Skip main navigation

Film sound and setting in the classroom

Here we will create a storyboard and look at how it can support the development of understanding different tenses in language learning.
Storyboard drawn and annotated in French
© British Film Institute
In this step, we ask you to develop the thinking you began in the previous step, by extending the single shot or sketch into a sequence of shots. Then we will adapt it into a very short piece of writing, all presented or annotated in target language.


Listen again to the sound clip from Step 1.8 and using the Storyboard Template in the downloads section, plot out a series of shots that you think go with the opening minute of sounds. Don’t worry about filling in the ‘camera’ section, we’ll come to that later in the course. Use the Storyboard Example also in the downloads section to help you, and the image below.

image of a storyboard

Teaching Idea

In a language classroom, you could ask students to annotate the sheet in French, Spanish, English, or whichever target language you’re working with. Storyboarding can provide rich opportunities for generating and presenting language, either spoken or written. As well as scaffolding or illustrating simple phrases, they can be used to support production of more extended written or spoken language using connectives for example, and other language conventions.

Extension Activity

When you have completed your storyboard, try writing short 300 word story based on this opening minute of sounds – how would your story begin? Again, this could be carried out in a different language and you could choose to focus your students’ writing on a specific area of that language. For example, writing in the present or past tense; focusing on one character, or describing the atmosphere, mood, or place. When you have completed this activity, post your responses to padlet if you wish, and then add a comment below about how activities like these might work (or not) in your own classroom. Are there significant challenges in these activities for your learners?

© British Film Institute
This article is from the free online

Short Film in Language Teaching

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now