Teaching ESL Students to Describe Movies

Everyone loves movies, but can your ESL students adequately describe them? Sure, they can say “comedies are funny” or “horror films are scary”, but do they know more than one or two genres? Could they say why they like romantic films?

Being able to adequately talk about movies can be very helpful to IELTS students, as this topic can arise in the speaking exam. I wanted to teach my students to expand their vocabulary a little so they could give more interesting and developed answers, so I set about creating a lesson to do that.

I recently taught this very successful lesson to a group of intermediate university students. It gives them the vocabulary needed to describe movies, along with IELTS questions to test them. The PPT below is colorful, engaging, informative, and interactive.

I like to start off with a compilation of good movie moments. You can find hundreds of these on YouTube so pick one that’s suitable for your class in terms of contents, length, and interest. Then the students can say which films they know, and if possible mention some information about the film. It’s pretty self-contained. As always, feel free to download, edit, and use!

Then teach this PPT:

PS – I’ve also made a YouTube video that may prove helpful for teaching this topic:

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I'm the founder and editor of Beatdom Literary Journal, author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveller. I'm also a teacher and operate the popular website, TED-IELTS.

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