Movie Words ESL Listening Activity

The Movie Words ESL Activity can give your students some additional practice listening for specific details using dialog from any movie scene.

Student Level: Beginner, Intermediate

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Age Group: Kids, Adults

Movie Words ESL Activity

Movie Words ESL Activity Preparation:

Find a movie online that your students would find interesting and that matches their skill level. YouTube has a wide range of scenes to browse through to find something suitable.

Once you have found a good scene or series of scenes, the next step is to create a typed version of various different words that you hear in the scene(s). Listen to the actors’ lines and type out any of the vocabulary that you want your students to study in a Word doc. You may want to create a table so that it is easier to cut everything out when it’s ready.

Make sure there are enough words to fill up the activity time. If you can fill a page worth then it should be more than sufficient for your students’ needs.

Cut out all of the individual words so you have a bunch of paper slips to hand out to your class. Make sure you have at least twenty words. Any number less than that may make the activity fly by too quickly.

Movie Words ESL Activity Guidelines:

At the start of class, you may want to have a pre-discussion about the movie that you selected. It could be anything related to the actors, themes, plot, genre etc.

Next, you should inform the students about the scene you will show them. Explain the situation, what happened before the scene and what’s going on with the characters involved in the scene.

Hand out the slips of paper randomly to each student in the class. If you want, you could put them into teams. Each student should have at least five words.

Explain that when they hear the word in the scene they should stand up and repeat the word when they hear it. Alternatively, they could make a sound or do something funny whenever one of their words is said in the scene.

The students should discard the words on their desk that they hear. When the scene is over and all of the words are said, some of the students may have some words that they missed on their desks.

With the missed words, there are a number of things you could do to complete the activity. You could end it there or try listening again to the scene and see if they can catch the words in the second viewing.

Alternatively, you could collect the words that were missed and write them all on the board. Have the class watch the scene again and see if they can call out the words when they hear them as a whole group.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

Finish up the movie words listening activity by reviewing any difficult vocabulary and try re-enacting the scene in a role play.

On the other hand, you could have them do a crossword with some of the words or try adapting the clip to use in the Movie Predictions Speaking Activity to improve student’s discussion skills.

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Related ESL Resources Online:

Ways to use movies in lessons on

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