Using Movies in the ESL Classroom

Movie day is always an exciting event in a classroom, especially a language classroom. When I worked as a substitute teacher, I would plan for at least one movie day based on the book the class was reading. Over the years, I used various strategies to ensure that my students not only have fun watching the movie, but also engage with the film and relate to it with the context of the text we were reading in class.

Check out some more interesting movie-related classroom activities you can use in an ESL classroom.

There are countless ways in which movies can support your lesson.

For example, they can be used to:

  • Reinforce a grammar point
  • Listen for gist
  • Practice vocabulary
  • Discuss and debate
  • Role play

Movies are a brilliant way for students to hear up-to-date authentic speech and be exposed to various accents. And because there are countless movies based on an infinite amount of things, you can use them to introduce or spark discussions about a certain topic, be it a historical event, a time period or the culture of a foreign country.

And of course, by bringing popular movies into your lessons, you show students how they can learn from and practice English when watching movies in their own time.

Read the full article 10 Creative Ways to Use Popular Movies in Fun ESL Lessons by Fluentu.

Creating Connections in Online Classrooms

Last week, I shared an article about the things teachers need to focus on while creating online courses. As an extension to that thought, we also ought to think about how our students will consume our courses. How are we designing the course? Do we expect to disseminate information and teach concepts or can we also try and capitalize on the social aspect of the online classroom through our course design?

Here’s an article that delves deeper into this issue.

…Although the teacher seemed to be learning lots of interesting things from the texts, she felt something was missing. The chat rooms were spaces to discuss the readings where she could read plenty of intelligent comments in academic language. Trying to use that space to get to know her classmates just didn’t feel right. You know when you go to a library to study on your own? That’s how she felt.

This story made me think of the reasons people look for courses, either face to face or online. When I look for a course, my initial motivation is knowledge. But why don’t I go to a library or use the internet to learn on my own? Learning in a classroom with a teacher allows me to have help when I need it, I can exchange ideas with other people, not only about the topic I’m learning, but about life too. I can make connections and feel I’m part of a group. I can read books and study, but I can also laugh and have a good time. We can’t forget that most of us love learning new things, however, meeting people and making connections is part of our social human nature…

Read the complete article More Than Content, We Want to Make Connections by Ana Maria Menezes.

Models of Online Courses

In my experience so far as an ESL teacher who works from home fairly often, I’ve realized that I could help my students more meaningfully if I create an online course that would supplement some of my face-to-face teaching. To this end, I’ve been exploring options for creating a basic online course, and in my reading, I’ve come across an interesting article that addresses the fundamental issues teachers need to focus on when they set out to create their online courses.

This post was inspired by a question sent to me by a friend, who is a very talented teacher and would like to start an online course. In her message, she mentions not being able to find a good video tutorial which could help her get started and asks my opinion about the best platform.

 As I read my friend’s message, I thought of a way to answer it. In my opinion, a video tutorial showing us how to create an online course in simple steps would be a disservice to anyone wishing to become an online teacher due to the complexity of the task.

Read the full article HOW CAN I CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE? Oh oh, that’s not a simple question by Ana Maria Menezes.