Classroom Resources

Teaching English with Films

Until quite recently it was difficult to find pedagogically sound film material to help students improve their language through watching film, and teachers had to spend many hours creating their own materials. However, with the advent of the Internet there are now a wealth of online resources for both language teachers and their students. With so many resources it’s sometimes difficult for teachers to see the wood for the trees. Here we recommend some useful and engaging sites and resources.

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Film English
Film English is the brainchild of teacher, trainer and author Kieran Donaghy who teaches at UAB Idiomes Barcelona. This a great website with short films that come along with lesson plans. The film materials are for all level of English. The site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in English language teaching and learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. The site promotes cineliteracy, the ability to analyse moving images, and considers cineliteracy as a 21st century skill which our students need to learn. In addition, the lessons promote critical thinking in the language classroom, and encourage learners to reflect on values while learning a language. Film English has become a very popular resource English Teaching bank and is visited by over 90,000 teachers every month and there are over 3.5 million page views a year.

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Film Education
It is a charity supported by the UK Film Industry that promotes the use of films in teaching and learning. Film Education believes in the power of film as a tool for learning within a wide range of educational contexts. They produce materials to support teachers who want to use film in their classrooms, whether they are teaching in primary, secondary or further education. Free educational content is provided through the website, which offers teachers instant access to materials as well as to resources in the Film Library. Materials are designed by staff that have many years experience in the classroom: the resources are intended to be easy to use and access, as well as easy to adapt to the needs of particular classes and groups. Teachers who have registered their details on thw website will reeive resources in the post on a regular basis.

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Teach with Movies
Teach With Movies is the premiere site on the Internet showing teachers how to create lesson plans using movies and film. Thousands of teachers use movies in their classes to teach social studies, English, Science, Health, and the Arts. The Subject Matter Index lists films by area of the curriculum or by appropriate age, title, social-emotional learning topic. Learning Guides for each film describe its benefits and possible problems. Helpful background, discussion questions, projects, and links to the internet are also provided. Lesson plans can easily be adapted from the Learning Guides. Discussion questions, class projects (or other portions of the Learning Guide) can be copied from the Internet and pasted onto word processing files, edited to suit the needs of the class, and then reproduced as an assignment sheet or classroom handout. Information from the Helpful Background section can be used to stimulate class discussions or as the basis for lectures. Vocabulary and spelling lists can be developed from the “Building Vocabulary” section.

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