Methods in teaching English Movie Projects

Methods in teaching English Movie Projects: Go to the first part of this article

by Kevin Burns

Then I can either show the movies that they`ve chosen, or get an idea of the genres they enjoy. During the term we watch a movie, then write a review about it.

As well, the students can do a group project about a movie. I form them into groups and they can: Summarize the story, and show parts of it to emphasize their points, or they can give us a trivia quiz about the movie, or they can make a listening-close activity where we have to fill in the blanks of the missing dialog from the movie.

Most Japanese students have been forced to spend six grueling years of English classes spent largely doing rote memorization. I think I would rather be water-boarded.

It comes as a pleasant surprise for many of them when they apprehend that we have had a productive term, and they have actually enjoyed English. In the end they come to terms with the fact that they can enjoy English and still learn.

Hopefully, the seeds I have planted through projects like the movie project, will germinate into life-long learning.

Methods in Teaching English Movie Projects – A Film Festival

One activity that is great is when you get a few other teachers on board to put on a film festival at your school. You could choose the movies (as a surprise) or have students choose them. You could have students design and make a poster about the movie that you will show in their classroom. You can make it as hands on, or off as you like.

If you could get a few teachers on board, you could have several movies the students could choose from and see.

Then you could have them write a movie review about the movie they saw or write about their impressions of the movie and whether they liked it or not and why?


If you really want to get into this like they did in the French program at the University of Trois Rivieres, you could dress up in your Hollywood best, and even have a friend chauffer you to the school in a snazzy car like they did during the French progam at this creative Quebec university. It was great and I still remember it! Be sure to wear your sunglasses. You could ask the students to dress up in Hollywood costume as well. Some would!

Methods in Teaching English Movie Projects – Make a Movie or Music Video

If students are interested, you can of course have them make a movie or video. Most schools and high educational institutes possess film making equipment. Some even have editors and other high tech effects. You can borrow the video cameras from your school.

You may wish to start by showing students examples of music videos, commercials and movie clips to wet their appetite.

Then you can put them into groups of 4-6 students and have them go to work. I hand out a sheet of paper with large squares and spaces to write under the squares. This is where they will write out their scene shots and the description of what will happen in each scene.

Next they need to write the dialog and make notes of any sound effects they will add, as well as any other miscellaneous information of import.

Finally they go to work on film making. Once one of the otherteachers was doing this project and the acting was so good I actually thought the accident they portrayed was real. I almost bolted across the street to help!

After the filming and editing are completed you can have themshow the completed product to the class. You can have theclass simply watch and enjoy, or have them come up with one ortwo questions each to ask the film-makers.

What you can do with this project is virtually limitless.

Recommended Movies for Japanese University Students

These movies are recommended by university teachers in Japan:

*Finding Nemo

* Letters from Iwajima

* The Last Samurai Teachers say the students love it.

*Up Great! My students loved this!


*The Incredibles

*Monster House

*Shawn of the Dead (great in October) Very funny!

*Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck as kind of a Warren Cromartie type character in Japan.

*Gung Ho

*Good Morning Vietnam starring Robin Williams

*Stand by Me based on the book by Stephen King

*Swing Girls (In Japanese, show it with English subtitles)

*The Valkrie starring Tom Cruise

*Waterboys (in Japanese)

*Simsons (in Japanese) About a Japanese curling team

About kintaro63

Writer and teacher in Japan
This entry was posted in Jr High School, Movies, Universities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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