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5 English trailers

János Blasszauer

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Lesson plan

Time

Questions / instructions

What students do

How students work

What you need

15 min

Exploring ways to express opinion about movies. At English Trailers, students can enjoy studying English by watching movie commercials.

Listening comprehension

Individually

Pen and notebook, online examples such as http://tinyurl.com/2fooo6

Notes

General introduction

In this content-based lesson on movies students are asked to do some exercises at the English Trailers site to reinforce key vocabulary, to improve their listening skills, speaking skills and writing skills. At this site students can enjoy studying English by watching movie commercials. There are a lot of trailers to choose from and new trailers are added every month. Each trailer has a summary, a cloze exercise, the script, a mini-quiz, a forum, a talking activity and a web links activity. Students’ scores can even be saved but the teacher has to create a class code and has to ask students to write the class code in the proper box when they first go to the site (after clicking on the “First Time Log In” button.) It is firmly believed that students can learn a lot at this site while having great fun.

The activity step by step

1. Each student goes to the site and registers by clicking on the “First Time Log In” button. They fill out the boxes and give the class code that they get from their teacher so that he/she can see students’ performance as scores are recorded by the site.

2. After registration students read the instructions. On the left side of the screen they can see a list of movie titles.

3. At the very beginning the teacher should demonstrate what activities the site offers so that students can see clearly the potentials of the site.

4. From the movie titles students click on one they like and then hit the “Change Movie Trailers” button.

In the middle of the screen, the warm-up section of the chosen movie trailer appears. Above it there will be a drop-down box with the following buttons: Help Movies, General Warm-up, Summary, Cloze, Script, Talking Activity: Personalizing, Quiz, Web Links and Forums. They are invited to try them all.

On the right-hand side students can watch the trailer. Nota Bene: the trailers can only be viewed if the free Apple QuickTime software is installed on the computers. The software can be downloaded here: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

When students have watched the trailer a few times they can fill out all the missing words in the cloze exercise and can also do the quiz.

The follow-up Talking Activity can be done in pairs, small groups or as a whole-class activity, and the writing activity could be done individually.

General advice

Why use this activity? This activity is designed to be fun but it also develops students’ listening and speaking skills. The activity is great to introduce some variety and excitement to the lesson. It is a great way to elicit/revise language in an enjoyable way.

Usually this activity should last from 10-20 minutes.

What about any new vocabulary? In the summary and script sections of each trailer, when you click on an underlined word in blue, a definition and example sentence are presented. In order to give definitions to match the meanings of the words as they are used in context, English Trailers created and utilizes an in-house made dictionary database. This database has around 4000 entries and grows with each new trailer added.

Technical tips

The trailers can only be viewed if the free Apple QuickTime software is installed on the computers. The software can be downloaded here: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Preparation for class

First of all see the Technical tips section above on what you have to check before class.

The following checklist might be useful:

  1. Teacher creates class/classes at English Trailers.
  2. Teacher gives class code to students and ask them to insert it in the right box when registering to the site.
  3. Decide in what way you will discuss the Talking Activity: Personalizing activity (pairs, small groups, whole class).