagues, the film guides follow the same general formula and are split into two to three parts; before, during and after having seen the film. Through a largely target language medium they guide the student to develop their cultural awareness and also their analytical and linguistic competences through reading and questioning in given exercises.
Furthermore, there are a wealth of ways in which the resources can be exploited to develop the student’s learning in and outside of the classroom context. To illustrate with one example, the synopses and vocabulary could be set as reading and learning task for outside the classroom whilst the analytical aspect could be developed in class through debate in the target language.
The resources are a welcome tool for those new to teaching film in key stages four and five and especially useful for those of us embarking on a teaching career in modern foreign languages. We have a lot to thank our Manchester colleagues for. I know I for one will be making the most of them with a view to make Amelie and Pan’s Labyrinth my next subjects for personal study and CPD as unfortunately my new school does not have a sixth-form.