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Another Fun, Productive Project for Language Exposure

September 14, 2017

A Little Monkey Business

Toward the tail end of summer, my 10-year-old son and I went to the small park near our house with my camera, a tripod, and a handful of props. It was a hot afternoon and we spent the next couple of hours improvising silly scenes on video, which I thought we might somehow edit together into an entertaining little film. (At least entertaining to us, if no one else. :mrgreen: )

Well, our film is finally complete and we’d like to share it with you! While the film itself includes no language—just sounds and music—I want to stress that, behind the scenes, a lot of language was being used. Through the hours of filming in the park and editing at home, Roy and I were engaged intensively in our minority language.

This little film—like the earlier film I made with both Roy and Lulu—is a good example of a short-term project that can promote language exposure in a fun and effective way. Along with productive habits and routines—like talking to your children a lot in the target language and reading aloud to them each day—I also encourage you to pursue short-term projects, which can take many forms.

A previous post on this topic offers some suggestions, as it shares one family’s inspiring project that featured a stuffed alligator making travels to countries around the world. (Really! That friendly alligator even visited us in Hiroshima, Japan!)

If you haven’t seen this post, I recommend it highly…

How a Globe-Trotting Alligator Helped One Family Find Greater Fun and Success on Their Bilingual Journey

A Little Monkey Business

Our new film is called “A Little Monkey Business” and it runs four minutes. As I mentioned, the whole thing was improvised and then pieced together when we edited the footage. This time I was curious to see what might be produced without planning for a particular outcome. In this way, the final result was a fun surprise and I think it also demonstrates that you don’t really need to “overthink” a project like this when you want to make a little film. Just grab some props, start shooting, and once you have a lot of silly footage, you can edit together your favorite scenes. Video projects are not only a fun way to engage your children in the target language, they can also become special keepsakes for a lifetime. (I may even show this one at Roy’s wedding!)

We hope you like it! And if you do, I know he’d love to read your comments below…which also means you’d be motivating him to use his minority language yet again!

View this video at Bilingual Monkeys TV, my YouTube channel.
(Music is courtesy of https://www.bensound.com.)

1 Mayken September 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

Roy and Adam, you guys are hilarious! Also, you have fantastic imagination! It’s hard to believe you didn’t plan this but just edited the scenes together.

Very cool explosions and sound effects, too!

I’m looking forward to your next filming project!

Cheers from Paris,

Mayken

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2 Adam September 19, 2017 at 6:28 am

Mayken, Roy and I were happy to read your comment! In fact, just yesterday was our first attempt at creating a stop-motion film with his buckets of LEGO. We used our iPad and a simple stop-motion app—and the process turned out to be easier than expected—but it will probably be some time before we have a film worth sharing.

The great thing, though, is that I stepped away for the last half hour (we had been at it for about two hours already) and Roy was eager to continue animating by himself so I’m hoping that he might even pursue this activity on his own. Some of the best memories of my childhood are creating little films using my father’s old Super 8 camera and a small editing device where I had to physically glue the cut footage together. (I still fondly remember the smell of that cement!) Our world has changed so much since then, but the thrills of creation remain largely the same! :mrgreen:

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3 Wojtek September 21, 2017 at 11:21 pm

I knew it that Super 8 camera looks exactly like in the movie: The wonder years! That was the movie from my childhood!

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