Lights, Camera, Language


Improving oral skills in advanced Second Language Learners poses several challenges to any instructor that go beyond the provision of creating a class environment that animates students to speak. Accuracy tends to be lower in speaking and listening tasks because of the linearity and speed of oral language.To increase accuracy, advanced students need to be exposed to tasks that allow them to slow down their speech to be able to reflect on their expression and pronunciation. They also need to be exposed to a large amount of language, to a variety of speech patterns, and to various inflections.

For the practice and enhancement of oral language skills on various levels, we introduced new digital video technology in an advanced German conversation class by challenging students to create a German language news report. Students researched their topics on-line, interviewed speakers on camera, wrote and recorded their own narration, and digitized and edited their footage -- all in German. This web site presents a description and the results of the project.


This web site contains:


Project Description A powerpoint presentation which focuses on the technological and pedagogical merits and challenges of such an approach.
Handouts Class handouts with step-by-step information to guide students through the project.
Camera Documents Visual equipment references to help students understand the equipment and its use.
Student Projects Ful-length student projects in German with English subtitles.
Support A list of supporters of the class project.


Franziska Lys
Department of German,
Northwestern University
Mark Schaefer
Multimedia Learning Center,
Northwestern University


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