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Using films and videos in foreign language lessons. Eve Unt Maive Salakka 2014. Why use films?. Motivating and creates interest Authentic and varied language Communicating cultural values Bring the outside world into the classroom Extends the learning beyond the textbook

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why use films
Why use films?
  • Motivating and creates interest
  • Authentic and varied language
  • Communicating cultural values
  • Bring the outside world into the classroom
  • Extends the learning beyond the textbook
  • Meets needs of different learning styles
  • Brings variety into classrooms
  • etc
techniques for using films
Techniques for using films
  • Silent viewing (vision on/sound off)
    • Highlighting the visual content
    • Stimulating student language
    • Stimulating fantasy, (soundtrack)


* short scenes shown, students guess the actual text

* longer scenes shown, guessing the gist of the conversation, general situation

* producing oral or written commentary on what they see: (0:25)

* short scenes for writing screenplays


Sound on/vision off (sound only)

    • Attention to what can be heard on the soundtrack (dialogue, sound effects, music)
    • Make predictions about setting, the situation, the characters


* Draw a picture, series of pictures of what could be

* Students respond to a series of questions (e.g. Where are the people? How many people? What are they doing? )

* Producing oral or written commentary on what they hear

* Drawing a list of things/people/actions/etc students expect to see on the screen


Pause/still/freeze-frame control

    • Interrupt the action at selected points


* Pause at the beginning of each dialogue, students predict the line they will hear

*Pause at strategic points in action, students describe what has happened or make predictions of what will happen

e. g. Tom Brown’s Schooldays (48: 25 – 51:39)

* Pause at points where actors use meaningful gestures/facial expressions, students suggest thoughts and feelings.


Normal viewing (sound and video on)

    • Tune in (students gradually guided and involved in the plot, characters, the setting of the film)


prediction-based activities, brainstorming, speculation patterns with the aid of visual aids (pictures, vocabulary banks with words and expressions from the story) ; questions related to the topic

    • While watching ( Students exposed to a variety of activities )


problem solving, filling blanks, multiple matching, ordering events, true and false or comprehension questions, a list of items to look out for during the movie

    • After watching


role-play of the best parts, group debates based on the moral of the plot.

written homework assignment (describe thefavourite character, writing a film review , an article); a worksheet for students to fill out after watching the movie


Split viewing

    • Some students “viewers” (see the video, no sound) others “listeners” (hear the soundtrack, no video)
    • Information gap task (describing the information seen/heard)
    • Constructing together the whole sequence from the elements they have seen/heard
    • Asking questions about the scene to reconstruct it

Jumbled sequence

    • Dividing a sequence into sections, playing themout of order
    • Stimulates discussion, focuses students on editing techniques and actual storyline


*Show the beginning and end of a sequence, guessing what happened in the middle

* Showing a number of sequences out of a programme order, ordering them

* Mixed up films


3 keys to the successful use of films:

    • Film selection
      • Short film clips more useful than longer
      • Film clip played at least 3 times (general comprehension, more detailed study, discussion); depends on the activities, language level
    • Activity choice
      • Adaption to the level of students
    • Implementation
      • Preparation of activities
different sources of videos films
Different sources of videos/films
  • Youtube
  • Busy Teacher
  • Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals
  • Movie Worksheet database
    • TEDx Talks
    • local speakers presenting to local audiences about everything from politics to pollination. Hosts all of their talks for the world to enjoy, explore, and use.
    • Jamie Oliver (12.10 - 13:59)
    • TED-Ed Videos
  • Stempleski, S. and Tomalin, B. 2001. Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kelly, M. Pros and Cons of Using Movies in Class Available at: Accessed Oct 14. 2014
  • Making the Most Out of Movies in the Classroom. Available at: Accessed Oct 15, 2014
  • Mari, A.M. Movies in the English classroom. Available at: Accessed Oct 15, 2014.
  • Louw, S. Using movies in the classroom . Available at: Accessed Oct 14, 2014
  • Prata, V. English on the screen: using movies in the classroom. Available at: Accessed Oct 14, 2014.