Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that
ICT-ELT is a TOOL, NOT a SOLUTION.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Being a JERK has no SPECIAL PURPOSE!

Carl Reiner's 1979 comedy masterpiece, The Jerk, is still one of my favorite films of all time.  The Reiner-Steve Martin co-writing, directing and starring is so clever in ever respect, the irony of the title could never be more striking.
Basically, Navin (Martin), has grown up in an African-American family thinking he was born Black.  He has no rythym, his favorite meal is a Twinky and a can of Tab, but he has no sense of purpose for his future.  That is until one night while listening to the radio his toes start to keep beat to the music.  Then his whole body and mind find 'it' as he realizes his purpose; in fact, his SPECIAL PURPOSE. 
The way Reiner and Martin have weaved the satirical plot to address so many US cultural norms such as Southern folks,  African-American families and their habits, people with learning differences and stereotypes of Jews, Blacks, hookers, carnival workers, drug dealers and big money men is superb. 

This is the reason I wanted to show my students the idea of having a PURPOSE for doing anything in life, and the lesson went like that.  I am sharing it with you along with the clipped vidos I prepared, then you can read some student responses after the clips.

I also prepared a Blendpsace tutorial should you wish to follow my lead in your class?.  I find the Blendspace platform to be versatile, simplistic and really effective.  It eliminates so much of the formatting issues associated with Power Point.



CLIP ONE

The film opens with Navin now living on Skid-Row.  He then starts to tell the story and it cuts away to earlier in his life, and how it all began...

video

CLIP TWO

This shows Navin finding his SPECIAL PURPOSE through music from the radio. One of the funniest scenes in a movie, ever, for sure.  I only wish Steve Martin could recapture some of what he had back then..

video

CLIP THREE

Navin decides he has to leave home, go out into the world and there he will find his purpose.  The metaphor and comic imagery will have you howling; while, at the same time, you can convince your students that they need to have a purpose and especially one for their education, if they're serious about doing well at school and university.


video

These clips are all included in the Blendspace, plus there are some questions for you.
We had the students write a response for THEIR OWN PURPOSE, and you can see jpeg snips of them below.  In line with our PLN-EDMODO policy, we don't edit or correct responses, as we prefer to let the students write freely for general L2-practice. Therefore, you can see some errors of syntax; however, they do not generally affect the communicatve meaning for the reader.






I hope you can use The Jerk as a springboard to having your students consıder the importance of having a Special Purpose for doing anything they are assigned to do. The responses are clear in their message and although it may appear to some that it is a bit over the top to get students to consider this, I firmly believe teenagers need such direction and "purpose".  If anyone would like to leave a comment regarding the Jerk, the format or even the activity & content, please do so. We would love to hear from you.




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