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When Can Movies Be Used for ESL? Cited Research or Proof?

 
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bj80



Joined: 31 Mar 2017
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:25 pm    Post subject: When Can Movies Be Used for ESL? Cited Research or Proof? Reply with quote

At least in my own philosophy, movies can be a great way of teaching English.

Everybody likes them, etc.

Is there any research to show how to best use movies or TV shows as a supplement to class time?

I think we all know that learning a language is not just about information/data transfer in a new language, it is about understanding a different culture.

Movies, especially the movies that make AFI Top 100, Disney movies, etc. tell students a lot about the host culture.

What are some ways to really make movies seen as constructive, and not just a waste of time?

My guess is movies with relevant, detailed worksheets that explicitly connect what was seen to principles of American culture?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11374
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a few articles and teaching resources about incorporating video. Google using video esl.

Since you teach kids in China, I suggest posting this question on the China forum.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My guess is movies with relevant, detailed worksheets that explicitly connect what was seen to principles of American culture?


It is rarely the place of EFL teachers to teach culture except as it relates to communication unless you are teaching immigrants in an Anglophone country or EFL students who are preparing to visit or study in an Anglophone country.

English is not solely related to American culture.
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CTravel32



Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Compare and contrast a book you have just read with the movie. I do that once or twice a year (Life of Pi is a recent example). Movies or films are good for helping high school students understand more complex readings like Shakespeare as well.

2. Show a documentary about a current global issue. Students can write (mock) letters to a local politician about the issue and offer possible solutions. This is great because you can work on proper struture for formal letters, and using very formal language, two important skills.

3. Asking students to find examples of literary devices (middle school students love this), or to help understand sequence of events (especially for younger students), etc.

4. In fact, I have a list of about 20 activities kids and adults can do after watching short documentaries. They can create radio shows, do interviews with other people in the school or community, record videos, etc.

Really, the possibilities are almost limitless in regards to making good use of a documentary or even movies in the class.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think short is the keyword. Most classes are one hour or even 50 mins. Getting students focused and ready to watch a 20-minute segment of something and then follow up with the worksheet or activities needs some good planning.

Last edited by currentaffairs on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 662

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

However you choose to integrate movies into your lessons, DON'T do what this 'teacher' did.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=110334&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

"Honestly for the university job I just put on movies, don't do any lesson planning or marking at all since that's time I could be using to earn more money elsewhere"
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Blistering Zanazilz



Joined: 06 Jan 2018
Posts: 141
Location: DongBei

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
However you choose to integrate movies into your lessons, DON'T do what this 'teacher' did.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=110334&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

"Honestly for the university job I just put on movies, don't do any lesson planning or marking at all since that's time I could be using to earn more money elsewhere"

Sadly twats like this are commonplace in this industry. Why? My guess is they can't get work anywhere else and a job in ESL is the only place they can get away with this BS.
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lionheartuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2005
Posts: 165
Location: Guangdong

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know if this is relevant but I have used documentaries in a lesson with grade 5 and 6 and in middle school back in 2011.

One I have used since 2011 is one called "Why democracy. Vote for me"

It's about choosing a class monitor in a primary school in Wuhan and how three grade 3 candidates go about getting votes from their classmates.
The speaking is in Chinese but the subs are English.

Lots of talking points and vocabulary learning. Takes about 4 lessons to complete including taking notes and giving a test at the end. If you have a good assistant who can help and ask questions it is worth the effort.

Don't know if it would work at Uni level as the level of the vocabulary used
may be too simple.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Films in class Reply with quote

I would agree that a whole movie shouldn't be shown in class. A 5-20 min clip, max, will do.

A good resource for this is:

Madylus, O. (2009) Film, TV, and Music: Multilevel photocopiable activities for teenagers. Cambridge Copy Collection: Cambridge University Press.

If you have the time, creating your own worksheet works as well. On the worksheet, you might have a section that pre-teaches some vocabulary, and then a fill-in-the-blank or a correct the mistakes section, and finally a few discussion questions related to theme(s) of the film.

Could also stop the clip at various points and ask questions related to the pre-taught vocab, what might come next, or general comprehension questions.
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTravel32 wrote:
1. Compare and contrast a book you have just read with the movie.


I also find this useful, and it keeps the student's interest most of the time.

I did show a 40 minute documentary on human trafficking and exploitation for academic discussion prep. I would prefer to assign such things as homework, but my students have pretty much zero time to do such a thing. Idea is students take notes and create discussion questions based on the viewing. Worked out well, and when allowed to chose their own topics for an upcoming presentation quite a few chose human trafficking and exploitation based topics. Interesting, as it is not something I thought many 10th grade Chinese would be interested in. They really knew almost nothing about the topic, so maybe hearing about it caught their attention.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my last school, we used to show a whole movie over 8 weeks. So 10-15 minutes a week with related tasks and activities. In principle, it's generally the same as using stories in a class except that the medium is different. As there's not generally such a thing as 'graded films' there has to be a lot more emphasis on grading the task.

One of the main benefits that is actually backed up by research is learning vocabulary in context. Most course books still teach lexical sets, despite the research being fairly clear that this is not necessarily the most effective way to learn them. I imagine it also offers a far stronger context for any functional language that might appear than the typical coursebook text.

More anecdotally, I would say that at higher levels, it creates an excellent shared context for discussions. Usually with discussions, you're never sure about the level of prior knowledge of interest the students have, but if you're discussing, for example, a decision a character made in a film, then everyone has the same starting point and everyone can have an opinion. The same goes for any writing tasks that might come out of it.

Keiran Donaghty's Film English has some good ideas for standalone lessons, usually based on short films.

I did read a chapter on using film, and I can't remember the book, but one of the key pieces of advice is to always allow the students to watch the video without giving them a task initially. A lot of teachers feel the need to give them a task while they watch, because they think that just putting a video on isn't doing their job properly, but it's not only an unnatural way to watch a film, but it's very difficult to concentrate on a film in your second language and also do some sort of gap fill or ordering task. You can always come back to an individual scene for a more focused listening task.
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only initial take I usually give students is to note down what they think is important or interesting as they watch. Helps with later discussion or writing that they have something noted down, but also not so rigid as to force them what and when they need to do something during the viewing.
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yurii



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
My guess is movies with relevant, detailed worksheets that explicitly connect what was seen to principles of American culture?


It is rarely the place of EFL teachers to teach culture except as it relates to communication unless you are teaching immigrants in an Anglophone country or EFL students who are preparing to visit or study in an Anglophone country.

English is not solely related to American culture.


Maybe my situation is very rare then because in my middle school for first year we solely teach British culture, second year it's American culture, third year Australian (and a bit of NZ, Canadian) culture. Currently, I'm teaching all about Australia and there's so much I can teach them and make it interesting. My students are in a special department but they're not necessarily going to live in Australia.

For the record I'm not teaching ''communication'' (Sir, I need to use the dunny, or hey you dobber shut up! or Rack off ye dirty mongrel Laughing) but about Australia's origins, Aborigines, Australia day and its controversies, major landmarks, kangaroos, koalas, great barrier reef etc. But, as I say I guess my situation is quite unique as my kids have a lot of English per week in my department so it's to avoid too much boring grammar.

ttxor1 wrote:
I would agree that a whole movie shouldn't be shown in class. A 5-20 min clip, max, will do.

...

Could also stop the clip at various points and ask questions related to the pre-taught vocab, what might come next, or general comprehension questions.




A history teacher in my school told me you shouldn't show anything more than about 7 minutes max. But as you say you can stop the clip at various points asking questions related to the video. What I sometimes do is create a written text (with comprehension questions) or powerpoint type lesson with pics and vocab/expressions used in the video and check understanding as we read. Then when they watch the video they have already seen the vocab and/or expressions (but also again check understanding during the video of said sentences/words).
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