Movies: Listening Crompehension, Conversation, Tenses

Movies are a great tool for listening comprehension activities. They train the ear in an authentic English-speaking environment and provide some  engaging entertainment.  Most people from non-English speaking countries are used to watching their favorite Hollywood movies dubbed into their respective languages so your students will greatly enjoy this activity.  

 Choose a movie that you think will interest your class. Good picks for children and teenagers  include ‘Shrek’, ‘The Ice Age’, ‘Nemo’,   and ‘The Lion King’.  For young adults and above, ‘The Matrix’, ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘AI: Artificial Intelligence’, ‘The Fifth Element’, or any interesting movie that can spark an  involving conversation is a good choice. Always remember that the secondary objective of all activities is to spark some conversation so that your students practise already-learnt vocabulary and grammar, and gain confidence in speaking English.  

Generally,  within the first  five and  ten minutes of a movie, the main character (or protagonist), the antagonist, and the  plot of the movie are established, so make sure to  play only  this  essential  part, and do not succumb to the temptation to spend more time watching the movie. Play around five minutes of the movie and have prepared enough questions for a 15-minute conversation about the underlying theme of the movie, the main character, and the antagonist. Since  stories usually  unfold within specific time-frames,  for more advanced levels, you can try switching tenses by asking questions about what they think happened prior to the part of  the movie they just watched, and  what they think  will happen afterwards.  This way, your students can practise many tenses within a single activity/conversation.  




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