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Using third person in past tense: using video file to engage learners in sentence construction task

Uploaded by Emily Hillier, Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK)


This video clip took place in the context of learning to use the third person in the past tense. In this activity learners were given an extended Welsh sentence which had been split up into individual words, including verbs and connectives. The learners had one minute to work in pairs and re-arrange the words to make the longest Welsh sentence possible. After the minute, the whole class were asked to tell the teacher where to place the words using drag and drop.


Target language: Welsh

Resource language: English

Native language of learners: English

Age range: 10+

Language level: A1 - beginner

Educational context: Primary Education

IWB Features: Drag & drop, Navigation (between flipchart pages), Sound

Teaching methods: Whole class questioning, Pairwork

Language area: Grammar, Reading, Speaking

IWB board used: SMART Board

Teacher comment

It was very good for the children to be able to actually be able to understand each word in the sentence and be able to build a sentence together. It is a very clear and easy way to do sentence building. Also it gave the children the opportunity to put together a simple sentence or then start to improve their connectives to make an extended sentence. Because you can drag it around yourself, you can order things. You could have made a simple sentence and left it at that or you could take things out and put things back in to show what an extended sentence might look like.

I think the pace of the challenge was good. The fact that the children only had a minute to work and there was countdown music encouraged them to focus on the activity.

They were also doing it in pairs so it was shared work aswell so they could bounce ideas off each other. Once they have put it together it was a good way of self-assessing what they had done. As the teacher I could move the words as they called them out which is really important as they could see how well they were doing or how they could improve.

You don’t have to stick to notebook software as there are things like windows media player and YouTube which can all be used alongside the software to enhance what you are doing.

Learner comments

It’s more fun because you can do more things on it.

It’s more fun to learn because you can move stuff around whereas with the [normal] whiteboard you have to rub it out and it takes up too much time.

It’s a more fun way to try and do things because normally you would just sit down and say the word instead and [our teacher] says them and you’ve got to try and get it into your head whereas on the IWB you can look at it and interact with it [because] you can put it in spaces and move it around.

With the [normal] whiteboard you have to rub it out and it takes up too much time.

Other comments

This video clip highlights the affordance of the IWB to switch between different programs with ease.

License - CCBYNCSA

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iTILT is a European project on Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching which focuses on the use of interactive whiteboards in the communicative language classroom. If you have comments or questions about this project please contact us.