Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Discussion - Frank Gehry's Architecture

Pre-intermediate students may benefit from the video to a certain degree with a lot of pre-watching language scaffolding and an opportunity to informally discuss the architecture before actually watching the video. The idea being that some of the same arguments that appear in their discussions appear in the video, making the ideas more accessible at the listening/watching stage.
This video discussion has speakers both for and against the controversial Gehry architecture.  Appropriate language functions (giving and asking for opinions, giving reasons, agreeing and disagreeing) are evident during the discussion.  However, there is more to the discussion than the standard set of language functions outlined above.  For one, there is humour in the evaluations of the work and in the conclusion to the discussion.  While watching the video, students could be asked to not only identify useful language phrases, but identify who is for and who is against the architect’s work and why.  Attitudes between speakers may be something else to explore after watching, although this is a more subjective discussion point for students.
Pre-intermediate students should be able to extract most of the useful language functions but would need a lot of support in understanding the whole of the discussion.

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