Using Cinema in the Classroom – TEFL Institute

At TEFL, we constantly strive to keep up with the most recent teaching approaches and adapt our teaching to modern times. We will use technology more than ever in 2023. Streaming networks are popular all over the world, particularly among young people. Consider using cinema in the classroom to engage your students while teaching English.

Why use cinema in the classroom?

Movies and TV shows are viral across many cultures, with many students using services such as Netflix. Incorporating something they appreciate and can discuss will increase their participation level and make the class more enjoyable for them. Learn about your pupils’ preferences in movies. Use this to your advantage if you have the type of teenager who enjoys Marvel movies!

Using film in the classroom differs from standard classroom instruction. Most students’ academic careers will have been spent reading from textbooks or memorizing verbs. Using film in your classes can differentiate them from traditional techniques, allowing them to see that English can be enjoyable to learn.

Movies and television programs are examples of authentic materials, which indicate that the language has not been changed for language-learning purposes. Your kids must be exposed to these items because they will encounter them outside the classroom. Because media is such an essential part of our lives, your pupils will feel more secure if they can learn to understand movies in English! It may also inspire them to see more original language versions of movies in theatres.

On days when students (and you) need a break from grammar instruction, cinema activities can be more lighthearted. If you think your students are having a bad day or week, or if the end of the semester is coming, classes based on movies can help them focus.

Movies and TV shows can give numerous teachable moments that a textbook cannot. They offer a wide range of topics to research and debate. They are ideal for advanced classes where students can investigate these topics as they would as a native speaker. Clips can be used to discuss and analyze portions not available in a textbook.

Things to consider when using cinema in the classroom:

The teacher and students must understand that a movie lesson is not a day off from learning. It should not be used in place of teaching but rather as a supplement to teaching and learning. The lesson should not be viewed as “not a real lesson” by students. They will realize that planning the lesson correctly is a good use of class time.

Following that, any video snippets should be brief. If you spend 30 minutes of the session watching a video, you won’t get anything else done in class. If you want your pupils to manage a more extended segment, assign it as homework (as long as they have legal access to it).

Content Monitoring

Make sure that the content is appropriate for your students. Inform your pupils beforehand if the subject is contentious but pertinent to the lesson. For example, if you are studying national stereotypes and will play a potentially offending video, inform your students beforehand that the movie depicts a stereotype to avoid unpleasant shocks.

Content and language monitoring becomes even more critical when teaching young learners and teenagers. Remember that not all cultures will accept the same content that you believe is appropriate to show in the classroom. If necessary, obtain parental permission or choose a more globally suitable lesson.

This is especially crucial if you teach young students because you don’t want parents complaining to your boss about their kids “watching TV” in class. If you do this, make sure the snippets are brief and serve a purpose. Also, make sure that you are not displaying any stuff that is contentious or unsuitable.

While cinema is a genuine tool in the classroom, remember that not all students, particularly lower-level students, can understand and follow it. Movies and television programs exemplify authentic materials, signifying that they haven’t altered the language for language-learning purposes. Pre-teach any vocabulary or use subtitles if the emphasis is on the scenario rather than the language.

Choosing a movie or series for your class:

Remember to select a movie appropriate for your students regarding topic and language. If you have a low-level or young learners class, playing Schlinder’s list is not a good idea.

Disney is frequently a smart choice for children because they will have seen the movies on their tongues. The dialogue is likewise often simple to understand.

You can work with lower-level learners using media that does not emphasize dialogue, such as Mr Bean or Wallace and Gromit. The focus here may not be on listening but on discussing gestures or movements. Many exercises can still be done with this TV show style, and they are much more manageable for A1-B1 levels.

If it is irrelevant to your class’s topic, avoid movies with cultural taboos or sensitive issues. Remember that in some cultures, what you may consider harmless, such as a kissing scene or somewhat profane language, may be objectionable to others.

ways to Learn - Using Cinema in Classroom

Ideas on how to use cinema in the classroom:

Writing the following scene:

You must display a scene from a movie or TV show that sets up some pivotal moments for this exercise. Mind map some vital terminology in the backdrop (such as the characters’ attire or tools) as a class. Then, have your pupils work in pairs or groups to write the following stage to figure out what happened. This practice works great if you choose a lesser-known movie in which the next scene is unknown to the students. They can compose alternate endings if you choose a popular one. If your class is younger, they can even act out the scenes.

Summarise the scene:

Summarizing is a valuable skill to teach and is included in many tests worldwide. Students can be given 10 minutes to write a summary of a scene after watching it. Show them how to take notes and construct bullet points while listening to help them organize their thoughts. These are also vital skills to hone and are helpful in Academic English settings.

Silent summary:

Play an audio-free scene for your pupils. You might wish to play the location first to establish the tone and context of the film. When they finish, have them discuss what occurred in the background and what they said in groups. Please encourage them to watch body language and facial emotions during the video. Play the stage twice to give them a decent idea. When the conversations are complete, replay the scene with audio to verify whether they are correct. You can continue this activity by having students write down what they believe the dialogue is.

Comprehension quiz:

Of course, you can write comprehension questions for your pupils depending on their views, just like you would for any other topic. Making it a competition, on the other hand, can make it more pleasant. Divide the students into groups and ask them what happened in the video clip you presented.

Example questions you can use are:

-What was…. wearing in the scene?

-What colour was the background?

-How did….react when….?

– Why do you think….did…..?

You can either do a pub quiz-style activity or have teams buzz in when they know the answer.

Compare and contrast

Consider doing more thematic work with cinema in the classroom. You can select snippets from various movies and television shows and have your pupils conduct a compare-and-contrast activity. Then, you can choose movies with comparable themes and have them discuss the critical differences between the two situations. You can choose films connected to these events as a pleasant way to close the term around Christmas or Halloween.

Incorporate movies into teaching

Remember that you can also utilize movie and television clips in the online classroom! Thanks to screen and audio sharing, you can incorporate movies into your teaching. You can have your students take notes while the video is playing, then move into breakout rooms to complete the exercises. You can also send them the clip if they want to review it or have them watch it before class.

Engage using Online Tools

The ideal approach to accomplish pair or group work online is to use a shared document. You can create a Google document for each group to collaborate on and share with you. You can also use an online board like Padlet, where students can post their work for all to see. They can even “like” or remark on each other’s work, which is an excellent way to introduce social media-style approaches into your classroom.

Modernize your Teaching with Films

Remember that integrating film in the classroom is an excellent approach to modernize your instruction and incorporate your students’ interests into your lesson. It’s a terrific method to pique their interest while teaching them practical skills like listening to or watching actual materials or summarizing what happened. A lesson plan must accompany the movie clip and is not simply a method to pass the time in class. Make sure that your students are learning something from watching the video clip. Utilize cinema in the classroom for learning, not merely for amusement! It’s usually not a good idea to show something for entertainment purposes.

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