Introducing Children to Movie Making by Using Movie Making Software
This article is to help people who are interested in Chinese culture and language to learn Chinese from movies or any videos in Chinese effectively.
Audio and video materials have been used to help students to learn a second language ever since the existence of audio cassette tapes and VHS tapes. In twenty-first century, audio and VHS tapes are gradually being forgotten. With the wide-spread of digital media, people are given the technology to access the digital media with unprecedented convenience. We could watch movies on DVD, Blu-ray players and computers, and listen to songs on MP3, MP4 players or Mobile phones. These new technologies have brought new dimensions to second language learning.
Movies are better than audio media material as it provides vivid visual scenes with near-reality audio effect which audiences could try best to understand from both audio and visual information. Movies are very much global now, thanks to the broadband internet and digital video compression technology. A two-hour movie can be compressed to MP4 with less than 1GB and maintains very good picture quality. A movie with 1GB size can be downloaded through broadband within 30 minutes.
Chinese movies are becoming more and more popular in non-Chinese speaking countries. Films with martial art contents are their favorites. Films such as Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon are well known word-wide. These films and many others are available for purchase online and in local stores.
If people are interested in Chinese TV series, then download free software programs such as PPLive, Ppstream. They will give people instant access to thousands of TV programs.
Access to Chinese movies or TV programs is not much of an issue. The key is how to choose movies for your learning. Some movies are very enjoyable to watch, but they may not be suitable for learning. First, you need to consider how much of the conversations you can understand without turning on subtitles. Too many new words in a movie could hurt your confidence. To learn means you need to build up on what you already have learnt. Secondly, you need to know the purpose of learning from a particular movie. Is it for daily conversation or understanding Chinese Culture better? Movies set in different backgrounds are rich in showing cultures of a particular period in China. You won’t be able to understand a lot of daily conversations in Chinese without knowing Chinese cultures and some histories.
DVD or Blu-ray players are great as they enable you to repeat a section and turn subtitles on and off. However, DVD players could not repeat sentence by sentence. They could only repeat sections which you have to set. Many Chinese films sold online and in local stores may not come with Chinese subtitles.
Watching and learning from Chinese movies is easier with a computer media player such as VLC and GOM players which could play SRT format subtitles placed in the same file folder. You can search for SRT subtitles on the internet. Most of them have Chinese and English subtitles, but not Pinyin subtitles.
The most effective and easiest way to learn from movies is to have a software program which enables to have full control of Chinese-English-Pinyin subtitles. You can navigate to and repeat any sentence with a mouse click. You can turn on and off any subtitle you want. If it could record your own voices, that would be ideal.
Parents should always be on the lookout for ways to encourage their child’s inner creativity. While most children love to watch movies, there are some who have the curiosity to ask how they are made. Children should be encouraged at an early age to explore the world around them, and one special way to do that is to learn how to make movies. With technology being so advanced today, it is easier than ever to teach your child how to make their own movies. They can explore animation or editing live camera shots together to make a feature presentation. Following are some examples of movie making software that are available in online stores:
The ParaToon Movie series allows children to create their own characters and virtual worlds. It also help children to create their own stories to make movies. Uniquely, this software allows children to work on each other’s movies separately or create a large online animation project where everyone can work together, thereby promoting cooperation and team work.
Magic Theater and Haunted House, both made by the Instinct Corporation, allows children to explore their creativity as early as four years of age. This is excellent for those children who love animated movies and short films. It gives the child a way to not only learn about animation, but to have a creative outlet to bring their imaginations to life. Again, these programs encourage animation, music editing, dialogue creation and illustration. Both programs can be downloaded for free from the company’s website.
For live action movies, there is an excellent tool called Windows Movie Maker. This is typically included with Windows XP and Vista systems. It allows children from age ten and up to upload footage from a video camera and edit it to make a live action presentation. In some ways, it is a beginning method to explore the movie making process from start to finish. A program like this is more for children who want to get more into the technical aspects of movie making such as post-production editing.