by Nina

What´s the second best activity to learning English through conversation with others? Watching movies!

Why? Because they depict real life, therefore they provide perfect material for your self-study. And the amount of phrases, idioms and common expressions is massive! Click here to download tons of movie guides or here to accompany your movies with trivia quizes.

I love teaching with film and I am planning to open a new course "Learn English with Movies" soon. Because a lesson here and there is simply not enough. You can only do this much in 90 mins:

MOVIE LESSON inspired by the recent Oscars ceremony

Warm - up (15min)
  •  Before the lesson, I displayed all my favourite DVDs which were either nominated for or won an Oscar. I introduced the lesson´s main theme by  asking the students to guess what they all had in common. We  shortly discussed who saw which film and I encouraged them to borrow the movies from my library.
  •  I handed out a 1-min multiple-choice movie questionnaire with 5 simple questions about the students´ personal tastes (find the list below in the Comments), they ticked their answers and formed two groups in order to talk about movies with each other.

Oscar Acceptance Speech (25min)

  • I wrote "speech" on the board and made  the students guess 3 different ways it could be connected with our lesson. Some of them mentioned the film which just received an Oscar for Best Picture "The King´s Speech".
  • I wrote "Oscar Acceptance Speech" on the board and asked the students "What is it?" (Answer: when somebody receives an Academy Award, they come on stage and give a speech in which they thank other people)
  •  I told the students they were now going to watch a typical acceptance speech. We discussed the types of sentences they expect to hear. Then we watched this 3-min video
  •  Afterwards the students had 1min to write down everyone/thing the actor thanked in his speech. When they were done they compared their list with their partner´s while I listened in, surprised by how much they remembered.
  •  I asked for the name of the actor and then revealed it was a "spoof", explaining the expression by comparing it to a popular local show called Česká soda.
  •  We then watched one real speech, given by Natalie Portman, who won this year´s Oscar for Best Actress in "Black Swan". In her speech she talks about her first movie she was in when she was 11, Léon, so we then watched a short clip from this movie. We all had a good laugh.

The King´s Speech (30min)

  •  I first asked the students to name all the movies which were nominated for this year´s Best Picture award and wrote them on the board. I asked them which ones they had seen or were planning to go see.
  •  Depending on how much the students know, what their level is and how much time you have, you can watch this summary OR this review of the nominated films in order to complete the list of all the 10 nominated movies.
  •  While they were watching I wrote the films´ different genres on the board so after they watched (and knew more about the movies), they had to match the movies to their genres.
  •  After clearing that it was "The King´s Speech" which won the battle, I played the movie trailer and asked them what they knew about the historical background (one student had seen the film so she gave us some details and I quickly went over the situation in the British royal family before WWII).
  •  Then we watched a 3-min scene from the movie (the king´s first visit to his speech therapist Lionel Logue) with Czech subtitles on after which I gave a copy of the movie to each of the students, accompanied by both Czech and English subtitles. I suggested they watch the film with these trivia questions in hand.

Public speaking (20min)
  •  I asked the students: "How do you feel about speaking in public?" and "When did you last have to speak in public?" - they were eager to share their experience.
  •  Then we shortly discussed their personal advice to someone who has to give a public speech and I handed them these 5 lessons which you can learn from the movie. They discussed them shortly with their partner.
  • As the last activity I went through this presentation with my personal comments:

The students´ task for our next session (5min)
  • To watch one of the nominated movies and prepare a 2-min presentation about it. Next week they will each show what they´ve  got in our "Presentation Skills in English" lesson. They all agreed learning public speaking skills is very useful for them.

    My lesson was inspired by this teacher´s blog. Please, feel free to use my lesson plan but be so kind to quote the source. Make sure the students do a lot of speaking.

    Any comments are welcome!



Nina said...


1. Where do you prefer to watch movies?
a) in the cinema
b) at home

2. What´s your favourite genre? Pick only ONE.
a) comedy
b) thriller
c) horror
d) drama
e) sci-fi

3. Imagine you have to watch ONE of these movies again. Which one would you choose?
a) Pulp Fiction
b) Titanic
c) Mamma Mia
d) Forrest Gump
e) The Ring

4. Who is a better actor?
a) Leonardo di Caprio
b) Matt Damon

5. Who is a better actress?
a) Julia Roberts
b) Jennifer Anniston

Anonymous said...

HI Nina and everyone. This lesson was funny for me. I like a movies and I like going to the cinema. And like wrote Nina, watching on the movies is great learning:-). About movie´s lesson: I like a part with five questions and discusion about our answer. I am having fun when we can compare our views.
The sample movie with the spoof was amazing and for compare the sample movie with Natalie.
I look forward as I am going to watch the movie "The king´s speech". Thanks Nina
Bye Léňa

skan dridi said...

hi everybody,trully i like this , what a supper cool idea!!!! ,learning english by watching movies,well, i like the last 4 questions,i do love drama especially romantic movies,keep going it's a very good idea

Tina said...

Well, I think this lesson was just great! I think all of us love movies, so it was great to talk about our passion in English, our other passion ;) I enjoyed every part (especially the oscar acceptance speech, the funny one) and I'm looking forward to watch The King's Speech:)

Anonymous said...

It was a great lesson, really one of the best. I liked it so much because as you know, movie´s are one of my passions. I didn´t want to leave.
I can´t say what was the best part because I liked it all.
There was no bad part.

What would I improve with this lesson ? I would make it longer.


Nina said...

Guys, we can do another one if you like :))

Wiz said...

Hi Nina! Anita brought me here. Yes, movies are great tools for teaching. YOu can see the students' eyes light up when they get to speak about their favourite movies and actors.

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