Writer, editor and film producer Anna Whitcher answers The Image Conference Questionnaire.
Your favourite film/work of art/video game:
My favorite movie of all time is Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I saw it for the first time when I was about 15 years old in a classic movie theater here in my native San Francisco, and I knew then that I wanted someday to work with film.
Your favourite video to use in class:
Because I like to create and use so many different types of short films, it’s hard to say which one is my all-time favorite. A lot depends on the audience, the mood, the message. That’s the great thing about short film – there’s always something for everyone!
Useful image-related teaching tool:
I’ve found blank storyboards to be a really effective way to get students (and teachers) thinking about the stories, either the ones they’re analyzing or the ones they’re creating.
Why are you interested in using images in your classes?
Images and film seem to be one of the better ways to get most of the class motivated to participate in some way. Both strong and weak students find meaning by using images or film to explain themselves and explore language.
What should your audience expect to learn?
In the past, there has been a lot of mystique around filmmaking, but this is changing now with easier access to equipment and distribution channels. By sharing some of my experience creating short films for ELT in the last several years, my hope is that the audience will have a better understanding of the filmmaking process and how it can be used to encourage problem-solving skills in their classes.
What are three words that sum up your session?
Ready, set, action!
Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?
That’s a trick question! Given the nature of this conference, I think everyone presenting is going to have something insightful to say. I wish I could see them all, including the ones during my session!
You can read more about Anna and her two sessions at the conference below.
Anna Whitcher is an editor, writer and producer of ELT materials and has a strong interest in film and its role in the language classroom. She graduated from UC Berkeley and has a Master’s in English Composition. She has taught ESL/EFL to teenagers and adults in the US and Europe.
Filmmaking Made Real
What does it really take to make a film? In this session, we will look at the bare bones of filmmaking in the ELT industry and examine the elements required to make it all happen from the ground up. With this lens, we will focus on how the film creation process, if done properly, can produce films that will be more effective as language teaching tools.
Anna Whitcher & Kieran Donaghy
A Visual Manifesto for Language Teaching
In this talk, we will discuss the evolution of the image and the significant role it can play in our lives if we are active participants in what we see and what we create. Through the deconstruction of a short film made specifically to illustrate this concept, we will explain a new visual manifesto for this age of the image. We will offer guidance on how we can become active learners and creators in this new world of images.