Film is a medium that we often attribute to pure entertainment. While it does offer a high degree of entertainment, some of your favorite Asian films and ones you haven’t seen can hold valuable educational properties as well. Here, we will take a closer look at how this is true.
Learning a Language
Many students either have to or choose to take a foreign language at some point during their academic career. In doing so, they take on a variety of tasks to become as fluent as possible. This includes speaking in that language, testing on it, and writing papers.
These students have a lot of resources to help them through these classes at their disposal. For instance, a student struggling with an essay could quickly search “write an essay for me online” and they could quickly find help on their writing assignment. In much the same fashion, students can find help learning and experiencing a language through film.
These movies are another form of immersion for students learning to speak the language of the movie they are watching. It can potentially work better than reading a book in another language for some students. This is because a movie offers a direct translation, so students don’t have to stop and translate themselves. In addition, they can link language with visual and audible stimuli which makes it a great medium for different types of learners.
Investing Students in Curriculum
One of most students’ biggest questions when it comes to the content they learn is often, “How am I going to use this in real life?” There is, for many subjects, a disconnect between what someone needs to know versus why they need to know it.
Once again, this is where film can step in to help. For example, if a class is learning about a point in Chinese history, they may not be fully intrigued. Looking at a list of facts and dates on a page isn’t quite as engaging as some might hope.
However, take those same facts and put them into film. In doing so, focus on characters and moments that will evoke emotion from students. At this point, they aren’t looking at a page of what they’re forced to memorize. Instead, they have become invested in understanding out of genuine interest.
It’s Easier to Talk About Film
When you ask a classroom full of students a question about a book, it’s likely that only a few hands will go up. A part of this is a lack of confidence in reading comprehension. Students tend to have trouble – especially at high reading levels – talking about what they read. Any classroom assigned an older, denser text can attest to that.
On the other hand, if you ask a group what they thought of a movie, the number of responses is likely to go up. This is because movies are much more accessible. If an Asian film uses a difficult text as the basis of its plot, watchers won’t necessarily need to be able to decipher the intricacies of language when watching. This is, in large part, helped by the visual stimulus that movies give. There is a context in movies that simply reading doesn’t achieve for some.
Movies are also familiar. Not every home is filled with classic literature but almost everyone has seen some sort of film production. This makes film much easier to talk about – the confidence in and familiarity with the medium.
Asian films offer up a variety of helpful benefits. Many offer viewers an entertaining experience but they can also offer an educational one. This can be done the traditional way of offering a historical or informative story.
Yet, even the most fantastical pieces of film can be helpful in aspects such as teaching Asian languages. All in all, the power of Asian films shouldn’t be understated from any perspective.