Movie Trailers ESL Speaking Activity

Every class loves movies. Here is an interactive movie trailers ESL activity that involves watching popular movie previews and filling out a chart with information that the students can discuss in groups during the lesson.

Student Level: Intermediate, Advanced

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Age Group: Adults

Movie Trailers ESL Activity

Movie Trailers ESL Activity Preparation:

Prepare a simple chart in a Word doc with different categories on it. The first column header should be the “Movie Name.” The other columns can be customized to anything that you would like. For instance, possible headings could be “Genre,” “Actors,” “5-Star Rating,” “Prediction,” “Movie Comparisons” or whatever else you would like the students to put on the chart.

Find movie trailers online and prepare several of them that you would like to show in class. Any number from 5 to 10 trailers should be sufficient. It depends on how much time you have for the lesson. Make sure that the chart you prepared has enough slots for the number of trailers.

First, start the lesson with a short discussion about movies. Model your own example and briefly describe things like the plot, characters, theme, setting and genre. Pick one of your favorite films or something that you have watched recently that the students would also be familiar with. Setting a clear example will clarify their goal for achieving the tasks.

Next, have students do the same thing but in smaller groups. Try to encourage them to be as active in conversation as possible and listen to what their classmates say. You could also get them all talking about their favorite actors, actresses, recent movies, classic films, and movie characters etc.

Remember to elicit what “genre” is. Then, students think of all the different film genres that they can.

After brainstorming all the different types of movie genres, hand out the chart template to the students with the different categories on it.

Then, explain the chart. Tell them that they will watch a number of different movie trailers. As they watch each trailer, they should fill out the chart with their answers.

Play the first trailer as an example if you wish. Also, fill out the answers yourself to demonstrate the activity. Again, encourage discussion as much as possible for each section.

Finally, play the remaining movie trailers.

Do the same tasks for each one until the chart is completed. By the end, all of the students should have a chart full of material to reflect on and use for post-activity discussion.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

Conclude the movie trailer speaking activity with some post-discussion on other movie related topics. You could discuss in more detail about the genres that everyone enjoys watching or have them create a short 1-page fictional story as a writing assignment with interesting characters and a dynamic plot.

To improve listening skills, have a look at the Movie Words Listening Activity as an alternative extension to the lesson.

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