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Introducing the course 'Short Film in Language Teaching'. How can film make language learning and teaching more effective and engaging?

An introduction to the course

Let’s begin with a question: How can film make language learning more effective and engaging? If you’ve signed up to this course, you probably want to know. There are numerous ways of answering this question, and we will cover these over coming weeks. We hope that this course will provide you with exciting ways to incorporate film into your language teaching, as well as showing you dimensions of film that you might not have been aware of, with simple ways of how to explore and exploit these in your lessons.

Our overall learning objectives for the following three weeks are:

1. Develop your understanding of the ways in which short film can support language learning.

2. Be able to design effective and engaging learning materials and resources for teaching languages with film.

3. Learn about some of the basic elements of film narrative and film language to use with learners.

What is special about film as a medium for language learning? What distinguishes it from other resources, particularly the whole range of materials available on the Internet? Film places language in context in a unique way; it presents aspects of culture in authentic settings, and it provides an accurate presentation of language in use.

We’ve structured the course over three weeks to introduce the main elements of film language – sound, image, and how films manage time – and then weaved in the best ways of using it to support language learning. So, for example, listening to a film soundtrack can support learners to make inferences about what’s being said, or about the setting or location of the film. Then, as the teacher, you can build on these inferences with target language activity. The possibilities are endless.

Below, we’ll introduce you to some of the people behind the course – you’ve already met Muriel, the Lead Educator, in the Welcome Video. But first, a few words about the sponsor organisations.

Since 2009, BFI has had an interest in the ways short film can support language learning. We ran two developmental projects to explore how: Reframing Languages in 2009/10, and Screening Languages in 2013-15. In each project we discovered the power of short film to engage and inspire people learning – and teaching – languages, and we want to share what we’ve learned with you here.

Our Course Team consists of the following people:

The Course Team will be supporting you and interacting with you as the course progresses. The course team have also contributed to writing the course itself.

Muriel Huet, freelance languages and film teacher and consultant, is our Lead Educator. Muriel has also created many of the resource examples used in this course.

Mark Reid, Head of U.K. Learning Programmes at BFI, is another Lead Educator on the course.

Don’t forget to follow our course team. Simply click on their profiles above and click on the Follow button.

Other course contributors.

The following people also contributed to writing the course.

Nadine Chadier, Jenny Carpenter, Dr Shirley Lawes, and Sinead Earley

This course was designed in association with Into Film. The Into Film contributors are: Simon Richards and Jennifer Johnston.

Course contributors image

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Short Film in Language Teaching

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