Thinking outside the film

Kelly Butler

The use of films within language classrooms has increased, as they seem to be motivational for learners; students frequently mention that they want to understand films without subtitles. Thus, teachers are creating classes and activities centred on feature-length films hoping that students can learn a range of skills and content. While whole films can be a good source of course material, this paper shares insights gained during a one-semester university course. The intent was to discover an effective method to increase students’ understanding of situational discourse using a variety of short, unit appropriate film clips. The students were given pre-, during-, and post-viewing activities to aid their comprehension of the film clips and then asked to recreate the situation with their own ideas. This paper will describe the methods and activities used in the classroom.