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5 Activities for Using Movies in the ESL Classroom

5 Activities for Using Movies in the ESL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

One of the first things you should learn during a TEFL certification course is that delivering interesting lessons goes a long way to keeping your students happy and motivated in the classroom. And, if your students are stimulated by your lessons they are likely to progress quicker, which also makes the teachers job that much more satisfying.

So what exactly makes a TEFL lesson interesting? There are many things you can do to make your lessons stand out, but one of the main ways to pique the interest of your students is to focus on things that they can actually relate to in their own lives. In this post we show you 5 great activities based on movies that you can use in the classroom, because everyone loves a good movie!

Silent Movie

This is a very simple activity that can be great fun for your students. Divide the class into pairs or teams, depending on the number in the class. Two students from the same team sit back to back, one facing the TV screen and the other facing away from the screen. The teacher plays a short movie clip with the sound turned off and the student facing the screen has to describe what is going on. The team gets a point if the second student can guess the movie. It helps if you choose popular movies that you think your students might know, however, even if they don’t know the movies, the students will still gain valuable English practice.

Also Read: Top 5 Icebreakers for New TEFL Teachers

The Prediction Game

This is another activity that requires little preparation, but can result in a great deal of English practice among your students. Divide the class into small groups and then play a scene from a movie. Each group is then given time to come up with their own predictions as to what happens next. Have each group explain their theory to the class, ensuring each student gets involved, and then play the next scene to see which group gets closest to the real movie plot.

Vocabulary Match

This game can be played individually or in groups. Hand out a list of definitions of items that are contained within a particular movie scene. Using the descriptions given, each student or group must identify and write down the items while watching the movie clip. For example, a list of definitions for a garden scene might include: An implement used for digging holes (shovel/spade), a container for growing plants (flower pot), used for drying laundry (washing/clothes line). Points are awarded for each correct answer. This can be quite a tough activity so you might need to play the scene through several times.

Also Read: 7 Fun Activities for Teaching Vocabulary in the ESL Classroom

Guess the Dialogue

For this activity you need to carefully choose a movie scene that involves a conversation between two characters. Play the scene through once without the sound and allow the students to debate what is going on. First they can decide the general theme i.e. an argument, a marriage proposal, or a business transaction etc. After watching the scene again, the students can try to come up with dialogue to fit the clip. Finally, rerun the clip with the sound on to see how close they were to the actual movie script.

Guess My Movie

For this activity you should divide the class into pairs. Each student chooses a movie they know and then they write down a basic outline of it. Details should contain things such as, where it is set, the main plot, the character names etc. The next stage of the activity is to describe the movie to their partner using the written language. Points can be awarded to anyone who guesses the movie correctly. For this activity to work well the teacher may need to pre-teach some relevant vocabulary, and you should ensure the students choose movies that are widely known.

Also Read: The 5 Best TEFL Games for Adult Students

Are you ready to take your students to the movies?

Lessons involving movies are just one example of how you can introduce new language that is relevant and interesting to your students. By utilizing the activities outlined above, you should have fun in the classroom and ensure your students want to come back for more!

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