Published 8th September 2017

Let’s face it: interesting EFL lessons = interested EFL learners. That’s what it all boils down to, really. You probably learnt a lot of tricks on your 120-hour TEFL course but if your lessons aren’t interesting, no one will be paying any attention to you. If, on the other hand, we create an environment where our students feel comfortable and are motivated to come to class and learn and are interested in what we do in class, then, and only then, can we say we are an effective EFL teacher.

Now, when we think about interesting lessons, the first thing we think about is the real world and how we can relate what we do in the classroom to our students’ lives. Today we’re going to look at movies, because who doesn’t like a good movie?

Here are five ways you can use movies in the EFL classroom:

Silent Movie
Divide the class into pairs. One student sits facing the screen, the other sits with their back to the screen. Play a clip of a movie without sound and then one student must describe to the other one what is happening. Then the students can change places and a subsequent clip is played.

The Prediction Game
Play a short clip of a movie and the students must, in groups, make predictions about what happens in the next scene. When all the predictions have been discussed, watch the next scene together to see who was right.

Vocabulary Match
Before watching a clip, give the students a list of definitions of vocabulary items. Then, watch the clip. While watching, students must try to identify the vocabulary items which correspond to the definitions. This can be quite difficult, so you may need to play the clip a few times.

Guess the Dialogue
Watch a clip involving a conversation between two characters but without the sound. Students must guess what is being said, so choose quite an obvious scene. They can first watch it once to try to come up with general gist ideas (an argument, a joke) before watching the clip again when they can try to write the dialogue. This can be done a few times with the same movie but with different scenes.

Guess My Movie
Let your students each think of a movie. Give them the language they need to describe their movie – the scaffolding, in other words. This can be language you would normally use when discussing a film – where it’s set, what it’s about, who’s in it, and so on. They must describe their movie to a partner who must guess the name of the movie. (Helpful hint: make sure they choose movies everyone is familiar with!)

So, there you have it. If you have completed an internationally recognised 120-hour TEFL course you will have loads of ideas for activities you can do when teaching English as a Foreign Language. These are just a few more interesting ideas you can add to your teacher’s toolbox.