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Using film dialogue

This step explores how learners can pick up visual cues when watching a character speak, providing a 'scaffold' for listening.

One of the benefits of working with film when learning a language is the opportunity to listen closely to spoken language while being able to watch people speaking. The addition of subtitles – as one of the speakers in the video in this step points out – is a further help, or ‘scaffold’, for our listening.

Language teachers talk about the ‘comprehensible input’ that helps with learning a language. This is the range of extra visual or verbal cues that give a context for talk, and the phrase comes from research into learners of English as an additional language, watching Sesame Street in America, with the English subtitles on.


Watch the video in this step and make a note of the different reasons learners offer for film being a rich resource for learning languages. Do your own learners think of film and film dialogue like this? Are there any other aspects of language learning that your use of film dialogue might support? Post any thoughts you have in the comments section.

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Short Film in Language Teaching

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