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Supercuts

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Supercuts are videos that include a lot of clips along a theme, usually with little or no other editing. They can be as simple as Spock saying “Fascinating”/the Ninth Doctor Who saying “Fantastic” or as complex as things crashing through glass from countless films and TV shows/a compilation of anime opening credit visual cliches. It occurred to me, though, that ones focused on dialogue might be useful–or at least fun–for practicing pronunciation features (targeted sounds, intonation, and stress), sarcasm and other tone issues, idioms/slang/other vocabulary, and so on. The language is in short bites (mostly) and repetitive, which may be useful for learning. And of course, the videos have the appeal of being either pop culture artifacts or featuring real people–authentic and attractive to students. It can be hard to find these videos; there are a few lists here and there, but they may be a bit out of date.

This is a pretty fun look at the surprisingly common quote “(Toto,) we’re not in Kansas anymore.”:

It’s pretty current, with lots of things that adult students may have seen (like Sex and the City 2 and Avatar). It has a couple of possibly objectionable scenes, though (mild swearing and what may be a sex scene–it’s a little hard to tell, as it’s waist-up and there’s no nudity). But you can always show just part of a video. It really shows the breadth of the situations in which this phrase is used, and how phrases get turned around and changed. (Notes and sources are here.)

“What are you doing here?” and endless variations, always popping up on Doctor Who (skip if you haven’t watched through the end of 2008 and plan to):

I probably wouldn’t actually use this video unless my students had watched Doctor Who (I know some schools have it in their libraries, though!). It does give an idea of the many ways you can stress the different words in “What are you doing here?” for different meanings, though!

Not very useful, but entertaining–”I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you”:

For those of you who don’t hesitate to teach taboo words, this and its variants really are common:

How many ways can you say “What?” How often is it actually a rising sound? When is it a question, a request for repetition, an expression of disbelief? Let Lost tell you:

“Get out of there!” is a phrase that we use in real life occasionally, not just in movies:

The second half or so has some swearing.

“Sorry I haven’t updated” features ordinary vloggers (video bloggers) of various ages, starting off their vlogs with an apology:

It’s really interesting how different they appear to be, and yet how similar their phrasing is!

There are more out there, and you could probably make some yourself to focus on issues your students have. What other uses might there be, or is this a totally crazy idea…?

Post-Holiday Link Roundup

I wasn’t able to post here during the holidays, but I was somewhat active on Twitter. Here are a few links that I shared that may be of interest to you, rewritten a bit for context and easier clicking.