Netflix and Chil(dren)

It is certainly not as suggestive as Netflix and chill… but have you ever considered using your home entertainment subscription in the classroom?

Netflix, like many subscriptions, can be set to the language of your choice and many tv shows and movies have alternative dubbing or subtitling options, giving you instant access to a library of language content.

In the past I have used DVDs to show familiar movies or tv shows with German dubbing to engage students when others are finishing off recording assessment or other tasks, I have tried to link these with the unit of work where possible (eg family -The Incredibles, animals – Rio). I also have shown full length German children’s films to students as an end of term celebration – particularly on the completion of our pop culture unit (the Vorstadt Krokodil series is a favourite of my year six students). With access to Netflix I don’t need to have found a DVD with dubbing or remember to bring it with me, I just log on and go.

Now to be clear – I do not advocate just playing movies and tv shows every lesson – that isn’t teaching! Unless you have developed a program around videos with other activities and resources, students learning will likely be minimal. I do however believe that there is a time and place for longer videos in the language learning classroom.

Also remember, as with other content, make sure to preview before showing things to students to make sure there isn’t inappropriate content. Remember that some translations may not be entirely accurate, some things might be culturally appropriate in one country and not another, and the ratings system in Germany is quite different to the ratings in Australia (eg FSK 6 can have a lot of the word ‘Scheiße’ which you wouldn’t maybe expect in a G or PG movie).

A big shout out to Fearghal for giving me this idea some months back, you’re a genius!

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