Learning from our conversations in English: Using video in the bilingual classroom as a tool for reflection on English language learning and teaching

Sarah Capitelli, Melrose Elementary School, Oakland CA
with Desiree Pointer, Knowledge Media Lab, The Carnegie Foundation

How we learned from our conversations in English:

  1. Overview
  2. What structures support English language development in my classroom?
  3. How do conversations between students support English language learning?
  4. What strategies do good English language learners use?
  5. How can video be used to give my students a window into their English language learning?
  6. Next steps


Class Materials


Rosie's Walk: A student-written video project (June 2003)

This video illustrates how the students used their developing English skills in creative ways. This video was written by the students in improvisation, and is an adaptation of the children's book "Rosie's Walk." In the book, Rosie the chicken goes for a walk around the barnyard, always just ahead of the sinister fox. In the students' version, Rosie is a student, and leaves the classroom to walk around the school, pursued by the "evil" teacher Miss Sarah. The students played all the school personnel, from the school secretaries, to the principal, to the recess supervisor. The student playing the narrator/ fox/ Miss Sarah character had the idea to mimic the book-- he noticed that whenever the fox enters the scene, he always trips or stumbles. This student brought that bit of slapstick physical comedy into the video, as you'll see. To the right are his brainstormed notes for the narrator's introduction (click to enlarge).