Website Information


Randall's Video Snapshots:
For ESL/EFL Students

The movie clips called Video Snapshots are designed to provide additional learning content related to other listening activities on my site. To learn more about this project, read the Frequently Asked Questions below:

Current Videos (Click the picture to watch the video - Click the link below the picture to visit a related listening activity). You can also search by title below:

Randall Davis - Sports

- Sports

Randall Davis - Social Media

- Social Media Web Sites

Randall Davis - Neighbors
- Apartments for Rent
Randall Davis - Memorial Day

- Funerals: Expressing Condolences

Randall Davis - Car Emergency

- Car Rental

Randall Davis - New Apartments

- Great Apartment Living

Randall Davis - Air Pollution

- A Greener World

Randall Davis - Happy New Year

- New Year's Resolutions

Randall Davis - Fighting a cold

- Medical Advice

Randall Davis - Raising Birds

- Pet Care

Randall Davis - Gardening and Language Learning

- Landscaping Secrets

Randall Davis - Soccer and Family

- World Cup Soccer

Randall Davis - Marriage Counseling

- Wedding Anniversary

Randall Davis - Part-Time Jobs

- Part-Time Jobs

Randall Davis - Part-Time Jobs

- Family Activities

Randall Davis - Fruit Trees

- Snacks

Randall Davis - Shopping

- Shopping - Black Friday

Randall Davis - Christmas

- Christmas is Coming!

Randall Davis - Dinner Time

- Dinner Time

Randall Davis - Outdoor Safety

- Camping

Randall Davis - Dinner Time

- A Hiking Family

Randall Davis - Animal Sanctuary

- Exotic Pet Care

Randall Davis - Potbellied Pigs

- Enjoying the Zoo

Randall Davis - exercise video

- A Healthy Lifestyle

Randall Davis - Learning Languages

- Learning Languages

Randall Davis - Learning Languages

- Language Perceptions

Randall Davis - Winter Driving

- Car Accidents

Randall Davis - Trail Running

- Ultrarunning

Randall Davis - Trail Running

- Fast Food

Randall Davis - Gardening

- Snack Food

Randall Davis - meeting people

- Meeting People

Randall Davis - camping

- Winter Camping

Randall Davis - hiking

- Winter Activities

Randall Davis - snowshoe marathon

- A Healthy Lifestyle

Randall

- A Greener World

Randall Davis - bus travel

- Sightseeing Around Town

cycling

- Cycling

Randall Davis - lawn care

- Great Apartment Living

Randall Davis - dinner recipes

- Dinner Recipes

Randall Davis - university degree

- Mail Service

Randall Davis - computer supplies

- School Supplies

Randall Davis - composting

- Saving the Earth

Randall Davis - university degree

- College Majors

Randall Davis - supermarket video

- Grocery Shopping

Randall Davis - gas  station

- Saving Gas and Money

Randall Davis - hiking

- Hiking

Randall Davis - weather

- Climate and Weather

Randall Davis - Movie Theaters

- Movie Theaters

Randall Davis - junior high school

- A Day at School

Randall Davis - breakfast recipes

- Breakfast Recipes

Randall Davis - pet care

- Easy Pet Care

Randall Davis - church service

- Family Activities

swimming

- Swimming

tv guide

- TV Guide

movie rental

- Movie Rentals

funeral video

- Food Storage

Drivers License

- Drivers License

video games

- Video Games

cellphone video

- Cell Phones

hobbies

- Free Time Activities

used cars

- Used Cars

train tickets

- Train Tickets

funeral video

- Funerals

holiday traditions

- Holiday Traditions

Randall Davis - Desert Life

- Desert Life

Randall Davis - apartments for rent

- Apartments for Rent


Why did you create this section of your Website?
There are three main objectives for the videos: (1) add new materials to support existing content on my site through the recycling of vocabulary and topics (e.g., a video on trains is linked to a conversation called, Train Tickets: Getting Around Tokyo), (2) provide more visual multimedia content that can aid students in the language-learning process, and (3) share my own personal life experiences that might be of benefit to those who want to see new things (for example, how many people have camped in freezing, snowy conditions . . . AND had fun?). Therefore, I directly link these videos to my library of other listening activities so students see the same themes again and again, and thus learners have plenty of practice on a particular topic before moving on to something else.

How do you decide on the topics?
As with my other listening activities on my site, I carefully choose high-frequency topics, that is, those that students might encounter most often rather than a more abstract theme like discussing a rare sea creature at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Topics like education, jobs, movies, and restaurants are common themes most students would learn in a language class. With this in mind, a teacher could give a lesson from his/her class textbook on transportation and then have students visit my site for additional practice.

Why are the videos short, between 30-60 seconds?
I want to create short videos that are focused on a particular theme that can be easily used for language learning in a concise way. Of course, there are benefits to having longer, less structured content, and there is plenty of such material available online already. So I decided to go the other way and provide this shorter, manageable content.

Do you plan on adding other speakers on the videos?
There can be a benefit to having a variety of speakers with different accents. However, as a matter of convenience and experience, I find that I can create the videos more efficiently with learning in mind by doing them myself. Plus, I just enjoy acting and introducing people to culture.

Do you realize there are some grammar mistakes in the videos?
Absolutely. The only place you might not see or hear grammar mistakes is in language textbooks (then again, I've seen a lot of mistakes in books too), and this is the case because textbooks often don't reflect natural, unscripted speech samples. Yes, it is important that students see and hear correct models of language, but only listening to pre-digested speech won't help them either. Striking a balance is what my videos are about. Therefore, each video clip is recorded without scripting in an attempt to make them as natural as possible. I don't purposely add mistakes; they just sometimes come out as part of my natural speech. I ain't perfect, ya know.

There is a lot of background noise in some the video, and it's sometimes hard to hear exactly what is being said. Could you delete the background noise?
Actually, I WANTED to include natural background noise to reflect real listening conditions. I realize that learners are used to sterile classroom listening activities from their textbooks that leave out all background noise, but that's not my purpose. If you can understand the video with the noise and all, then you are really learning to fine-tune your skills on the most important information in a conversation.

Which video format do you use?
The video clips have been prepared in MP4 and Flash format, which almost all computers can play. I am trying to prepare the files so they also play on some portable devices including the iPhone and iPad. The videos have been encoded in such a way so that many of my visitors who come from locations where it is difficult and/or expensive to go online can still access them. By creating videos in this way, many more people can have access to my materials. I don't want to have to prepare three different versions for different Internet connection speeds.


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