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Tag Archives: Rachel’s English

"Voice & Rhythm" Event a Success!

March 31, 2014 saw NYC’s Film Anthology Archives packed with ESL learners, teachers, and enthusiasts. The “Voice & Rhythm” Event was well under-way with the three main sponsors well-represented: Broadway Dance Center dancers put on a spirited opening performance and later ended the night with passionate freestyle dancing; Rennert students shared a lively music video to the tune of Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind”; and the DFA shared videos from several of its ESL filmmakers.

The Broadway Dance Center Dancers
The Broadway Dance Center Dancers

DFA videos included three short pieces from international students. Daniel Adminokan from Nigeria showed a trailer for his short film Twisted, a dramatic thriller. Carina Silva Alves from Portugal shared an anime-esque adventure based on a 30-second short she’d made with her siblings while in middle school. The entire short was made with the use of a greenscreen. Finally, the DFA presentations were rounded out by a hot music video featuring belly-dancing from Turkey’s Nergis Senturk.

Tom Griffin, Director of Admissions for DFA, presents students' work
Tom Griffin, Director of Admissions for DFA, presents students’ work

Of course, the main events for the evening were the presentations by Fluency MC (Jason R. Levine) and Rachel Smith of Rachel’s English, two big YouTube personalities. They did not disappoint!

Fluency MC started strong, performing his hit “Stick Stuck Stuck (The Irregular Verb Song)” and getting the whole crowd of 100+ participants to sing along. All attendees got a free MP3 of the song in their gift packets. He also sang “That’s What’s Up” and “Get a Life,” two songs focused on two of the more versatile and therefore confusing words in the English language: up and get. His segment concluded with his “Rhyme & Rhythm” instrumental, a back-and-forth with the audience getting them to rap-respond to questions in full sentences.

Fluency MC does his thing!
Fluency MC does his thing!

Rachel blew the audience away when, in the first minutes of her presentation, she put her microphone aside and belted out a line from Madame Butterfly. A former opera singer, her take on learning English is different from that of the average person. Her technique is all about learning which syllables should be stressed and which shouldn’t, so that the language sounds natural. Her theory on how mastering sounds alone isn’t enough was fascinating; she concluded by saying that, when speaking a foreign language, “It shouldn’t feel as easy as speaking your own language. It should feel silly, weird, stupid, embarrassing… Make it feel different.” If you do that, you’re closer to getting it right.

Rachel gives an audience participant from Thailand a pronunciation lesson!
Rachel gives an audience participant from Thailand a pronunciation lesson!

Additionally, the night was absolutely loaded with prizes for attendees. Prizes included a day trip to Philadelphia, facials, sweatshirts, chocolate, dance classes, and lots more… but the biggest reaction came when a girl won a Circle Line Tour and decided to bring her best friend with her.

Later in the evening, her best friend won her own prize – a free film editing course at the DFA!

 

By Digital Film Academy Blog Manager Sara McDermott Jain

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DFA to Sponsor "Voice & Rhythm" Performance Event!

Today’s indie film world is all about innovation. For this reason, the DFA is proud to sponsor Voice & Rhythm in English, an ESL Performance, along with Rennert International and the Broadway Dance Center. The show will take place at the Film Anthology Archives in NYC on March 31st, 2014, from 6-9 pm.

The Anthology Film Archives in New York City.
The Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

This event features two YouTube celebrities who are all about “innovation. ” Rachel Smith and Jason R. Levine are both American teachers who use digital video to entertain and educate, approaching the world of ESL (English as a second language) in creative, ground-breaking ways. As a result, they have developed massive followings for their fun, unique YouTube videos. Voice & Rhythm will give them the opportunity to interact personally with fans.

This event struck a particular chord with the DFA as many DFA students are international, hailing from all corners of the globe. Despite English being their second language, they’ve still gone on to have successful careers in the world of film – which is why an event celebrating the use of digital video to promote ESL was a natural fit for the DFA. Clips from some DFA international students’ short films will even be featured at the event.

The show will incorporate video, rap, and dance and will be the first time Smith and Levine have performed together in New York City.

Rachel's English
Rachel’s English

Smith, a classically trained opera singer, produces the YouTube series Rachel’s English, a free compilation of more than 300 English self-study tutorials. Her focus is on the subtleties of English pronunciation – often the hardest thing to master in learning a new language. In 2013, she was named a YouTube Next How-To Guru for the quality and popularity of her work.

Fluency MC
Fluency MC

Levine, better known to his global audience as Fluency MC, creates songs and videos to deliver high-energy lessons. Levine has toured nine countries as an English Specialist for the U.S. State Department, using his unique approach to inform his audiences. His video for “Stick-Stuck-Stuck (The Irregular Verb Song)” recently surpassed 1.5 million views on YouTube.

“With Voice & Rhythm we’re breaking new ground in online learning,” says Levine.

There will be free giveaways for all attendees and a prize drawing.

Reserve your spot at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/voice-rhythm-in-english-tickets-10977055669.

 

By Digital Film Academy Blog Manager Sara McDermott Jain

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