Student Activites at Bridge: Photography Workshop to Practice English

Photo by Gary Scott

At BridgeEnglish, learning English through cultural immersion and real-world situations is as important, if not more than, learning in a classroom. As an established photographer and English teacher, I thought I might as well combine these two skills and offer a photography workshop to the BridgeEnglish students so they can practice their English skills and pick up some new vocabulary, while flexing their creative muscles as well!

The students and I met at the BridgeEnglish Denver center on a Saturday. First, we convened in a classroom to discuss photography vocabulary, such as lens, digital, aperture, shutter speed, manual, candid, posed, blurry, etc. Then we briefly discussed the mechanics of using a camera on the manual setting. With the camera on the manual setting, the photographer must determine the ISO, aperture and shutter speed instead of the automatic setting where the photographer relies on the camera to make those decisions. So I challenged the students to put their camera on manual during our photo shoot.

We then looked at many images and discussed what made each one interesting, leading to discussions on things like capturing emotion, beautiful lighting, and unusual composition. After we grew restless from sitting in a classroom, we headed to the train to take us downtown. Equipped with our cameras, the students and I were ready to try out some of the new ideas and techniques we had just discussed. On the train ride downtown the students started practicing using the manual setting on their cameras.

We got off the train at Union Station and walked to the Capitol Building. As we walked and talked, we captured the quiet morning in the city. The students focused on photographing details, portraits of each other, street scenes, shadows and reflections. I was excited to see what the different perspectives captured. The workshop provided the students with a fun and interactive setting to use their English, and I hope they learned a thing or two about photography as well.  I believe any opportunity to combine listening comprehension, speaking, new vocabulary and critical thinking while having fun is a beneficial opportunity for language learners! Engaging the creative and language parts of the brain at the same time!

Which type of workshop would you enjoy to practice your English in a real-world setting?At BridgeEnglish, learning English through cultural immersion and real-world situations is as important, if not more than, learning in a classroom. As an established photographer and English teacher, I thought I might as well combine these two skills and offer a photography workshop to the Bridge Denver English students so they can practice their English skills and pick up some new vocabulary, while flexing their creative muscles as well!

The students and I met at the Bridge school on a Saturday. First, we convened in a classroom to discuss photography vocabulary, such as lens, digital, aperture, shutter speed, manual, candid, posed, blurry, etc. Then we briefly discussed the mechanics of using a camera on the manual setting. With the camera on the manual setting, the photographer must determine the ISO, aperture and shutter speed instead of the automatic setting where the photographer relies on the camera to make those decisions. So I challenged the students to put their camera on manual during our photo shoot.

We then looked at many images and discussed what made each one interesting, leading to discussions on things like capturing emotion, beautiful lighting, and unusual composition. After we grew restless from sitting in a classroom, we headed to the train to take us downtown. Equipped with our cameras, the students and I were ready to try out some of the new ideas and techniques we had just discussed. On the train ride downtown the students started practicing using the manual setting on their cameras.

We got off the train at Union Station and walked to the Capitol Building. As we walked and talked, we captured the quiet morning in the city. The students focused on photographing details, portraits of each other, street scenes, shadows and reflections. I was excited to see what the different perspectives captured. The workshop provided the students with a fun and interactive setting to use their English, and I hope they learned a thing or two about photography as well.  I believe any opportunity to combine listening comprehension, speaking, new vocabulary and critical thinking while having fun is a beneficial opportunity for language learners! Engaging the creative and language parts of the brain at the same time!

Which type of workshop would you enjoy to practice your English in a real-world setting?At BridgeEnglish, learning English through cultural immersion and real-world situations is as important, if not more than, learning in a classroom. As an established photographer and English teacher, I thought I might as well combine these two skills and offer a photography workshop to the Bridge Denver English students so they can practice their English skills and pick up some new vocabulary, while flexing their creative muscles as well!

The students and I met at the Bridge school on a Saturday. First, we convened in a classroom to discuss photography vocabulary, such as lens, digital, aperture, shutter speed, manual, candid, posed, blurry, etc. Then we briefly discussed the mechanics of using a camera on the manual setting. With the camera on the manual setting, the photographer must determine the ISO, aperture and shutter speed instead of the automatic setting where the photographer relies on the camera to make those decisions. So I challenged the students to put their camera on manual during our photo shoot.

We then looked at many images and discussed what made each one interesting, leading to discussions on things like capturing emotion, beautiful lighting, and unusual composition. After we grew restless from sitting in a classroom, we headed to the train to take us downtown. Equipped with our cameras, the students and I were ready to try out some of the new ideas and techniques we had just discussed. On the train ride downtown the students started practicing using the manual setting on their cameras.

We got off the train at Union Station and walked to the Capitol Building. As we walked and talked, we captured the quiet morning in the city. The students focused on photographing details, portraits of each other, street scenes, shadows and reflections. I was excited to see what the different perspectives captured. The workshop provided the students with a fun and interactive setting to use their English, and I hope they learned a thing or two about photography as well.  I believe any opportunity to combine listening comprehension, speaking, new vocabulary and critical thinking while having fun is a beneficial opportunity for language learners! Engaging the creative and language parts of the brain at the same time!

Which type of workshop would you enjoy to practice your English in a real-world setting?At BridgeEnglish, learning English through cultural immersion and real-world situations is as important, if not more than, learning in a classroom. As an established photographer and English teacher, I thought I might as well combine these two skills and offer a photography workshop to the Bridge Denver English students so they can practice their English skills and pick up some new vocabulary, while flexing their creative muscles as well!

The students and I met at the Bridge school on a Saturday. First, we convened in a classroom to discuss photography vocabulary, such as lens, digital, aperture, shutter speed, manual, candid, posed, blurry, etc. Then we briefly discussed the mechanics of using a camera on the manual setting. With the camera on the manual setting, the photographer must determine the ISO, aperture and shutter speed instead of the automatic setting where the photographer relies on the camera to make those decisions. So I challenged the students to put their camera on manual during our photo shoot.

We then looked at many images and discussed what made each one interesting, leading to discussions on things like capturing emotion, beautiful lighting, and unusual composition. After we grew restless from sitting in a classroom, we headed to the train to take us downtown. Equipped with our cameras, the students and I were ready to try out some of the new ideas and techniques we had just discussed. On the train ride downtown the students started practicing using the manual setting on their cameras.

We got off the train at Union Station and walked to the Capitol Building. As we walked and talked, we captured the quiet morning in the city. The students focused on photographing details, portraits of each other, street scenes, shadows and reflections. I was excited to see what the different perspectives captured. The workshop provided the students with a fun and interactive setting to use their English, and I hope they learned a thing or two about photography as well.  I believe any opportunity to combine listening comprehension, speaking, new vocabulary and critical thinking while having fun is a beneficial opportunity for language learners! Engaging the creative and language parts of the brain at the same time!

Which type of workshop would you enjoy to practice your English in a real-world setting?

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