Interview with Mark McKinnon



Teacher, trainer and materials writer Mark McKinnon answers The Image Conference Questionnaire.

Your favourite game website:

My favourite game website is Conquer Club (an online version of Risk). That takes up all of my online game time. I’ll be going straight home after the conference to check my troops! I’m also a member of a group on this game site and it has attracted quite a lot of non-native speakers who now have opportunities to practise their English.

Your favourite film to use in class:

I have quite a few favourites, but the one film that I have written activities for the most is The Corpse Bride. It has a nice storyline to exploit, has excellent visual clues and is entertaining too.


Useful video -related teaching tool:


I have been using Global for my courses at UAB Idiomes this year and have found the videos, which accompany the course, very useful for exploiting the topics. They were written by Robert Campbell of iT’S magazine. The course includes videos for the students to work with at home (part 1) and follow-up videos (part 2) for use in the classroom. This prioritises listening homework to prepare for the content of the next lesson.


Tell us a bit about your session:


The session aims to give practical classroom ideas for using video in the classroom. The activities are easily applicable to any video, although I have chosen some of my favourites.

Why are you interested in using film / video in your classes?


I believe that the embodied voice (video/ film) has clear advantages over the disembodied voice (CD or mp3-based listening material). I like to show my students what they can do with it and hopefully encourage them to do autonomous listening practice at home.

What should your audience expect to learn?


That video is much more engaging as a listening tool and can encourage students to do more listening practice outside the classroom.

What are three words that sum up your session?


Practical classroom ideas.

Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?

I’d like to see as many as possible. A conference like this certainly motivates you to get back into the classroom and try something new on Monday.

You can read more about Mark and his session here.


The Embodied Voice

Mark McKinnon UAB Idiomes

15.00 – 16.00 Room 11

We very rarely hear a disembodied voice in real life but as teachers we constantly ask our students to work with recorded conversations of people they never see.

Teaching technologies: Teaching English using video, Mark McKinnon,, 2005

Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Advances in technology over the last 8 years have given us the opportunity to have access to virtually any video resource we want to use in the classroom. Video provides us with a much more authentic listening experience. This workshop will look at practical ideas on how to get the most out of using video clips in the classroom.

Mark McKinnon teaches English at UAB Idiomes, Barcelona. He is also a tutor on the LTCL Diploma. Mark is co-author (with Lindsay Clandfield) of Skillful Level 4 Listening and Speaking (Macmillan) He has also written materials for Macmillan’s Straightforward and Global coursebooks, and is currently writing a series of Infograph lessons for the Global website.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *