What’s Going On? Level 1

This is level 1 of the digital tool called ‘What’s Going On?’. The student views a short video and writes a 150-word analysis of it, as if they were an anthropologist trying to make sense of the situation. The sequence is taken from Dr. Jerome Lewis’s fieldwork with the Mbendjele Yaka in Northern Congo-Brazzaville in 1997.

Each successive week, the students are required to re-interpret the same sequence, but with increasing amounts of background information and competency in the language. The sub-titles and other background information available in level 1 correspond roughly to what Dr. Lewis knew after just two or three months in the field. This reflects the difficulties he had learning Mbendjele. No Mbendjele he met could speak French or English, and there were no vocabulary lists or grammar books to learn from before going into the field.

How to use

There will be a short delay while your browser loads up the first few seconds of the video clip. This will be a long delay if you are using dial-up or similar narrow-band connection!

To start the video, click the green play button. You can click the button again to pause the clip. Above this button is the "scrub line" which you can use to move backwards and forwards in the video. To use it, click and drag the dark green spot that sits on the line.

Subtitles will appear at the bottom of the video image. Also, links will occasionally appear to the right of the video. These provide access to background material pertinent to the part of the video you are watching.

Go on to try level 2.

Last updated 9 Feb 2006