Using Movies to Teach English


Feel free to download the following documents for class use.  However, if you decide to publish, please respectfully give credit where credit is due!  

Thanks!  -- Kristi Reyes email

Materials created by Kristi Reyes, ESL instructor, MiraCosta College, located in Oceanside, CA.

Movies are a break from the norm and give students authentic listening practice.  One scene can be used as the basis for skills practice:  grammar, listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronuncation.

ErinBrokovich.doc  I use the first scene of this movie when teaching past and past continuous verb tenses and when teaching about job interviews in VESL class.

harrysally.wps.doc  I learned about integrating video during a CATESOL conference several years ago.  The presenter used this scene from "When Harry Met Sally." Good prediction and speaking activity.

realwomen.wps.doc  "Real Women Have Curves" is one of my favorite movies of all time.  My Latino students love this movie, and many students can relate to the idea of being "in-between" two cultures.

pursuit.doc  "Pursuit of Happyness" shows that the American Dream is still alive.  Students love this movie, too!

LesMis.docx  Many students read Victor Hugo's famous novel "Les Miserables," when in high school.  The 1992 Hollywood version with Niam Leeson as Jean Valjean is great!

I also have created materials for "Rudy" and "October Sky," both of which make my get a tear in my eye and lump in my throat even after seeing them more than a dozen times.  The messages are inspirational, and my students get motivated by watching these uplifting true stories of underdogs realizing their dreams.  Email me if you would like copies emailed to you.

Favorite Websites related to Movies:

Lesson Plans, Online Exercises, and Resources:< xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" prefix="o" namespace="">

English Trailers This site is so cool!  Students can watch a movie trailer, practice listening comprehension, see the script, take a quiz, see internet sites about the movie and actors, and comment on a discussion board.

AngelsOnline has several movie-related activities.

Dave’s ESL Café Idea Book on using video:

Karin’s ESL Partyland (lesson plans and materials for six movies and Scavenger Internet Hunt about Movies

The Internet TESL Journal’s lesson plans on movies/videos (scroll down to video) and

English Notes:  The English Learner Movie Guides  (guides, not lesson plans – character descriptions, plot summaries, vocabulary/idioms, and discussion questions for many movies)

Links to movie- and movie trailer-based materials, online listening and viewing exercises, quizzes, and more:

Ideas for role playing and other lesson activities using video:

See ESL Flow’s Teaching with Movies page for links on reading and writing movie reviews:

See example online activities at,,

Movie Information, Scripts, and Plot Summaries, Trailers

Drew’s Scripts-O-Rama: (plot summaries)  (choose “Second Floor” for trailers)  (movie trailers with activities) (movie trailers with activities) (Lingualnet:  Learning English through Movies) (movies, TV, and plays)

Internet Movie Database

Movie Script World: