PROCEEDINGS

Teenagers /
Young Learners

 
     TEENAGERS/YUONG LEARNERS
Back Proceedings
Music, Video and the Environment – Fragile, Handle With Care
Florinda Scremin Marques
Jefferson Camargo Caldas

Why should people learn another language if they are not to leave the place where they were born? Well, that’s why! Getting to know another language implies getting to know another culture and getting to understand our own better in return. Nowadays, the English language is not only a way of expressing the American, British, Australian or any other English speaking culture, but also a means of favoring understanding of other cultures, for it is through English that we, Portuguese speakers, can talk about Chinese, Arabian, Indian or Eskimo traditions, beliefs, way of life; that is, their culture. English is being used as a means of favoring transcultural understanding. And it is also through the studying of the English language that we can discuss issues pertaining all human beings, and make a link with the world outside the classroom.

When we first started our research, we wanted to know how we could add Culture to our lessons. We wanted to work with culture not as an incidental topic because we were teaching this or that theme or grammar point; we wanted to really have a lesson on Culture. In our research on the topic, we discovered that there were many themes that could be explored (Omaggio Haddley, 1993), and from among many of them, we chose ECOLOGY and its related sub-themes:

1. Attitudes toward nature
2. Exploitation of nature
3. Use of natural products

And, based on this theme, we planned a series of activities to work with this worldwide issue, the concern for the environment and the simple things that one can do to help save the Earth, and to link the classroom to the world outside.

In this article, we will describe this series of activities. They have been developed with two goals in mind. First, we aim at having our learners become conscious of thei own behavior and of other people’s behavior towards Nature. And we also want our learners to be aware of what he or she can do in order to help save the planet, what attitudes and behavior they should change in their daily lives to begin doing their part in helping healing the world we live in.
Second, we want these learners to become prepared to write an essay on this theme, that is, on the simple things they can do to help save our planet. This is the first lesson of a series of 5 classes of the Writing Process. In this particular class, we will be working with pre-writing activities and techniques at the Composing Phase (which is the gathering of ideas).

THE SERIES OF ACTIVITIES

 

1. ENLARGING YOUR VOCABULARY

• The teacher sets up the first activity by writing the word ENVIRONMENT in the center of the board.

• In small groups, the learners brainstorm around this word, and the teacher leads groups to think of words and expressions that deal with development, threats, effects, and other related words. Some of the expressions they should come up with are:

• Then, the teacher with the help of the learners, writes the words and expressions they have thought of according to the category it belongs to form a word-web.

2. GETTING AWARE

The next step is to show the video clip “Earth Song” with Michael Jackson, where learners can identify some of the threats that man is making against Earth and their effects on its Environment.

• Before Learners watch the video, the teacher writes on the board:

o What threats/effects can you identify? Check from the list on the board.
o What’s the message conveyed?

• Then, the lyrics of “Earth Song” (handout 1) are discussed through the following questions:

o What about us? Do we give it a damn?
o How friendly are we to our planet?
o Is it possible for us to do something as individuals?
o How much are we committed to helping save our world?

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