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Language Resource Center
Newsletter Spring - 2012
Movie Project as E-Portfolio in German classes 

German department in Gettysburg College has been implementing movie project since 2006.

The movie project is a digital storytelling project where students create a movie clip with images and audio narration in German. The project usually takes place twice in a semester and it progresses from group to individual. The first project is a group project with 4-5 students working together to create a movie clip. Toward the end of the semester, the second project is conducted as an individual project. With both projects, the teacher provides feedback to students on script. Also there are opportunities during class for students to discuss/critique/provide feedback on the movie clips in German after they have viewed all the movies.

This movie project was chosen over PowerPoint presentations as the preferred E-portfolio. This movie project plays a role of assessing the language proficiency by both teacher and students. As for teachers, the recorded work can be used to assess the student’s language proficiency.

As for students, this tangible learning outcome provides the opportunity to evaluate their learning process. This project is a vital component in the curriculum especially for the students in third to fourth semester (200 level) language classes, according to Professor Laurel Cohen Pfister, Department Chairperson and Associate Professor in German. She indicated that the students in 200 level language class are more likely to encounter frustration feeling the ‘lack of progress’ or plateau in their language proficiency. The process of conducting the project and its final outcome should provide the opportunity for the students to reflect on their progress.

The project made various positive impacts on students. It lowered their affective filter (gaining confidence and being comfortable speaking a second language), enhanced the self-reflection through collaboration with other students, and allowed them to use language outside of the class and to see the achievement over the semester.

  • “It’s almost like [having/being] a peer tutor while writing the script and pronouncing things because we correct each other and whatnot.”
  • “I think it helped because we had to put both our writing and speaking skills to use outside of class.” • “…in creating these projects, I wanted to use the most advanced German that I had learned, so I had to tackle difficulties on my own and in the end I learned from my struggle.”
  • “My pronunciation is not very good, but it’s cool to listen to your voice on the audio.” • “I found the recording of the audio productive because it forces you not to be afraid to speak.”
  • “I think it did [enhanced or furthered my German skills], because it was real life application of the language.”
  • “There is a drastic improvement from my first to last movie project. I definitely gained confidence in my speaking ability and I am amazed at how much I have learned in only one semester.”

 

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