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Inflection – teaching idea

Here we watch a video clip to explore inflection and intonation in language learning.

In this step we consider how to use film to explore inflection in an active way. We’ve posted an audio clip from the opening to another one of our shorts for you to listen to.


From the sound of the voices, what can you tell about who the character/s might be, what kind of situation they are in, and what kind of exchange this is? What kinds of mood are being created? What range of emotions can you pick up on, just from the sounds of voices? If you don’t speak French, is it possible to pick up from intonation and inflection whether the character is asking or answering a question, or making an exclamation? NB, if you speak French already, it might not necessarily help!

Add your comments and ideas to the comments section.

Teaching Idea

Ask your learners to write a ‘story opener’ – a one sentence beginning to a story – that sets out what you think is going on. This is a task that can be carried out in a target language and you could specify a given tense or grammatical form. Beyond this, think about how you might scaffold or support your learners’ engagement with intonation and inflection, using a sequence of film dialogue such as this one. How could you develop or adapt this idea/activity for use with your learners?

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Short Film in Language Teaching

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