M. Carpio1, R. Reyes2, C.G. Fuchigami2

1Osaka University (JAPAN)
2Benguet State University (PHILIPPINES)
Audio-visual media have shown effectiveness in enhancing learning and understanding. Video documentaries, in particular, have demonstrated ability to stimulate the cognitive and affective domain of learners. Testimonies and scientific studies would further prove the efficiency of the medium in influencing people’s thoughts and at times, actions.

Teachers using video in the classroom has relayed several benefits including enhancing interest, stimulating responses, and improving reading and literacy skills. Video documentaries are proven effective Information Education Communication (IEC) materials. They have the ability to expound on an issue by stimulating both the senses of hearing and sight, allowing the audience to easily grasp the messages it presents. Video documentaries are also noted as very cost-effective forms of communication.

This study was designed to determine the effect of video documentary on the descriptive essay writing skills of students. Respondents who were chosen using purposive random sampling method, were asked to write about the prevalent poverty and hunger-related issues in the Philippines before watching the documentary. No discussions ensued before viewing the documentary. The documentary, available in YouTube focuses on the life of a poor girl and her family, highlighting the daily struggles they go through to survive. The students were again asked to write an essay of the same theme after viewing the documentary. Their essays were evaluated in terms of depth, topics covered, angling, tone, imagery, storytelling and titling. Students were also interviewed to determine their perceptions on the importance of integrating video documentary in writing activities.

Based on the results of the pre-test essays, 75% of the students exhibited knowledge on what poverty is, what poverty looks like, corruption as a cause for poverty and some solutions to alleviating poverty. The post-test essays revealed that 55% of the students used scenes and statistics from the documentary as a basis for their discussions. The video documentary had observable effects on the writing skills of the students in terms of topics covered, angle, tone and imagery, and titling. Almost all the respondents (95%) agreed that video documentaries should be integrated in writing activities. Based on the results of their essays and interviews, video documentaries have shown the ability to stimulate responses and self-reflection, identify areas of improvement in writing skills, and develop potentials for deeper thinking.