Media & Communications a Cambridge

Nationality
Italian

Group size
15 + 1 free leader

Dates
All year round except for September

Duration
2 weeks

Level
Intermediate

Timetable
See sample programme

Focus
Proposed outline for a 2 week course on the Media, including a main project of writing, performing and shooting a short film

Topics

  • Newspapers
  • Television
  • Film
  • Advertising
  • Pop Music

Communication Games

  • Who am I?
  • What am I doing?
  • Describing environment
  • Instant Theatre
  • Creating stories from pictures

Listening

  • Pop music
  • Radio adverts
  • Television drama
  • Soap Opera
  • Movie

Reading

  • Newspapers

Writing

  • Adverts
  • News reports
  • Speech for debate
  • TV Programme
  • Film

Speaking

  • Debating
  • Discussing
  • Organising

 

The course would mainly be aimed at getting the students to improve their English by using and practising the English that they have already learnt; however it will be necessary to cover vocabulary in some of the areas.

The basic plan I would adopt for this two-week course would include the following:

Drama Games to help communication in English
We will start by playing some drama games to help the students immerse themselves in English, where they will need to speak and listen exclusively in English, but making it fun and not too daunting on the first day. These games will include:

Describing their environment in detail from memory.
Miming activities which the rest of the class need to give the correct word for.
Playing famous people and guessing who they are being.
Making up stories from pictures
Creating a play using Instant Theatre, where decisions about the characters and actions are made on the spot.

These games will all introduce the students to communicating in English in different ways: following instructions, guessing, asking questions, imitating, using their imagination, generating ideas quickly, discussing, agreeing, arguing. These uses of English will all be important for the projects scheduled for the two weeks. All of this will be done in English, and students always enjoy these games so they will be immersing themselves in English almost without thinking about it.

Listening to different media and getting used to the vocabulary used and speed that people talk at.
Exercises will include listening to:
pop music – correcting transcripts that are deliberately wrong as well as filling in gaps;
radio adverts – what is being advertised, what is the special deal, when does the deal end etc – listening for gist first of all and then for specific details. These will be real advertisements at real speed which will be difficult at first, but the students will soon get used to listening to people talking quickly.

News and the press
Vocabulary, Reading and Speaking Skills
We will look what you find in the different sections of newspapers and the vocabulary associated, eg column, article, journalist, finance, horoscope, crossword etc as well as doing a crossword which will help with their media vocabulary.

We will then examine the differences between Tabloid and Broadsheet newspapers. This will focus on the style of writing, the subject matter, the size and quantity of pictures and the type of advertisements found in each paper. We will also be doing reading exercises based on newspaper articles and examining how much we can trust the information that we read in the papers.

Listening and Speaking
We will watch and listen to news reports from the television and from the radio and check that the students have got the correct information from them.

Topical Debate
One day will centre around an issue that is at the forefront of world news at the time. We will discuss the issue in depth and read articles about it and look at the opposing points of view that people have. The class will then be given a motion and in groups will write short speeches for and against the motion. This will then form the basis for a debate where the students are free to ask and answer questions within the structure of a formal debate.

Television. We will go over the different types of programmes that you find on television eg news, sport, drama, soap operas, gardening, DIY etc
We will then watch an episode of a programme, during which the students will fill in a questionnaire. There will then follow an exercise based on comprehension of what happened in the programme.

After this, the students will, in groups, create their own programme similar to the one we saw and perform it to each other. This will involve discussing the idea for the programme, writing a short script and then performing it to the class. This will get them used to doing this kind of exercise, which will be helpful for when we do filming later on in the course.

Hollywood vs Independent
We will discuss the different kind of film industries that exist. Big Studios, Independent, Bollywood. What is the point of making a film? Is it to tell a story, get people to think about the world in a different way, to make money? How are Hollywood films different from Independents, not just in terms of money, but also the content of the films. And what about the European film market? Does Europe make good films? Why are they not as successful as American films? Not just language but also distributors.

We will then watch a film and discuss the content of the film, what issues it raises, what type of film it is. Would it have been different if had been made with more/less money, by a studio/independent. If so, how would it be different?

Making a short film
This will be the main project of the course. Having looked at the different kinds of films and programmes, the students will decide what type of film they want to make. It will last approximately 10 minutes and locations need to be in and around the Studio School, but this can include the garden, and we can turn the classroom into many different kinds of room.

The students will first decide as a class what they want the message of the film to be. They will then decide on the characters and finally find an outline for the plot of the film, which will be divided up into six scenes. And the basic outline of each scene will be discussed. The class will then be divided into three groups and each will be responsible for writing two different scenes. The actors will be chosen for each part and everyone will be allocated a role in the film-making either in front or behind the camera.

Rehearsing and filming. We will go over how films are made. Shot out of sequence, different angles. Editing. The scenes will be rehearsed and we will begin filming. The students will take charge of this and have to organise the set-ups, all done, of course, in English.

Making Adverts
In addition to making the film, we will also be writing and filming advertisements to come either before the film, or in the middle if they decide to make a television drama.

At the end of the course there will be a chance to watch their edited film and to take it back home with them.

Preparation
Preparation that would be helpful before the students came to England would be to analyse media in Italy, looking at the content of different newspapers, television programmes and films so that they could provide a context and a contrast to the programmes and films we will be studying on the course. This would, however, not be vital as the course is self-contained.

Accommodation
Double rooms in host families – half board during the week and full board at the week-end. Cafeteria lunches Mon-Fri  at school. ( supplement for single accommodation)

Airport transfer
Included

Return flight
Not included

Supplement  for single accommodation, if possible (optional)
Cancellation insurance for medical reasons (optional)

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