Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use movies to teach ESL?

What age group are the lessons appropriate for?

What language level are the lessons for?

How do I use the lessons in class?

How often should I show movies in class?

How many hours of class time can I fill with a lesson package?

How much prep time is required?

How do I know where to start and stop the film?

Are answer keys provided?

I'm teaching conservative / young students. Will this movie be appropriate?

What do I need to show a film in class?

I have a big (or small) class. Will the lesson package work with the number of students that I have?

What do I get when I buy a lesson package?

Why are there no pictures of characters from the film in the "Who Is It?" exercise?

Is each lesson package the same?

Where can I get a copy of the movie?

I don't like the lesson package. Can I get a refund?

I love the lesson packages. How can I get more of them?

I don't want to be notified when new lesson packages are available. How do I get off the mailing list?

What's the difference between the Intermediate and Lower Intermediate movie packages? Which one should I use?

Who are you? Why did you start this site?

What are the legal requirements for showing a movie in a classroom?

 

 
  Why should I use movies to teach ESL?

Students love movies. For many students, films are their first contact with English-speaking culture. They want to understand what is happening in their favorite movies and if you can help them do this without subtitles they gain a sense of mastery that encourages them to learn more. Films also provide teachers with an opportunity to introduce topical themes, natural dialogue, and cultural information.

 

 
  What age group are the lessons appropriate for?

We suggest that you watch the film before you show it to your class and judge for yourself whether or not it will be appropriate. Many of the lesson packages deal with mature themes and are therefore best suited to students age 16 and up. Others, especially the animated ones, could be shown to younger students.

 

 
  What language level are the lessons for?

Most of the movie packages are appropriate for intermediate students (levels 3-5 on a 7 level scale).

 

 
  How do I use the lessons in class?

Instructions are provided at the beginning of each activity and the sample lesson plan at the front of the lesson package provides a rough guide for scheduling the different exercises. Don't feel like you have to use all of them a wide range of exercises has been provided so that you can pick-and-choose the ones that best suit your class.

 

 
  How often should I show movies in class?

We recommend showing movies once a month. Although the lesson packages focus on the four key skills required to gain fluency, there's a limit to how much can be accomplished when watching films. You should balance movie sessions with other activities.

 

 
  How many hours of class time can I fill with a lesson package?

Each package has enough ready-made exercises and activities to fill approximately 8-10 hours of class time (this includes time spent viewing the movie).

 

 
  How much prep time is required?

Minimal prep time is needed to use the lesson packages. Most exercises just need to be photocopied and then distributed to your class. Others require a little bit of paper cutting. Having said that, we recommend that you invest 1.5 - 2 hrs and watch the film before you show it to your students. You need to take responsibility for what you're going to show them and you'll want to make sure there aren't any scenes that are going to make them or you uncomfortable.

 

 
  How do I know where to start and stop the film?

Time signatures at the beginning of exercises indicate where to stop and start the movie.

 

 
  Are answer keys provided?

Yes, answer keys are provided.

 

 
  I'm teaching conservative / young students. Will this movie be appropriate?

We carefully select films for development. We want them to have wide appeal and do our best to choose films without gratuitous violence, sex, or swearing. However, many of the films do contain adult themes and the onus is on the instructor to ensure the movie is appropriate for his or her students. To assist, we've included theatrical ratings and noted if a film contains challenging content.

 

 
  What do I need to show a film in class?

You'll need the following in order to use the lesson package: a photocopier, a copy of the movie on cassette / DVD, something to play the film on, scotch tape, and scissors or a paper cutter.

 

 
  I have a big (or small) class. Will the lesson package work with the number of students that I have?

The exercises work best with classes of 6 18 students.

 

 
  What do I get when I buy a lesson package?

You get 3-4 days of material to use while watching the film followed by multiple exercises to review and reinforce what has been learned. Activities include: Vocabulary Mix-and-Match, Discussion Questions, Listening Close, Crosswords, Gambit Questions, and more. Download this free sample to see what the lesson packages contain.

 

 
  Why are there no pictures of characters from the film in the "Who Is It?" exercise?

There are no pictures from the film in "Who Is It?" because we do not want to infringe on copyright. This is also why the front of the lesson packages have generic images.

 

 
  Is each lesson package the same?

The lesson packages follow a similar format and contain similar exercises, but no two are exactly the same. This is because we have different teachers working on the packages and each of them have their own way of approaching the material. As well, some movies lend themselves to certain exercises while others don't.

 

 
  Where can I get a copy of the movie?

We make lessons for older movies that are no longer in the theatres. All our featured titles should be available for rental. If you aren't able to find a rental copy, you can visit Amazon or iTunes and purchase a copy online.

 

 
  I don't like the lesson package. Can I get a refund?

All sales are final. We're sorry if you're disappointed with one of our lesson packages, but we provide a sample lesson package to ensure you know what our products are like before making a purchase.

 

 
  I love the lesson packages. How can I get more of them?

If you want to be notified when new lesson packages are completed, you can join our mailing list. Your contact information won't be shared with third parties.

 

 
  I don't want to be notified when new lesson packages are available. How do I get off the mailing list?

You can unsubscribe from the mailing list here.

 

 
  What's the difference between the Intermediate and Lower Intermediate movie packages? Which one should I use?

The lower intermediate packages have 20 - 34 fewer vocabulary words. As well, we've tried to simplify some of the exercises and re-word the questions so that they'll be accessible for lower level learners. If you look at the lesson package previews, this will help you gauge whether or not the material is too advanced (or too easy) for your students.

 

 
  Who are you? Why did you start this site?

My name's Jay. I'm a former ESL instructor who previously taught in China and in Canada. There are ESL instructors who help with the curriculum, and a webmaster/designer who helps me with the website, but I'm the site founder. I started the site because when I first began teaching, I had a hard time finding good material to use in class. Most of it was boring. And, a lot of it didn't allow me to move seamlessly from one activity to the next, building on what had been learned previously. This site is an attempt to address that. I hope you find it useful.

 

 
  What are the legal requirements for showing a movie in a classroom?

As these requirements vary from country to country, and are liable to change, we suggest that you contact the relevant copyright organization in your country: