I think that two of the above statements in this thread on MovieTalk by two teachers who are new to this work, John and Laura, should be well noted:
…as a teacher in his first year of teaching entirely with CI, I have found MT’s to be by far the most successful activity for me…. (John Bracey)
…last year I had the MOST success and was the MOST inbounds with MT…. (Laura Cenci)
Could we, in fact, be witnessing a seismic shift in the major focus of all comprehension based instruction to MovieTalk from stories? I think we are.
It is true that stories have value that MT doesn’t:
1. We can personalize stories.
2. We can get the kids up acting.
3. We can get our artists involved with stories.
4. In stories we can create something new by asking not telling.
5. We are the ones who choose the words we say in stories, whereas in MT too much can be going on, requiring us to take our speech repeatedly wide and out of bounds as we talk about what we are seeing.
What are the advantages offered in MovieTalk?
1. We have visual access to and can therefore get frequent repetitions on previously taught vocabulary, something not so easy to do in stories.
2. Establishing meaning is done so much faster since we need merely point to an image in an MT class and it is done.
3. As Laura Cenci pointed out, there is a natural and powerful transition from TPR into MT (vs. into stories).
4. We can use an MT clip as a PQA jump-off point, thus connecting the clip to a potential story created by the class.
Other advantages of MT?
I am sure that stories will not go away. Both of these supercharged techniques offer unique advantages. But when newer teachers say that MT works better for them than stories, we need to keep that at the forefront of the discussion and pay attention because the biggest problem of all for new teachers with storytelling, and this goes back decades, is that stories are too hard to do.
MT therefore has the potential for teachers who are just dipping their toes into CI waters to get them to actually swim out a bit further instead of immediately complaining about how cold and deep the water is and running back onto the beach.
Perhaps MT will become something used more in level 1 and 2 classes, with stories happening in level 2 and 3 (level 2 being a transition ground from MT to stories). Then at the upper levels, as we have decided is best here in recent discussion over the past year, we dive deeply into reading, with writing emerging slowly as time goes by, and with speech happening only in unforced and natural ways more and more as well.