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The use of film-based material for an adult English language course in Brazil



Advances in technology and accessibility to films motivated the research and writing of this paper. Its main goal was to design a set of criteria to develop film-based materials that can be used to improve the experience of learning English on an adult conversation course in Brazil. Given that the purpose of this adult course is to enhance participants' speaking skills, an investigation was conducted into the theories related to the teaching of speaking. A literature review suggests why films should be used through an investigation into the advantages they offer. Principles related to language learning, material development, and current studies on the use of film provide insights on how films might be used. Drawing on these principles, a set of criteria was created as a resourceful guide for material development. Finally, I suggest there should be further study on how films are being used in class and a possible research study on the effectiveness of film-based materials.
Leonardo Lucena Parisi
Nick Andon
Advances in technology and accessibility to films motivated the research and writing of
this paper. Its main goal was to design a set of criteria to develop film-based materials that
can be used to improve the experience of learning English on an adult conversation course
in Brazil. Given that the purpose of this adult course is to enhance participants’ speaking
skills, an investigation was conducted into the theories related to the teaching of speaking.
A literature review suggests why films should be used through an investigation into the
advantages they offer. Principles related to language learning, material development, and
current studies on the use of film provide insights on how films might be used. Drawing on
these principles, a set of criteria was created as a resourceful guide for material development.
Finally, I suggest there should be further study on how films are being used in class and a
possible research study on the effectiveness of film-based materials.
Keywords: films; language learning; material development.
Avanços em tecnologia e acessibilidade à filmes motivaram a pesquisa e a composição
desse artigo. O objetivo principal foi desenvolver um conjunto de critérios para criação
de materiais baseados em filmes com o fim de aperfeiçoar a aprendizagem de inglês em um
curso de conversação no Brasil. Dado que o propósito deste curso para adultos é aprimorar
as habilidades de fala dos alunos, uma investigação foi conduzida sobre o ensino da fala. A
discussão da literatura sugere porque filmes devem ser usados através de uma investigação
sobre as vantagens que eles oferecem. Princípios relacionados à aprendizagem de línguas,
desenvolvimento de material didático, e estudos atuais sobre o uso de filmes proporcionaram
maior conhecimento sobre como filmes podem ser usados. A partir desses princípios,
critérios foram criados para guiar o desenvolvimento de materiais didáticos. Finalmente, eu
sugiro futuros estudos sobre como filmes estão sendo usados em sala de aula e uma possível
pesquisa sobre a eficácia de materiais didáticos baseados em filmes.
Palavras-chave: filmes; aprendizagem de idiomas; desenvolvimento de material.
* King’s College London, London, England.; King’s College London,
London, England.
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Advances in technology, such as the development of digital video and the
popularization of video-streaming websites, have made films more easily accessible
for purposes of language learning. Along with availability, films might benefit
the learning experience by providing authentic input, raising cultural awareness,
motivating students, and creating opportunities for language production.
In spite of these advantages, many teachers still feel hesitant about working
with films in class, and often rely on them solely for entertainment purposes. This
may be the result of a lack of training on how to make effective use of films in a
classroom setting. For this reason, I decided to develop this study, which aims to
(a) advocate for the use of films in teaching, and (b) present a set of guidelines for
choosing and using films.
A discussion of empirical and theoretical literature will be presented to
answer the questions of why films should be used and how they could be used. The
literature review will also provide relevant background knowledge for designing
materials. The set of criteria I designed is intended to fulfill the objectives of a
specific course, and the emphasis is therefore on oral production. Nonetheless,
they could still be adopted as helpful guides for other teachers in similar contexts.
The material was developed in accordance with the objectives of a
Conversation Course I taught for two years at the Federal University of Paraiba in
Brazil. The Department of Modern Foreign Languages offers this six-month course
for university-level students who wish to continue their learning of the English
language. The classes take place twice a week, with each class lasting for two hours.
Students can gain entry to the Conversation Course either by completing a three-year
course (also offered by the Department) or by passing a proficiency test in case the
maximum number of twenty students is not reached.
The three-year English course from which most students come integrates
all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). There is a strong focus
on grammar throughout its three course books (one for each year). Therefore,
when learners arrive for the Conversation Course, they have an average level of upper-
intermediate proficiency in English, but are in need of extra speaking practice over
and above the other skills.
Although some of the students’ goals may vary, most of them have one want in
common when they join the course: to practice their speaking skills. This has been
precisely the goal of the Conversation Course since it was created. Students need to
be provided with enough speaking opportunities to improve their communicative
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competence. Focus on form is no longer stressed in most classes. The classes should
have greater emphasis on practicing speaking through interaction and increased
student talking time by exposing them to different topics. Since no single course
book is adopted, the teacher has the freedom to use his/her creativity and experience
however they see fit in order to develop materials to accomplish the goal of the course.
During my two years spent teaching these classes, I learned that most
students regularly watch American and/or British films and TV series, both as a tool
for learning and also for pleasure. Thus, it seemed appropriate to develop materials
that make use of videos in order to motivate learners in class. Exposure to videos
would also provide a break from students’ previous limited experience of working
mostly with written texts. Many of the other benefits of using films and TV series
in language learning will be discussed later. In short, by taking into consideration
(a) the overall goal of the Conversation Course, (b) the students’ needs and wants, and
(c) their enjoyment of films and TV series, the use of videos for learning purposes
would be appropriate.
This article has been divided into five chapters. Chapter 2 presents an overview
of theories related to the teaching of speaking. The main advantages of using films in
language teaching will be investigated in Chapter 3, as well as some principles with
regard to language acquisition, materials development, and the text-driven approach.
Techniques for using films are discussed in Chapter 4. Finally, Chapter 5 provides a
conclusion with a brief summary of the study and some final considerations.
Even though the primary objective of this article is to advocate for the use
of films for language learning, the main goal of the Conversation Course is to provide
students with opportunities to practice their speaking skills. Thus, this section
will present a discussion of learning theories related to speaking, including (a)
dichotomies such as knowledge and skill, motor-perceptive and interaction skills,
and cognitive and affective processes, (b) the importance of interaction and output,
(c) the role of speech acts, and, finally, (d) some practical implications related to
the design of activities that focus on speech production.
First, a distinction can be made between speaking divided into knowledge and
skill (BYGATE, 1987). The latter is defined by Bygate as the ability to produce
and adapt utterances according to the circumstances, whereas the former is the
abstract notion of how to compose perfect sentences, i.e., what the student knows
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about the structure of a language, including, for example, grammar, vocabulary,
and pronunciation. However, spoken discourse, as argued by Hughes (2010), is
not a neat combination of grammatically accurate sentences, as is usually the case
in formal writing. Therefore, speaking as a skill should have greater focus on the
teaching material, in order to give students the necessary practice to learn how to
use the target language.
Bygate (1987) divides speaking into two skills: motor-perceptive skills and
interaction skills. Motor-perceptive skills involve identifying and producing the
sounds and structures of the language in the correct order. This skill is commonly
practiced in the audiolingual approach, which is influenced by a behaviorist notion
and emphasizes the use of repetition (BURNS and HILL, 2013). When practicing
this skill, learners produce language determined by the teacher, often in a context-
free environment. Even though motor-perceptive skills are important for language
learning, their excessive practice without integration of interaction skills has been
criticized as depriving learners of control of their own language (WILKINS, 1974).
Consequently, it is more appropriate when teaching speaking to allow students to
make their own decisions about what to say and how to say it. This ability to use
language according to specific demands is defined by Bygate (1987) as interaction
skill, and is more relevant than motor-perceptive skills to the context for which I
designed the material.
Hughes (2010) points out that collaboration between speakers should be
one of the aims of materials aimed at developing speaking. During collaborative
dialogues, students are provided with comprehensible input and opportunities
for output. It is through input that learners are given positive evidence of what
is possible in the target language (GASS and MACKEY, 2015). Output, on the
other hand, provides negative evidence, in other words, information about the
incorrectness of what was said. Gass and Mackey (2015) also point out – based on
Swain’s (2000) observations – at least two other advantages of output: hypothesis
testing and automaticity. The former refers to the learner’s opportunity to try out
words or sentences where there is uncertainty as to their correct usage, whereas the
latter involves the routinization of language, i.e., reducing the effort of producing
some utterances by making it a more automatic process.
In order to become an effective speaker, one also needs to be familiar with
different types of speech acts. Nunan (1999, p. 131) briefly defines them as “simply
things people do through language,” i.e., utterances that perform some kind of
function, such as complaining, apologizing, agreeing, requesting, and so on. Speech
acts represent an important aspect of language that cannot be disregarded when
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teaching a foreign language, especially since despite being seemingly universal in
their typology, speech acts can be expressed differently across different cultures
(VAEZI et al., 2014).
When designing materials, other aspects of the speaking process should also
be considered. Similarly to Bygate’s aforementioned work, Burns and Hill (2013)
also divide speaking into two parts: cognitive process and affective process. From
a cognitive perspective, materials should ensure that learners have (a) enough
linguistic knowledge, (b) background knowledge, and (c) articulation, in order
to be able to express meaning. These issues should be taken into account when
selecting films and designing activities. The pressure of having to speak in class
might create nervousness among students; therefore, from an affective perspective,
reducing anxiety should be another goal. Different interaction patterns can be used
in order to make students feel more comfortable, and personal questions might be
more suitable for pair work.
Drawing on the work of Ur (1996), the following set of implications for
teaching spoken English is suggested when designing materials:
a. Learners should have most of the talking time during the class. Use of
group work is encouraged to increase their participation;
b. Classroom discussions should have students participating as equally as
possible. A minority of students should not dominate the discussion;
c. The material should be motivating. Topics and tasks should be chosen
carefully. Clear purpose and interesting topics are more likely to engage
students and increase their participation.
This section has provided a clearer understanding of the theories related to
the teaching of speaking, as well as considerations that might benefit the designing
of materials. Some of the theories discussed here provided greater influence than
others for the development of a set of guidelines for using film-based material, such
as the importance of (a) plenty of opportunities for output and interaction, and (b)
exposure to and practice of speech acts and idiomatic expressions.
The first part of this section will discuss the principles concerning language
acquisition and materials development that provided guidance for the design of
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the set of criteria. In addition, the text-driven approach (TOMLINSON, 2003)
will be briefly explored as it has also played an important role in my context. The
second part of the section will focus on the advantages of using films and their role
in language teaching.
2.1. Principles and material development
When designing materials, teachers need to have some principles to guide
them with regard to language learning. Ellis (2005) provides a set of ten principles.
He points out that these are not intended to be used prescriptively, but rather as
suggestions and a basis for reflection. Therefore, not all of his principles were relevant
for my context. For example, focus on form is an important principle, and students
should practice language features such as grammar and pronunciation; however,
given the goals of the course, other principles were emphasized. The following is a
list of the principles that had a greater influence on the design of this material:
i. Provide a rich repertoire of formulaic expressions;
ii. Focus on meaning;
iii. Provide extensive L2 input;
iv. Provide opportunities for output;
v. Provide opportunities for interaction;
vi. Take into account individual differences.
According to the first principle, students need to be exposed to different
formulaic expressions. Idioms, collocations, and set phrases play an important
part in communication, and are often used by native speakers (GILMORE, 2007).
Therefore, students should practice with formulaic expressions in order to develop
fluency, and films are a rich source of exposure to these natural language features.
“Focus on meaning” refers to the need for students to be provided with tasks
in which they can perform pragmatic meaning, which can be described as the
highly contextualized meanings that arise out of the use of language as a means
of communication. This is important because only through focusing on pragmatic
meaning will language acquisition take place, as well as it developing fluency
and being intrinsically motivating (ELLIS, 2005). Providing extensive L2 input
(principle ‘iii’) refers to the need to maximize exposure to the target language in
class, and opportunities must also be created for students to receive L2 input outside
the classroom. Principle ‘iv’ is the same as the main goal of the Conversation Course,
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which acknowledges the importance of language production. Principle ‘v’ refers
to interaction, in which students are given the opportunity to negotiate meaning
while benefiting from input and output simultaneously. The individual differences
mentioned in principle ‘vi’ include aptitude and motivation. Ellis suggests that
teachers can cater to aptitude by applying flexibility and variety to the activities.
On the other hand, motivation, as argued by Dörnyei and Ushioda (2001), may
be fostered in many different ways, including the presentation of interesting and
relevant material.
Besides knowledge of how languages are acquired, teachers should also be
aware of what the literature has to offer with regard to the design of materials.
Tomlinson (2010) proposes a set of principles for materials development that draws
on most of the aforementioned principles of language acquisition. In brief, materials
should provide:
i. Plenty of authentic spoken and written texts, presented in a contextualized
ii. Potential for engagement, both affective and cognitive;
iii. Interesting, relevant, enjoyable, yet challenging texts and tasks;
iv. Opportunities to produce the language through meaningful and authentic
Similar to the principles for language acquisition, this set of principles is also
intended to provide guidance and should not be seen as a concrete set of rules.
Once a set of principles for both language acquisition and materials
development has been adopted by the teacher, s/he should decide what kind of
approach is more fitting for the specific students, context, and goals. The Text-
Driven Approach (TOMLINSON, 2003) features elements that seem effective for
my context and for the use of films. In short, this approach uses a text – which can
be written or spoken – as the main support for the whole lesson. First, the text must
be carefully chosen, as all of the subsequent material is going to be derived from
it. Tomlinson provides criteria for text selection that are very similar to the set of
principles for material development previously mentioned in this section. After the
text has been selected and tested by the teacher, s/he must devise readiness activities
(TOMLINSON, 2003, p. 113). In other words, the teacher will mentally prepare
students for their forthcoming experience with the text. Examples of readiness
activities include asking students to visualize, articulate opinions, make predictions,
and many other different techniques intended to engage their thinking. The next
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step is designing experiential activities to be performed while the students are exposed
to the text, so that they can experience the text instead of merely observing it as an
object of study. Then, learners are invited to reflect on what the text meant to them
and articulate their opinions and feelings as part of intake response activities. Tomlinson
also suggests development activities, in which learners should be encouraged to go back
to the text in order to produce meaningful language. Finally, the framework of the
text-driven approach uses input response activities, which are divided into interpretation
tasks and awareness tasks. The former refer to activities designed to develop critical
thinking, such as debating the issues in the text, analyzing reviews, asking deep
questions, and so on. The latter examples refer to activities that raise students’
awareness of language features, including language use, communicative strategies,
and discourse. Tomlinson (2003, p. 116) emphasizes that this “framework is best
used flexibly” and that “there is no need to follow all the stages,” therefore, some
adaptations were taken in order to provide a better fit to the students’ needs and
pedagogical goals of my context.
When designing materials that use films, some researchers have studied their
benefits and suggested a wide variety of applications (STEMPLESKI and ARCARIO,
1990; BADDOCK, 1991; SHERMAN, 2003; MISHAN, 2005; DONAGHY and
WHITCHER, 2015), which will be further discussed in Section 4. MacDonald and
MacDonald (1991) summarize in three steps what is necessary for a successful film
course: (a) selecting a film according to the purposes of the class, (b) developing
support material, and (c) designing tasks that motivate students.
With the support of principles and approaches to developing a framework
to work with films, as well as having a clear understanding of films’ benefits and of
which techniques might be more suitable, the teacher can finally start developing
the material by selecting the films to be used. For the film selection process,
McGrath’s (2013) criteria for choosing authentic texts provide a helpful guide:
•Interest of topic
•Cultural appropriateness
•Linguistic demands
Learners will have more to gain if the material is relevant and interesting.
They will be more likely to feel motivated if they can enjoy and relate to the topic
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chosen (MCGRATH, 2013). Teachers should also be careful with regard to a film’s
cultural appropriateness, as some topics might be considered inappropriate for
discussion in class within the context of certain cultures. The language used in
the film should not be too complex for the level of the students, or it may have
the effect of demotivating them. The length should be appropriate for the goals
the teacher sets out to accomplish, as well as the time available. Finally, the film’s
exploitability will provide the necessary means for the teacher to develop tasks.
These criteria are very similar to those developed specifically for films
and suggested by authors such as Donaghy and Whitcher (2015) and Goldstein
and Driver (2015). Drawing on Arcario (1990), two more criteria can be added:
independence of sequence and visual support. The film needs to provide sufficient
visual elements to aid in students’ listening comprehension. Moreover, if scenes are
to be used independently from the rest of the film, care should be taken to ensure
that the sequences chosen can – at least to some extent – stand on their own and
do not require too much in the way of background exposition.
2.2. Advantages of using films
The use of films in class can offer many benefits for learners. This section
will cover some of the main advantages provided by films and their role in language
teaching/learning; more specifically, the role of authenticity, motivation, cultural
awareness, and the development of language skills (both receptive and productive).
2.2.1. Authenticity
The benefits to a learner of moving to an English-speaking country are
undeniable. The process of immersing oneself in a context in which the target
language is spoken provides the learner with extensive input and exposure to the
foreign culture. However, not everyone can afford to or is able to travel abroad to
study. Thus, it becomes essential to create materials that expose the linguistic and
cultural features of English. One way of achieving this is to use authentic materials
in class.
There is a wide variety of definitions relating to the term “authentic.” In
his seminal article, Gilmore (2007) quotes eight possible meanings from various
authors, but he eventually agrees with Morrow (1977, in GILMORE, 2007, p.
98), who defines “authentic” as “a stretch of real language, produced by a real
speaker or writer for a real audience and designed to convey a real message of some
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sort.” Compared to other authors who, for example, claim “authentic” is language
produced by native speakers (PORTER and ROBERTS, 1981), or Widdowson
(1978), who claims such a quality can only be bestowed in relation to the reader/
listener, in my opinion, Morrow seems to provide a more suitable definition for the
term in relation to films. A film is authentic if it was not produced with the sole
purpose of teaching language, but rather to convey a real message or feelings to the
audience. Therefore, in contradiction to Porter and Roberts, even if the characters
portrayed are not native speakers, a film can still be considered authentic. With
regards to Widdowson’s point of view, I believe the relationship between material
and learner will affect the film’s effectiveness, not its authenticity; after all, learners
with different levels of proficiency might be able to cope with authentic material
if it has been carefully selected by the teacher. Nevertheless, it is still advisable for
students to watch movies with authentic purposes in order to make better use of
the authentic material (GILMORE, 2007).
Regardless of the continuing debate over the definition of “authenticity,” the
potential of authentic materials to benefit language learning is almost unquestionable.
While course books have at times been criticized for their misrepresentation of
language and culture (GILMORE, 2007; MCGRATH, 2013), the use of authentic
materials such as films has been encouraged (SHERMAN, 2003; MISHAN, 2005;
DONAGHY and WHITCHER, 2015). However, as Gilmore (2007) points out,
contrived materials do not necessarily mean “bad,” just as authentic materials do
not necessarily mean “good.” For example, a Shakespearean sonnet, even though it
is an authentic text, might not be linguistically appropriate for lower-level students;
on the other hand, literature students with a high level of proficiency may derive
great benefit from it. The effectiveness of whichever material the teacher chooses
to use is also going to depend on other aspects, such as (a) the context, (b) who his/
her students are, and (c) what goals need to be achieved. Thus, a set of guidelines
related to the selection of authentic material ought to be helpful.
After having properly selected the authentic material to be used, some of
the advantages that it might provide include its potential to effect improvements
in the leaners’ linguistic, pragmalinguistic, and discourse competence (GILMORE,
2007). From a linguistic perspective, students are exposed to more natural use of the
language, including formulaic sentences, such as idioms and collocations. Course
books’ depiction of certain speech acts are often misrepresented; for example,
direct complaints are frequently dealt with, while in reality indirect complaints are
more common in real interaction (BOXER and PICKERING, 1995). Authentic
materials, on the other hand, would be more likely to raise pragmatic awareness,
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as Boxer and Pickering (1995, p. 56) suggest that “only through material that
reflects how we really speak, rather than how we think we speak, will language
learners receive an accurate account of the rules of speaking in a second or foreign
language.” Discourse competence would also be developed by exposing students
to realistic samples of conversations to illustrate how people manage conversations,
and how discourse strategies such as turn-taking would be used.
Besides exposing students to a rich variety of real language use, other
advantages of using authentic material in class include raising cultural awareness
and motivating learners. These benefits of authenticity will be further investigated
discretely in the following sections as they also provide some of the reasons for
integrating films in materials development and language learning.
2.2.2. Motivation
As a key advantage of using videos in class, motivation is considered by many
authors and teachers to be one of the most significant variables that influence language
learning (DÖRNYEI and USHIODA, 2001; DE BOT et al., 2005; BROWN, 2007).
I will investigate some of the theories related to motivation that can help teachers
understand the role of this fundamental factor affecting learning, and which can
provide helpful insights during the development of teaching materials.
According to Brown (2007), some historical schools of thought have
influenced the way motivation is perceived, notably the behavioral, cognitive, and
constructivist perspectives. The behaviorist approach focuses on the anticipation
of reward as the main driving force to accomplish a goal. From a cognitive point
of view, individuals’ needs are emphasized. Some of these needs include the need
for exploration, stimulation, knowledge, and ego enhancement (2007, p. 169).
Finally, a constructivist view also takes into account the needs of the individual, but
combines them with a stronger emphasis on social context. Films can work better at
motivating students from both a cognitive and constructivist point of view.
Motivation can also be divided into three hierarchical levels: global,
situational, or task-oriented (BROWN, 2007) (similarly represented by Dörnyei and
Ushioda (2001) as global, contextual, and situational). The global level refers to the
general orientation of learners toward learning a foreign language. The situational
level represents the students’ engagement in a particular learning context, such as
the classroom. The task-oriented level refers to the students’ approach to a given
task and/or their willingness to perform well in specific aspects of the language,
such as learning grammar or pronunciation. It seems that the task-oriented type of
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motivation is more easily influenced by the teacher’s actions and the activities s/
he develops. Therefore, it would make sense to focus one’s effort on the design of
engaging materials in order to encourage learner motivation.
A third distinction related to motivation concerns the notion of intrinsic
and extrinsic motivation. Brown (2007, p. 170) distinguishes between the two by
claiming that “those who learn for their own self-perceived needs and goals are
intrinsically motivated, and those who pursue a goal only to receive an external
reward from someone else are extrinsically motivated.” It is also worth mentioning
that learners are not necessarily only intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, as the
two types frequently overlap. A student could be motivated to fulfill his or her
personal desire to learn a foreign language and, at the same time, be engaged in a
task to receive a good grade or avoid some kind of punishment.
Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be influenced by the teacher.
Although it may seem difficult for a teacher to influence a learner’s extrinsic
motivation (e.g., motivation resulting from parental expectations), there are still
ways in which this can be achieved. Since learners who have previously succeeded
in a task are more likely to engage in future activities (UR, 1996), it would be crucial
for teachers to make students aware (even through a simple gesture such as nodding)
that they have been successful. The satisfaction gained as a result of receiving praise
from the teacher would most likely increase the student’s extrinsic motivation
(UR, 1996). Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, can be more easily developed
by teachers. At a global level, for example, teachers could show interesting and
relevant information about the language. Fostering intrinsic motivation at a task-
oriented level, on the other hand, is more closely related to the design of materials
and activities. Drawing on Ur (1996) and Brown (2007), some of the suggestions to
increase such motivation (which could also be supported – at least to some extent
– by the use of videos) would include: showing relevant material that appeals to the
interests of the learners; making students aware of the purpose of the tasks they
are engaged in; using visual aids; providing reasonable challenges; and presenting a
variety of topics.
Another important aspect of motivation is that it changes over time
(DÖRNYEI and USHIODA, 2001). This is especially significant my context,
where most students have already been studying English for a period of
approximately three years. Williams and Burden (1997) argue that it is essential
not only to stimulate students’ motivation, but to also sustain their interest over
time. Moreover, Gass and Selinker (2001, p. 354) claim that motivation to succeed
in long-term projects, such as learning a foreign language, depends on fostering
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motivation through a series of short activities, as “willpower must be summoned
frequently at various points in time to overcome different resistances.” Therefore,
one’s overall motivation to learn English might not be sufficient, and teachers
therefore have to develop meaningful and engaging tasks in addition to interesting
materials. Videos can be a rich source of meaningful tasks that could help maintain
students’ motivation.
Since films are already perceived as a medium of entertainment, it seems
reasonable that, if properly selected, they would also serve to encourage students’
motivation in a class setting. Furthermore, films motivate students by providing
visual clues that facilitate comprehension. According to research by Cross (1984,
in GILMORE, 2007), demonstrating to learners their ability to cope with authentic
material will motivate them. A similar argument is made by King (2002), who
points out that understanding a film will enhance the students’ confidence and,
consequently, have a positive impact on their motivation.
Other ways of motivating students are included in the “10 commandments”
suggested by Dörnyei and Csizér’s (1998, p. 215) empirical research, some being
more easily fostered through the use of films than others. For example, films can
promote the commandment “Make the language classes more interesting,” as well as
providing flexibility to satisfy the commandment “Personalize the learning process.”
Dörnyei and Csizér also claim that teachers should “familiarize learners with the
target language culture” (1998, p. 215). Gaining exposure to the cultural aspects of
a foreign language through the watching of films has additional advantages besides
motivating students, as will be outlined in the next section.
2.2.3. Cultural Awareness
Raising cultural awareness is a crucial part of the learning process, as Atkinson
(1999, p. 625) claims that “except for language, learning, and teaching, there is perhaps
no more important concept in the field of TESOL than culture” (emphasis from
original). Before discussing the benefits of raising cultural awareness, and how films
can help to realize this objective, it is essential to understand some of the issues
relating to the term culture.
Hua (2014, p. 01) briefly defines culture as “a system of values and practices
of a group or community of people.” However, the definition of culture has been
constantly debated, and a distinction between “Culture” (with a capital “C”) and
“culture” (with a small “c”) is often made (2014, p. 01). Art, literature, and food are
all part of “Culture with a capital ‘C’,” and provide a simplistic view of the culture
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of the target language (HINKEL, 1999). On the other hand, “culture with a small
‘c’” encompasses broader characteristics of a society, including its values, beliefs,
and behaviors.
Although many definitions for culture can be found within the literature,
at least one aspect upon which most authors seem to agree is that culture and
language are inseparable (KRAMSCH, 1993). According to Atkinson (1999, p.
647) “knowledge of language – including, centrally, how to use it – cannot be
developed without at the same time developing knowledge of the sociocultural
contexts in which that language occurs.” Hua (2014, p. 176) also adds that “language
influences thought and worldviews, and therefore differences among languages cause
differences in the thought of their speakers.” Kay and Kempton’s (1984, in HUA,
2014) research on speakers of English and Tarahumara (language spoken by Native
American people of northwestern Mexico) supported these claims when it showed
the different ways color terms were perceived.
In addition to working as a motivating force for students, as mentioned in the
previous section, and being inseparable from language itself, the raising of cultural
awareness brings even more benefits to the learning process. Exposing students to
other cultures allows them to reflect and understand even more their own culture
(GILMORE, 2007). Otherwise, they may assume that the foreign culture functions
in the same way as their own. This exposure might also help students understand
the moral values of the target community and, consequently, stimulate empathy
toward it (ISTANTO, 2009). Moreover, other specific fields of the target culture
might be further explored, such as architecture, history, geography, and so on,
depending on the students’ interests.
It is crucial to point out that raising cultural awareness is not realized simply
through showing students films or other authentic materials in isolation; it is also
necessary to develop learners’ cultural sensitivity so as to enable them to fully grasp
the cultural message. One way of doing this is by drawing comparisons between the
target and local cultures, which might lead to deeper explorations that can improve
students’ intercultural communicative competence (MISHAN, 2005).
The use of movies can be a rich source of foreign culture exposure for
students as, Sherman (2003, p. 2–3) argues, film is a “window on English-language
culture,” and she later adds that “a small amount of showing is worth hours of telling
from a teacher or course book.” In comparison to other teaching aids, Herron et al.
(1995) claim that films illustrate the target culture more effectively. For example,
popular films can be used to depict cultural movements, such as Selma (2014) and the
struggle against segregation in the USA; sectors of society can also be portrayed,
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as in, for example, Secrets and Lies (1996) focusing on the British working class;
potentially controversial issues, such as abortion, can be found in films like Juno
(2007). Furthermore, a wide variety of communicative situations (e.g., apologizing,
thanking, complaining, and many others) can be portrayed in films and given more
emphasis during class activities.
Another advantage of showing films as a way to raise cultural awareness
is the use of visual cues that allow learners to observe the non-verbal aspects of
communication (e.g., body language, facial expression, proxemics, etc.) that are
often culture-specific and cannot be found in written or audio-only materials. Films
might be used to promote close observation followed by a class discussion on the
ways in which people interact, as students point out what can be inferred about the
target culture from body language and other elements of paralanguage.
In this section, I have illustrated that raising cultural awareness to improve
intercultural communicative competence in students is essential in the language-
learning process and that films can work as an effective tool to provide such
awareness. After discussing advantages of films that involve the role of authenticity,
motivation, and culture in language teaching, I will focus in the next section
on the goal of most English courses and investigate how films can facilitate the
development of language skills.
2.2.4. Language Skills
The sole act of watching a film can work as an interesting input for students
to practice their listening skills. However, the benefits of using films are not limited
to listening skills. Enough research evidence (EKEN, 2003; ISTANTO, 2009) has
concluded that, among other advantages of using films, the motivating context
created by them helps the practice and enhancement of all four language skills.
Therefore, in addition to listening, films can provide a favorable context in which
to develop reading, writing, and speaking.
With regard to the receptive skills (listening and reading), films allow students
to use bottom-up and/or top-down processes (HEDGE, 2000). The former has
learners constructing meaning starting from words or sounds, whereas the latter
involves the use of contextual clues and prior knowledge to reach a meaningful
interpretation. When showing a film, teachers can use the bottom-up strategy to
have students focus on the use of specific language to understand the message.
In contrast to this, teachers may adopt a top-down strategy and activate the
students’ schematic knowledge, defined by Hedge (2000, p. 232) as “the mental
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frameworks we hold in our memories for various topics,” by introducing the topic
before showing the video. Then, students can focus primarily on the gist of the
film, and only later move on to the linguistic aspects of the message. However, it
is worth mentioning that even though activities can focus more on one strategy
than the other, both processes usually take place simultaneously, as comprehension
(either from listening or reading texts) is enabled by a combination of linguistic
information, contextual clues, and prior knowledge.
Another advantage of using films to develop listening skills is their portrait
of authentic informal talk. Even though films are scripted, their language can be
considered authentic in the sense that it is not graded or simplified for non-native
speakers, and is considered more realistic than the language found in textbooks.
Sherman (2003, p. 13) argues that films are “the nearest thing most foreign-
language students have to real-life experience of spoken meaning.” Different from
many recordings made for teaching purposes, which usually have features such
as repeated structures, slow pace, grammatically correct sentences, and lack of
ellipses, films can expose students to a variety of grammatical structures, variations
in the speed of delivery, colloquial language, and other features of natural spoken
language, such as ellipsis and elision (HEDGE, 2000). Moreover, films provide
visual clues that facilitate comprehension, and the visual presence of the speaker
gives a more realistic exposure to how most listening situations occur outside the
classroom (UR, 1996). Research also shows that overall listening comprehension
can be enhanced by using subtitles in English when showing videos (KING, 2002).
English-language subtitles may also benefit the students’ reading skills as they
practice rapid reading.
One of the goals of reading is to “build schematic knowledge in order to
interpret texts meaningfully” (HEDGE, 2000, p. 205). Therefore, the reading
of texts can be used in pre-viewing activities to engage students with the topic.
Reviews and synopses are some examples of texts that could be used prior to
watching a film. Some texts could also be used to create comparisons with the film,
such as short stories or novels adapted to film, biographies of characters based
on real life, and/or news article about the main topic. Using authentic texts and
creating meaningful purposes for reading will motivate students (UR, 1996).
Films can also work as springboards to develop productive skills (speaking
and writing). One example of how they can improve speaking skills is by having
students role-play scenes from the film, which helps to contextualize the task, thus
making even accuracy-based activities more meaningful. Furthermore, the topics
of a film, especially controversial ones, can spark lively debates that help improve
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fluency (ALTMAN, 1989). Films can also work as stimuli or input for activities that
involve discussion in pairs or small groups and other opinion-gap tasks, which are
useful ways of developing speaking skills (HEDGE, 2000). As for writing skills,
teachers can assign written projects and provide opportunities for students to
gather ideas and plan what they are going to write, and the final draft could be done
as homework in order to save classroom time. Some examples of writing activities
might include: writing a review of the film, in which students could express their
personal opinions; writing a synopsis, which could test their comprehension of the
film; and writing a different ending to the story, allowing students to be creative.
In conclusion, it seems undeniable that films can be a beneficial resource in
the enhancement of language learning. Their advantages, as discussed here, range
from providing exposure to authentic language use, motivating students and raising
cultural awareness, to practicing language skills. Other benefits of using films could
be added, such as the addition of flexibility and variety to the syllabus, as a form
of entertainment, a means of lowering anxiety, and the fact that they are easily
accessible, and so on.
In the interests of making the most of showing films to students, teachers
should also familiarize themselves with the different techniques of working with
them. This section will explore the wide variety of applications that the use of
film places at the teacher’s disposal. The advantages and disadvantages of different
approaches to film will be discussed, such as the use of whole movies or short
sequences, captioned and non-captioned, and pre-viewing, while-viewing, and
post-viewing activities. However, possible challenges that may arise when using
films will be addressed first, as well as some suggestions as to how to overcome
3.1. Overcoming difficulties
What may have been intended for use as a motivating material can in actual
fact turn into a frustrating experience for students. The list of advantages of using
films may be long, but there are still some issues teachers need to keep in mind
in order to overcome possible difficulties. Problems may arise from technical
difficulties, choosing the wrong film, or from using it in an ineffective way.
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With regard to the film itself, Sherman (2003) points out some aspects of the
language portrayed that may hinder comprehension, for instance: strong regional
accents and dialects, such as Brad Pitt’s character in the film Snatch (2000), who
is barely understood by the other characters in the film; period language, found in
adaptations of period novels or historical films; and high verbal density, i.e., too
much speech and too little action (e.g., most Woody Allen films). Teachers can avoid
these obstacles by carefully evaluating the film prior to selecting it. Another problem
teachers might encounter when showing films in class is what Harmer (2001, p. 283)
calls “the ‘nothing new’ syndrome,” which refers to the act of watching films just for
the sake of it, offering nothing different from watching them at home. Therefore,
in order to avoid learner passivity, interesting and meaningful while-viewing tasks
should be designed (STEMPLESKI, 1990). Once these potential obstacles have been
overcome, students will be more likely to reap the benefits that films have to offer.
Technical difficulties may also hinder the viewing experience. For example, the
equipment might not work. Teachers should try everything out in advance to make
sure they know how to handle all of the devices being used, and that they are all in
correct working order. Another potential obstacle is a classroom with poor viewing
conditions. The TV or projector must be big enough and high enough so that all
students are able to clearly see the film. Speakers also need to be sufficiently loud that
students will not have trouble listening to the film. Finally, as most teachers would
suggest, it is always good to have a back-up lesson.
3.2. Whole-film approach
In the whole-film approach, feature films are presented to students in their
entirety. One advantage of this approach is that since the entire film is being
watched – just as it was meant to be seen – students will be exposed to the complete
communicative process of the film, making this a more authentic type of viewing
experience (KING, 2002). King also claims that by being able to comprehend the
complete movie, students will feel more confident and motivated.
On the other hand, one of the downsides of showing the entire film to students
concerns its running time. Firstly, the length of a feature film might take up almost all
of the available classroom time, making it more challenging to then provide students
with other activities. Secondly, as Donaghy and Whitcher (2015) and Canning-Wilson
(2000) point out, there is enough empirical evidence that suggests students’ attention
span lasts only a few minutes; consequently, students would become passive viewers
of almost the entire duration of the film. However, one way to regain students’
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attention and keep them active whilst viewing the whole feature film is by pausing
the video, as if copying the system of commercial breaks, and still keeping some level
of authenticity (MISHAN, 2005). Teachers can stop the film to ask questions about
what the students have already seen and/or speculate what is yet to come. However,
teachers should be careful with this technique, as the constant stopping and resuming
of the film might irritate students (HARMER, 2001).
3.3. Short-sequence approach
Most authors agree that a better way to present movies is by showing short
sequences instead of overloading students with the whole film (STEMPLESKI,
1990; HARMER, 2001; DONAGHY and WHITCHER, 2015). In this approach,
the teacher selects one scene, or maybe several scenes, from a feature film to show
to students. Besides the obvious advantage of saving time in comparison with the
whole-film approach, short sequences can also be a rich source of different activities
in class. Stempleski (1990, p. 11) argues that a “2- to 3-minute sequence can provide
enough material for a 1-hour lesson.” The choice of scene(s) will depend on the
objective for the class, whether it is to generate a topic for discussion, listening
practice, exposure to linguistic features, or to raise cultural awareness, for instance.
Another advantage of short sequences is the opportunity provided for repeated
viewings. Watching the same scene more than once allows the teacher to focus
on different aspects of the film with each viewing, such as the language, visual
elements, sounds, characters, setting, and so on.
One potential disadvantage of using scenes extracted from a film is that they
are, by nature, decontextualized (SHERMAN, 2003). Therefore, it is important for
teachers to design pre-viewing activities that provide some kind of introduction and
contextualization. Another way of overcoming this issue is by showing students
short films. All of the aforementioned advantages of showing scenes also apply to the
showing of short films and, in addition, students would benefit from being provided
with a complete narrative, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Thus, the use
of short films would maintain the authentic purpose of the film, as the whole-film
approach suggests, but without demanding a long attention span from students.
3.4. The use of captions
Regardless of the approach being used, whole film or short sequence,
teachers still have to ask themselves whether or not they should include captions
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in the film. The word caption is being used here to refer to subtitles in English, and
not a translation to the learners’ first language, as Sherman (2003, p. 17) argues
that in the case of the latter, “there is very little learning of English in this kind of
viewing.” When deciding whether or not to use captions, teachers need to take
into consideration students’ proficiency, and the objectives of the viewing activity.
Many authors have argued that showing films with captions in the target
language might improve learners’ overall comprehension (KING, 2002; SHERMAN,
2003). Research conducted by Garza (1991) on the use of captions with advanced
students concluded that besides enhancing language learning, learners also used
their reading skills to improve aural comprehension, which helped to bridge the
gap between the two skills. His findings also suggested that advanced students
can cope with the addition of the textual modality without feeling overloaded with
Even though captions provide many benefits, teachers should exercise
caution in relation to their use. According to King (2002), subtitles hinder the
development of inferring and guessing meaning from context and visual clues.
Moreover, reading the captions might become a habit that is hard for learners to
break, making them more hesitant to take the next step and remove them in order
to have a more authentic experience with viewing a film. King adds that by not using
captions students will (a) be encouraged to increase their tolerance for ambiguities,
(b) make use of inference skills, and (c) feel a greater sense of accomplishment.
3.5. Viewing techniques
Drawing on Williams’s (1984) model that suggests three stages for reading
comprehension, films can be exploited in the same way. Divided into pre-viewing,
while-viewing, and post-viewing stages, each stage will have its own purposes and
a wide variety of activities that can be developed alongside it. The application
of these techniques will vary according to the pedagogical goals the teacher has
designed for the use of films.
According to Stoller (1990), the main purpose of pre-viewing activities is
to activate the students’ schemata. This means tapping into their prior knowledge
of the theme present in the film, which will help learners to better understand
the narrative. Besides introducing the topic, Kusumarasdyati (2004) adds that
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pre-viewing activities often include pre-teaching of key vocabulary. They can also
be divided, as suggested by Donaghy and Whitcher (2015), into language- and
communication-based activities. The goals of these activities are not mutually
exclusive, and they usually overlap.
If the focus of the pre-viewing stage is on language, an activity that could
be developed is handing out lists for students to match the key vocabulary from
the film with their definitions (the same could be done with collocations). From a
communication-based perspective, on the other hand, making predictions might
be an interesting way of engaging learners. Students might be asked to guess the
plot of the film based on its title or on a still image from the film. Another activity
to engage students with the topic is making a semantic map (STOLLER, 1990), by
having them brainstorm words related to the theme of the movie. Some activities
might provide practice for both language- and communication-based goals, for
example, integrating reading input (e.g., the synopsis of the film), which exposes
students to words that might come up in the video, in addition to introducing the
The activities in this stage are aimed at helping students maintain focus on
the film (MISHAN, 2005). However, teachers should be careful not to overload
students with too many tasks to perform while viewing, otherwise the activity might
become frustrating and the entertainment value of the film lost (DONAGHY and
WHITCHER, 2015). For example, students can be given a set of comprehension
questions to be answered only after they have watched the film. By doing this,
students will remain focused on the film and not have to listen and write at the same
Besides focusing on their general comprehension of the film, students can
also be instructed to focus on different aspects, such as plot development, the
characters, or other more specific information (STOLLER, 1990). Similarly to one
of the pre-viewing activities, teachers may also raise students’ curiosity while they
watch the movie. One way this can be done is by stopping the film in the middle of
a scene and asking students to predict what will happen next; or perhaps showing
the end of a scene and asking students to speculate what might have happened
before (STEMPLESKI, 1990). Another technique that plays with learners’ curiosity
is playing the film without the sound, so students have to guess what the characters
are saying. This technique, referred to as “silent viewing” by Harmer (2001, p.
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286), could also have students focus on the role of body language, and perhaps
look for nuances within gestures or facial expressions that differ from those of the
local culture.
Once students have finished watching the film, the teacher can use its input
as a springboard to develop a variety of activities. Mishan (2005) argues that the
most authentic post-viewing activity is talking about the film. Students could
express their thoughts about the film, whether they liked it or not, their favorite
moments or characters, and so on. According to Mishan, this activity could be
followed by discussions that focus on more specific aspects, such as linguistic and/
or cultural features. Donaghy and Whitcher (2015) also point out that it is highly
effective for language learning to have students reflect on what they have watched
and relate that to their personal experiences. For example, students could compare
their prior knowledge of the topic with what they have learned from the movie.
In another example, as argued by Pegrum et al. (2005), learners could benefit from
comparing the differences between their own culture and the culture of the target
Other follow-up activities could include: debates over controversial topics;
comparisons between film and book; expressing agreement or disagreement with
reviews; role-playing scenes; and many others. Harmer (2001) suggests that
this stage could also be used to spark learners’ creativity. The teacher could ask
students to imagine how the scenes would play out in different circumstances, such
as changing the gender of the characters, time period, or setting. As discussed
in Section 3.2.4, post-viewing activities stimulate not only oral but also written
production. For instance, students could be asked to write their own reviews,
alternative endings, and suggestions for sequels or prequels.
Based on the literature review presented thus far, which has included input
from principles of language acquisition, teaching speaking, materials development,
and the text-driven approach, I designed a set of general guidelines for using films
with the purpose of teaching language. These guidelines are meant to be seen as
suggestions that could be adapted depending on the context and its pedagogical
purposes. They include:
i. Cater to all language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
ii. Use authentic material and authentic tasks
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iii. Provide plenty of interaction
iv. Engage the students affectively
v. Practice formulaic expressions
In summary, I have discussed why and how films can be used to promote
language learning. The advantages of using films described in Section 3.2 will be
more or less emphasized according to the techniques the teacher chooses to use.
Eventually, the decision of how to show the movie and which activities are going to
be assigned will depend on the pedagogical goals the teacher is trying to achieve
Based on the discussion of the literature review, it was possible to achieve
the first aim of the paper and answered the question of why films should be used
by focusing on (a) the advantages of their application in class, and (b) how their
use can match different principles with regard to language learning. The second
aim was also discussed in the literature review, as techniques and approaches to the
use of films suggested how teachers could make the most of their use. Finally, it was
possible to create a set of criteria that would help on the development of film-based
The criteria was designed to match the goals of a Conversation Course from the
Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil. The main goal of the course is to provide
students with plenty of opportunities to practice speaking. The students are mostly
young adults with an upper-intermediate level of proficiency, who decide to join
the class to improve their speaking skills. During the two years I taught this course,
the majority of learners shared that they enjoyed watching English-language films
and TV series. Therefore, the choice of using films seemed suitable to motivate the
students and improve their learning experience by emphasizing the development of
their speaking skills. Even though the criteria was created to fulfill the objectives of
a specific course, theoretical and empirical research have suggested that the use of
film offers a wide variety of applications that could be suitable for different contexts.
Given the goal of the Conversation Course, principles with regard to teaching
speaking were taken into consideration during this study. As Hughes (2010)
suggests, interaction plays a major role in the development of speaking skills. When
engaging in collaborative dialogue, students are given the opportunity to benefit
from receiving input and providing output simultaneously. Another important point
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when teaching speaking, as argued by Nunan (1999), is to provide enough exposure
and practice with speech acts, so learners will be able use language to accomplish
specific goals.
Principles related to language acquisition and materials development also
influenced this paper. The final framework designed to meet the goals of the specific
context included the following principles:
i. Cater to all language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
ii. Use authentic material and authentic tasks
iii. Provide plenty of interaction
iv. Engage the students affectively
v. Practice formulaic expressions
The text-driven approach developed by Tomlinson (2003) should help
organize the structure and design of activities in order to meet each criterion from
this framework.
The advantages discussed in Section 3.2 answer why films can be considered
a rich source of material for language teaching. The benefits of using films include:
•Authenticity: being an authentic material, films are more likely to do a better
job at portraying how language is used in real life than course books;
•Motivation: since the first objective of films is to provide entertainment,
they can also be considered a great source of motivation;
•Cultural awareness: films allow students to reflect on their own culture and,
consequently, become more affectively engaged in the learning process;
•Language skills: films offer opportunities to practice all of the main language
skills. Films can provide input to improve receptive skills, and can work as a
springboard to develop activities that benefit productive skills.
These were some of the benefits investigated in this paper that support the claim
that films can provide fruitful material to enhance language learning. Through
investigation of these advantages, it has been possible to develop a better
understanding of the role each plays in the process of language learning.
Another goal was to show how films could be used. Based on the literature
review, Section 4 offers suggestions of how films could be used in class, as well as
how to overcome some of the potential difficulties that teachers might encounter.
Different approaches to films can be adopted, such as showing the whole film
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or focusing on short sequences, either with or without captions. The whole-film
approach has the advantage of increasing students’ confidence if they are able to
comprehend the entire movie. The short-sequence approach, on the other hand,
allows more time for language practice in class and students’ attention is more likely
to be held for the duration of one scene than it is for the duration of an entire film.
The decision of whether or not to use English-language captions also plays
an important role during the viewing of a film. It has been suggested that captions
improve overall comprehension while bridging the gap between reading and
listening skills. However, captions might hinder the development of students’ ability
to make inferences and guess meaning based on a film’s visual clues. Therefore,
teachers have to decide how the students are going to view the film depending on
the pedagogical objectives they are trying to meet.
When using a film in class, teachers can divide activities into three stages:
pre-viewing, while-viewing, and post-viewing. Pre-viewing activities usually focus
on preparing students for their experience with the film by activating their schemata.
The main goal of while-viewing activities is to make sure students do not watch
the movie passively. As for post-viewing activities, they can engage students in a
wide variety of tasks, such as comprehension questions, discussion of the themes
portrayed in the movie, specific language features, cultural differences, and so on.
Through the set of proposed guidelines, teachers will be able to visualize how
theoretical principles can be applied in practice, and might even be encouraged to
use films for the purpose of language teaching and learning. The criteria provided
for the development of film-based material should also help teachers to feel more
confident in selecting films and exploring their benefits to the fullest. Teachers will
be able to set language- and communication-based goals, instead of showing films
purely for the purpose of entertainment.
This investigation of the use of films in language teaching can serve as a
starting point for further research. Since the proposed guidelines were developed
for a specific course in Brazil, it would be interesting to design a material and
evaluate how beneficial its application would be for students. The literature review
could also be used to develop research on how teachers are currently using films
in their classrooms. Finally, I believe this paper might enrich teachers’ repertoire
with insights and examples of how to use films, as well as encouraging reflection
and discussion of their advantages and the different ways films could be applied to
language learning.
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Recebido: 21/10/2015
Aceito: 07/03/2016
... Watching films for second language (L2) learning purposes has been advocated by several scholars (Sherman, 2003;Gilmore, 2010;Díaz-Cintas, 2012;Talaván, 2013;Donaghy, 2014;Parisi and Andon, 2016;Giampieri, 2018c andHerrero and Vanderschelden 2019;McLoughlin et al., 2020;Bolaños-García-Escribano et al., 2021). Film language, in fact, is claimed to be very close to authentic spoken language (Sherman, 2003: 13). ...
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Learning a second language (L2) by watching films is argued to be enjoyable (Sherman, 2003: 14; Zabalbeascoa et al. 2012; Donaghy, 2014; Giampieri, 2018c: 402), stimulating and pedagogical. The taboo words of an L2 are also claimed to be of interest to L2 learners (Sherman, 2003; Gilmore, 2010; Díaz-Cintas, 2012; Donaghy, 2014) and useful to become acquainted with for sociocultural reasons. Awareness of taboo words can, in fact, be considered important in an L2 learner's repertoire. This paper is aimed at exploring whether or not being exposed to taboo words in foreign-language learning can be positive. In particular, the activity focuses on American film sequences containing swearwords in order to raise L2 awareness. On the basis of the paper's findings, it is possible to speculate that the participants (undergraduate students) identified certain new words and understood how taboo words are changed, or adapted, in dubbing.
... Furthermore, the number of studies on foreign language listening anxiety is very limited. However, the findings obtained in this study have similarity with the limited scientific sources (Ebrahimi & Bazaee, 2016;Nadrag & Buzarna-Tihenea, 2017;Parisi & Andon, 2016;Sirmandi & Sardareh, 2016) and studies (Kim, 2002;Lynch, 1998;Melanlıoğlu, 2013;Nath, Mohamad & Yamat, 2017;Wang, 2015) in the literature Based on the scientific data revealing the relationship between anxiety and using authentic materials, academic achievement, motivation, participation in activities, learning effort and self-confidence, the findings of using authentic videos in reducing the foreign language listening anxiety can be interpreted as follows: Authentic materials play an effective role in the development of students' listening skills, as a result of this, their academic achievement levels increase, and in parallel with the increase in academic achievement, the students' learning motivations, learning efforts and self-confidence levels increase, too. As a result, this increase leads to a decrease in foreign language listening anxiety. ...
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The study aims to find out the effects of authentic video materials on foreign language listening skill and foreign language listening anxiety of students studying at different levels of English proficiency. The experimental practices of the research designed as pretest-posttest true experimental design with control group have been conducted on two experimental and two control groups. While the independent variables of the study are authentic videos and English proficiency levels, the dependent variables are English listening academic achievement levels and English listening anxiety levels of the students. The participants of the research consisted of 100 randomly selected students, who have A1 and B1 levels of English proficiency, studying English preparatory program at the school of foreign languages at a state university. Data collection tools utilized in the study are Key English Test (KET) and Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Scale (FOLLAS). The statistical analysis of the research data was carried out by using descriptive statistics, independent samples t-tests, effect size tests and correlation analysis. Findings show that authentic video materials reflecting the real language and communication samples, have highly effective results on the development of English listening skills and lowering the foreign language listening anxiety of students who have A1 and B1 levels of English proficiency. On the other hand, as students' language proficiency improves, the impact of authentic videos increases. Finally, when it is compared to control groups, values obtained by the analysis reveal that there is a much stronger correlation among the development of listening, reading, writing and speaking language skills of experimental group students whose English listening skills have improved by using authentic videos.
... In this approach, the teacher selects one scene, or maybe several scenes, from a feature film to show to students. Besides the obvious advantage of saving time in comparison with the whole-film approach, short sequences can also be a rich source of different activities in class (Parisi and Andon, 2016). The scene (s) selection will depend on the teaching objectives. ...
Conference Paper
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In the fulfillment of the EFL learners duties, writing using good and proper English is a must as a student of English study program. The growth of technology influences the existence of the translation tool application which is considered effective and greatly helps students to be effortless and to reduce time-consuming in writing English text. The objectives of this study are to examine the tendency of how often the translation tool application was used by EFL learners, the motive behind it was used, and what are the impacts of using translation tool application in their academic life. This study used qualitative research in which the methods of data collections were observation, interview, and questionnaire. Participants in this study were students majoring English department (Education and Literature). The results show that 46.7% of the participants are constantly the translation tool application user. However, it triggers some consequences not only positive but also negative impacts on the EFL learners.
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Language teachers have been utilising movies in their classes for a considerable length of time. English movie-watching activities seem to be rising in popularity in Bangladesh as a valuable tool for learning a language. The present study was designed to investigate the perceptions of Bangladeshi students and teachers towards the integration of English movies to enhance students' English language skills in their English language classes. To this end, two research questions were posed, and a qualitative approach was adopted. The study involved fifteen students and three English language teachers from three private universities in Bangladesh. The analysis of the data showed that movie-watching activities were perceived as inspirational and motivational activities for both students and teachers, which reportedly helped the students enhance their micro and macro skills in the English language. The findings also indicated that movies were seen as useful resources for designing effective multi-dimensional pedagogical tasks in EFL classrooms. However, the study recommended that more logistic facilities and training may help English language teachers design effective movie-watching activities.
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The aim of this article is to describe the use of movies as reading materials for the eighth grade of junior high school. Movies can be developed as materials to enhance students’ critical thinking and improve their comprehension through multimodal texts provided as their visual media in learning reading. By reading the subtitles of the movies, students could improve their reading skill supporting by visualization of images. The literature review of this article recommended why movies should be developed as reading materials in language learning with their advantages and benefits. Many previous studies suggested that movies could be the appropriate media for English language teaching to motivate students and improve their language skills. English teachers could modify and develop reading materials based on the movies' content to encourage students in language learning. This research applied research and development by adopting the Borg & Gall design. The data techniques of this research included a questionnaire, interview, observation, and documentation. The result of this research indicated that the total mean scores of material aspects, language aspects, and graphic aspects ranged from 3.00 to 3.50. Therefore, the scores were categorized as good and very good. Thus, it can be concluded that the developed product of this research was valid, effective, and appropriate.
Cultivating motivation is crucial to a language learner's success - and therefore crucial for the language teacher and researcher to understand. This fully revised edition of a groundbreaking work reflects the dramatic changes the field of motivation research has undergone in recent years, including the impact of language globalisation and various dynamic and relational research methodologies, and offers ways in which this research can be put to practical use in the classroom and in research.
Book synopsis: Routledge Introductions to Applied Linguistics is a series of introductory level textbooks covering the core topics in Applied Linguistics, primarily designed for those beginning postgraduate studies, or taking an introductory MA course as well as advanced undergraduates. Titles in the series are also ideal for language professionals returning to academic study. The books take an innovative 'practice to theory' approach, with a 'back-to-front' structure. This leads the reader from real-world problems and issues, through a discussion of intervention and how to engage with these concerns, before finally relating these practical issues to theoretical foundations. Additional features include tasks with commentaries, a glossary of key terms, and an annotated further reading section. Exploring Intercultural Communication investigates the role of language in intercultural communication, paying particular attention to the interplay between cultural diversity and language practice. This book brings together current or emerging strands and themes in the field by examining how intercultural communication permeates our everyday life, what we can do to achieve effective and appropriate intercultural communication, and why we study language, culture and identity together. The focus is on interactions between people from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and regards intercultural communication as a process of negotiating meaning, cultural identities, and – above all – differences between ourselves and others. Including global examples from a range of genres, this book is an essential read for students taking language and intercultural communication modules within Applied Linguistics, TESOL, Education or Communication Studies courses.