Transforming Foreign Language Classes With Movies

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Ian Munby, Hokkai Gakuen University, Sapporo

Many teachers and commentators are quick to point out the potential pitfalls of using movies in the foreign language classroom. This paper therefore begins with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using movies as teaching materials. It continues with suggestions for circumventing the disadvantages and reaping the benefits of films by using short sequences. It describes how to select useful movie sequences, obtain scripts from online resources, and prepare them for classroom use. A sequence from the movie Jack and Sarah is used to provide some guidelines for creating viewing exercises. Some basic procedures for teaching a sequence from the movie Gregory’s Girl are also included. This is followed by advice on designing additional active viewing tasks and some ideas about how to use movies as springboards for discussion and projects.