YouTube Task #1: Identify Aspects of Culture

Posted by Megan Smith on September 21, 2015 in 2 Authentic Resources, Culture, Technology, Videos

Culture: it’s one of ACTFL’s 5 C’s. Plus, many districts are already adding intercultural standards in their curriculum. How can teach culture without reinforcing stereotypes or just giving our own perspective? Simply show them culture and let them reflect.

I had been using YouTube videos in the classroom for years and was curious to find out if they had an impact on students like I thought. So I chose this for my master’s research study. Of course, I needed data. So, I did a six-week study on the daily YouTube videos and measured 24 students’ attitudes about culture using pre/post rating scales, cultural surveys and journal entries. Long story made short(er):

Screenshot 2015-09-21 at 3.04.12 PMScreenshot 2015-09-21 at 3.13.29 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also asked an open-ended question: “Tell me about your favorite YouTube video shown so far in this class.” Surprisingly, I  had 22 unique answers. Almost every students described a DIFFERENT video.

Moral of the story: The cultural focus made all the difference. We didn’t just watch a video and move on. I didn’t focus on whether they liked the video or not. Not every video was their favorite, but they were able to learn a little bit about Hispanic culture from every video they saw.

 

 

Here’s how I got them to reflect:

At the beginning of the year I spent a few minutes in a discussion about culture. We talked about what it was and listed American examples like apple pie, baseball, 4th of July, and for us – Hot brown sandwiches and the Kentucky Derby. They described how there are many versions of American culture that were very different, like hip-hop vs redneck. I told them their job this year was to investigate Hispanic cultures and see if they could better understand sub-cultures by making educated guesses (inferences).

The next day it all started. They had this on their “warm-up” paper.

AspectsofCulture

Each day I showed an authentic video to kick start our lesson. Then they filled out this simple form after watching the video. It was their job to pick one aspect of culture that stood out to them during the video. Then they described what they saw at their proficiency level (my students started with individual words).

Screenshot 2015-09-21 at 3.50.28 PM

Here’s an example.

Unit Topic: Sports

Daily Goal: I can tell which sports I like to play vs. sports I like to watch.

Aspect of Culture Student Reflection (Level 1):

FullSizeRender (23)

My Reflection:

There are so many different cultural aspects in any given video. It was interesting letting students explain what they saw. Even novice mid  students could explain culture in phrases like – “Aspecto es economia. Personas con carros feos y pobres.” I realized that even though their language was limited they were still able to gain new understanding about the culture. They needed to know what to look for and the aspects of culture on their paper was just what they needed.

By separating the description and opinion, students starting looking at the culture without a bias. Focusing on fact and evidence, they were willing to try to figure out what they saw and not immediately react with their opinion.

Aspects of culture – it’s one powerful way to follow up a YouTube video in the world language classroom.

(The entire student form is here at the Mercado if you’re looking for a copy!)

Xie xie to Cyndy Ning for the translations!

Other “YouTube Task” Posts:

#1 Identify Aspects of Culture

#2 Focus on the Facts

#3 Open It Up

#4 Predict the Future

#5 The Search

5 Ways to Use a Video in WL Class

19 comments for “YouTube Task #1: Identify Aspects of Culture”

  1. Kara Parker says:

    Activities like this is what I could use to prove they were doing high-rigor thinking in my novice level classes. Learning about the aspects of culture was a game changer in my classes. It gave us something to look for and discuss beyond the obvious. LOVE this!!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I love the thought of this! My main problem is finding the videos to use without spending hours and hours searching and watching. Any suggestions for finding authentic French videos easily?

    1. Kara Parker says:

      I don’t have a quick answer for French resources, but I’ll add that I only showed one or two videos a week when I started doing this. Then I built up my collection each year. I do spend most of my planning time finding good ones. It drives the rest of the lesson so it’s worth it to me. Have you tried asking on #langchat on Twitter?

  3. Andrea Brown says:

    Do you save your culture videos on youtube playlists? I would love to check them out if you do!

    1. Megan Smith says:

      Kara and I moved them all here to our Chispas page… you can search/sort for any authres (videos/webpages/readings) by clicking the topics at the top.
      http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/chispas-authentic-resources/

      Our big dream was finding a way to get appropriate authres in ONE place so finding something didn’t have to be so much work!

      Let us know what you think!

  4. Kelly says:

    Like Andrea said, if you are on Youtube, do you have a playlist to share? I need ideas on where to start pulling videos from. I love this idea. I could incorporate it immediately. I just got a class set of Chromebooks and am excited to start using them.

    1. Megan Smith says:

      My playlists spread over 4 different gmail accounts…. ugh! So we brought all our favorite videos/readings/authres here. It’s on the “Chispas” page… you can search/sort for any authres (videos/webpages/readings) by clicking the topics at the top.
      http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/chispas-authentic-resources/

      Hope that helps!

  5. Christina Davis says:

    Great resource! Just downloaded it! What is your “pregunta del día”? Do you include a cultural question or practice something you’re studying? Or is the focus question for the day?

    1. Megan Smith says:

      Sometimes it was a spot for them to respond to a scenario (later in the lesson) and sometimes I used it as their exit slip question. Some days it was really specific and other days it might be more generic.
      What was the most interesting thing you learned today?
      What are 5 words that best describe your personality?
      Is graffiti a good or a bad thing? Explain why.
      You find a kid alone and crying in the grocery store. He’s lost! Ask him 3 questions about his family so you can help find them!

      Basically – it was just nice to have everything on ONE paper for the week! Less to organize!

  6. Natalia says:

    This is a perfect solution fo my collection of videos that’s been waiting for “the right moment”. Your approach to do it daily is a bit intimidating but I think I can manage with once a week and increase from there.

    My question is purely organizational: what do your students do with these reflection sheets? Keep them organized in their folder/binder? Turn in occasionally? Thank you for sharing ideas!

    1. Megan Smith says:

      I collected the reflections each Friday. I didn’t spend a ton of time grading, because our little conversations each day in class. I did give them credit for writing down their reflections. To each their own… there’s no one way to do it!

  7. Bianca says:

    Hi Gals, I purchased your aspecto de la cultura sheet but I am wondering how I should the question of the day? My students are unclear what to do with that …

    Thank you,
    Bianca

    1. Megan Smith says:

      Sometimes it was a spot for them to respond to a scenario (later in the lesson) and sometimes I used it as their exit slip question. Some days it was really specific and other days it might be more generic.
      What was the most interesting thing you learned today?
      What are 5 words that best describe your personality?
      Is graffiti a good or a bad thing? Explain why.
      You find a kid alone and crying in the grocery store. He’s lost! Ask him 3 questions about his family so you can help find them!

  8. Wendy says:

    Do you guys mind if I recreate your video page (I bought it out of El Mercado) in French? I will credit you at the bottom if I ever share it.

  9. ceciliabesnard says:

    Hi there! I think I need a little permission or clarification. When I start with culture at the beginning of class, does the video I am showing have to be about the unit theme? I want to do “Birthdays” but it hasn’t been easy finding commericals on birthdays…that were school appropriate. Can you give me suggestions? Perhaps I am limiting myself. Also, there are other aspects of culture, holidays, traditions, celebrations. Do you put those under activities? Where do they fit in the categories on the template? Thank you for your help! I love your site and I really want to go all in with leading with Proficiency in my classroom. I think its the right thing to do and will put the work on them rather than me…eventually! 😉

  10. ceciliabesnard says:

    Hi there! I think I need a little permission or clarification. When I start with culture at the beginning of class, does the video I am showing have to be about the unit theme? I want to do “Birthdays” but it hasn’t been easy finding commercials on birthdays…that were school appropriate. Can you give me suggestions? Perhaps I am limiting myself. Also, there are other aspects of culture, holidays, traditions, celebrations. Do you put those under activities? Where do they fit in the categories on the template? Thank you for your help! I love your site and I really want to go all in with leading with Proficiency in my classroom. I think its the right thing to do and will put the work on them rather than me…eventually! 😉

    1. Megan Smith says:

      Hey Cecilia! Permission granted! You have the freedom to use this and make it work in the best way for your kids! Here’s how I used it – if it helps you brainstorm. If I was teaching a unit on birthdays, I would try to use videos around that topic. I’ll look for a few today to see if I can find anything, but it could be about a birthday cake, kids breaking a pinata (with peanuts), or even this techy celebration for Mcdonald’s birthday in Madrid… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyj9w3A4ck0

      These are the major categories for aspects of culture as defined by cultural studies/anthropology and taught in many humanities courses. If they see a celebration – they can break it down to what they are wearing (CLOTHES), what they are eating (FOOD), what they are doing (ACTIVITIES), how the party is decorated (ART), how simple or extravagant it is (ECONOMY). These aspects force us to break down big themes like celebrations into much more!

  11. Cecilia Besnard says:

    Love it!! Thanks Megan for clarifying and for the video! You are LA MEJOR!! 🙂
    Cecilia

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