The Movie Club

I created a movie club, maybe 6 months to a year ago, with a few of my groups and it worked really well. We did it for about two months and it was really fun.  I will do it again next year but instead of doing a movie a week it will be one a month.

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The name movie club is probably not the most appropriate as it does not involve weekly meetings. At first it was just a way of getting my students to do more listening activities and ended up being a lot more than that.

How it works: 

This movie club is basically homework; every week, your students will watch a new movie as homework and talk about it. So far nothing new right?

Now is when the activity starts becoming interesting. The movie club should not just be “watch a movie and talk about it”. For the first movie I suggest that the teacher chooses the movie (I had my students watch About Time, it’s fairly easy to understand,  there is a mix of both British and American English and the plot usually pleases men and women).

But every week, before you send your students away for the weekend, take 15 minutes of the lesson to have your students present a movie they like.  They will be very happy to defend something they like and want to share with the class. Once everybody has presented a movie (no more than  2-3 min) the students vote which one sounds the best. The teacher must have the right to veto though. My adult groups are not allowed horror, gore or too “adult”. Remember, this should be something light and fun for the students to do at home.

As the teacher you also have to watch the movie so make sure you vote the same as everybody else. The next class, ask questions about the movie and your students will start talking about it naturally.

Activity extention:

I also have my students write about the movies. For example, my Cambridge FCE students could have a review, a letter or an essay to write in the exam.

Using the movie, tweak one of the exam tasks so as to involve the movie as part of the writing process. It is easy to write a review for a movie or you could also have your students write a letter to the movie director to talk about the movie. It is more fun for students and they are still working on preparing an exam task.

I do not forbid my students to use subtitles but I strongly suggest using English subtitles. I also recommend telling your students to write down 10 new words they heard in the movie and learning them.

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