Movie Buzz ESL Listening Activity

The Movie Buzz ESL Activity is a relatively easy activity to prepare that involves getting students to answer questions about movie scenes. It helps with their listening with dialog and can also improve their speaking and discussion skills.

Student Level: Intermediate, Advanced

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Age Group: Kids, Adults

Movie Buzz ESL Activity

Movie Buzz ESL Activity Preparation:

Prepare a scene or a number of scenes from a movie or TV drama that the students would be interested in. Ideally, find something with lots of dialog so you have more material to make questions for.

Movie Buzz ESL Activity Guidelines:

At the beginning of class, talk a little bit about what they are about to watch. Highlight the main characters in the scene, discuss their background and intent in the scene etc. Students can discuss what they know about the movie or drama in groups as well.

You may want to assign the students into groups. This way, they have more opportunities to practice speaking with different people instead of just one partner.

Next, depending on the length of the clip, you may want to play it in short 30-second increments instead of playing the whole scene at once. If it is short enough, it may be appropriate to simply play the whole scene then move on to the question and answer tasks.

Play the first part of the clip, then pause it.

Ask a few simple questions to demonstrate what the students will try to accomplish for the activity.

Unpause the video and have the class watch the rest of the scene. Tell them to take notes if it helps them remember some of the information from the scene or anything that is said by the characters.

Also, you could tell them beforehand that the questions will be focused primarily on dialog, general ideas about the plot or about what could happen next etc.

When the scene has ended, stop the video and put the class into teams. You could put them into teams at the start of the class, but that is up to you.

Tell the students to make a “BUZZ” sound if they know the answer to any question that you ask them. There are some smartphone apps that can produce some funny sound effects. This can make the game more entertaining and fun.

Award points for every correct answer. If any team “BUZZES” and says an answer that is incorrect, deduct a point or give another team a chance to answer the question.

Finally, tally up the points at the end of the question period and reward the winning team with some sort of prize.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

To conclude the activity, the class can discuss what they thought of the scene, the characters, or even practice using some of the expressions from the dialog. However, to focus more on writing, you could try the Movie Subtitles Writing Activity alternative extension to your lesson.

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