Logo for homepage of Movies Grow English, Movie ESL lessons.  Japanese anime by Momo Yazawa.

The above image of me was created in
Japanese Animation style by Momo Yazawa,
a student at the USC International Academy. Arigato, Momo.

ESL Lessons based on Awesome Movies

****About Movies Grow English****
ESL TEXTBOOKS (best value)


BROWSE the 156 movie posters below. CLICK a poster to link its esl-lesson portal.
PREVIEW the easy-to-use 5-9 page esl lesson.
DOWNLOAD the .pdf for $1 USD.
ESL lesson for 21, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishESL lesson for The 40Year-Old Virgin, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishESL lesson for 2001: A Spacy Odyssey, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishESL lesson for 2012, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishAcross the Universe ESL movie-lesson posterAdjustment Bureau, whole-movie ESL lesson posterAlmost Famous, whole-movie ESL Lesson PosterAmerican Beauty ESL movie-lesson posterAmerican History X ESL movie-lesson posterMovie Poster Link to the whole-movie portal for Argo where the lesson and movie can be purchasedThe Artist ESL movie-lesson posterAvatar ESL movie-lesson posterThe Avengers ESL movie-lesson posterBaby Driver ESL movie-lesson posterA Beautiful Mind ESL movie-lesson posterBlackHawk Down ESL movie-lesson posterBlack Panther ESL movie-lesson posterBlack Swan, whole-movie ESL lesson posterBlood Diamond ESL movie-lesson posterBlue Crush, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Book of Life ESL movie-lesson posterBowling for Columbine ESL movie-lesson posterPoster portal for the ESL movie lesson for the film, Bring Down the HousePortal for ESL Lesson, Brooklyn at Movies Grow EnglishCars ESL movie-lesson posterCasablanca movie ESL lesson posterCharley Wilson's War movie ESL lessonWhole Movie Portal for ESL Lesson of Chef at Movies Grow EnglishWhole Movie Portal for ESL lesson for Christmas Vacation at Movies Grow EnglishPoster cover for ESL Lesson for Chronicles of Riddick at Movies Grow EnglishCloud Atlas poster for ESL whole-movie portal at Movies Grow EnglishContact, whole-movie ESL lesson posterContagion ESL movie-lesson posterCowboys and Aliens ESL movie-lesson posterCrash ESL movie-lesson posterCrouching Tiger Hidden Dragon ESL movie-lesson posterPoster cover for ESL Lesson for Dark City at Movies Grow EnglishThe Dark Knigh, movie ESL lesson poster, at Movies Grow EnglishPoster portal for the ESL movie lesson for the film, Dead Poets SocietyDeep Blue Sea, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWhole-Movie Portal for the ESL lesson for The Descendants at Movies Grow EnglishThe Devil Wears Prada, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film,Dunkirk ESL movie-lesson posterEnchanted ESL movie-lesson posterErin Brockovich, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Expendables, whole-movie ESL lesson posterFalling Down, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, whole-movie ESL lesson posterFerris Bueller's Day Off ESL movie-lesson posterWhole-Movie ESL lesson Poster for Finding Nemo, link to whole-movie esl lessonForgetting Sarah Marshall, whole-movie ESL lesson posterForrest Gump, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for The Founder, starring Michael Keaton at Movies Grow EnglishPortal to whole-movie ESL lesson for Disney animation, Frozen. at Movies Grow EnglishGladiator, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film, Good Will HuntingESL lesson for the whole-movie, The Great Debaters at Movies Grow EnglishWhole-Movie Portal for ESL lesson for The Great Gatsby at Movies Grow EnglishGroundhog Day, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Hangover, whole-movie ESL lesson posterHero, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for Hidden Figures at Movies Grow EnglishHigh Fidelity whole-movie ESL lesson posterWhole Movie Portal for ESL lesson for Hitchat Movies Grow EnglishHotel Rwanda, whole-movie ESL lesson posterHugo, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Hunger Games, whole-movie ESL lesson posterI Love You, Man, whole-movie ESL lesson posterInception, whole-movie ESL lesson posterESL lesson for Inside Out, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishWhole-Movie Portal for ESL lesson for The Internship at Movies Grow EnglishInterstellar whole-movie ESL lessonESL lesson for Intervue, poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow EnglishInto the Wild, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Iron Giant, whole-movie ESL lesson posterIron Man ESL movie-lesson posterIt Happened One Night, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWhole-Movie Portal for ESL lesson for It's a Wonderful Life at Movies Grow EnglishJohn Carter, whole-movie ESL lesson posterJurassic Park, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe King's Speech, whole-movie ESL lesson posterKung Fu Panda 2, whole-movie ESL lesson posterL.A. Story, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster and portal for whole-movie ESL lesson for La La Land at Movies Grow EnglishLast of the Mohicans, whole-movie ESL lesson poster at Movies Grow EnglishLife of Pi, whole-movie ESL lesson portalLimitless, whole-movie ESL lesson posterLittle Miss Sunshine, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film, The Lone RangerPoster Portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film Lord of WarWhole Movie Portal for ESL lesson for The Lost Boys at Movies Grow EnglishLost Horizon, whole-movie ESL lesson posterESL lesson for IMad Max: Fury Road Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow English ESL lesson for The Martian, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow English Matchstick Men, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Matrix, whole-movie ESL lesson posterMillion Dollar Baby whole-movie ESL lesson posterMoana ESL movi
Rollover images and image maps in Adobe Dreamweaver
Rollover images and image maps in Adobe Dreamweavere-lesson posterMuch Ado about Nothing, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPosterfor whole-movie ESL lesson for Neighbors at Movies Grow EnglishThe New World, whole-movie ESL lesson posterNew York Stories III, whole-movie ESL lesson posterNim's Island, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster for the whole-movie ESL lesson for The Notebook starring Ryan GoslingPoster Portal for ESL lesson for Now You  See Me at Movies Grow EnglishO Brother, Where Art Thou? whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film, PlanesPonyo, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for the film, Premium RushThe Prestige whole-movie ESL lesson posterPrometheus, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPulp Fiction, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPushing Tin whole-movie ESL lesson posterQuantum of Solace, whole-movie ESL lesson posterA Quiet Place ESL movie-lesson posterRain Man, whole-movie ESL lesson posterRango, whole-movie ESL lesson posterRat Race, whole-movie ESL lesson posterRatatouille poster on Movies Grow English home page leading to whole-movie portal and ESL lessonReady Player One ESL movie-lesson posterThe Rock, whole-movie ESL lesson posterRounders -whole-movie ESL lessonThe Royal Tenenbaums, whole-movie lesson posterPoster for Rush on home page of Movies Grow English, ESL Lessons for moviesPoster for School of Rock on home page of Movies Grow English, ESL Lessons for moviesWhole-Movie Portal for The Secret Life of Bees, ESL lesson at Movies Grow EnglishESL lesson for Selma, Poster and link to Whole Movie Portal at Movies Grow English Shakespeare in Love, whole-movie ESL lesson posterShawshank Redemption, whole-movie ESL lesson poster, starring Morgan Freeman and Tim RobbinsSlumdog Millionaire, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster portal for the whole-movie ESL lesson for Snowden starring Josepg Gordon-Levitt  at Movies Grow EnglishThe Social Network, whole-movie ESL lesson posterSpirited Away, whole-movie ESL lesson posterESL Lesson portal for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Movies Grow EnglishSuper Size Me, whole-movie ESL lesson posterTangled, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe 3rd Man, whole-movie ESL lesson posterESL Lesson portal for ¡Three Amigos! whole-movie lesson at Movies Grow EnglishTin Cup, whole-movie ESL lesson posterToy Story 3, whole-movie ESL lesson posterTraining Day, whole-movie ESL lesson posterTransformers, whole-movie ESL lesson posterTropic Thunder, whole-movie ESL lesson posterThe Truman Show, whole-movie ESL lesson posterUnstoppable, whole-movie ESL lesson posterUp, whole-movie ESL lesson posterV for Vendetta, whole-movie ESL lesson posterVertical Limit, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWhole-Movie Portal for A Walk in the Clouds for ESL Lessons at Movies Grow EnglishWall Street: Money Never Sleeps, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWALL-E, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWithout a Paddle, whole-movie ESL lesson posterPoster Portal for ESL lesson for When Harry Met Sally at Movies Grow EnglishThe Wizard of Oz, whole-movie ESL lesson posterWhole Movie Portal for ESL movie lesson for Zootopia at Movies Grow English

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Revised: Feb. 2018

About Movies Grow English

Thank you for visiting Movies Grow English (MGE), and welcome to an ESL website where the magic of movies helps bring dreams to life. I've been a teacher of ESL (English as a Second Language) for nearly twenty years. My students have come from many countries of the world. They are mostly college age or older, and mostly college bound in America. For many, the next step is graduate school. Some have already started their careers. The dream they all share is to learn my language, English because English is the key to an even bigger dream -- their personal dream. And so my dream herein is to help each of my students achieve their dream. This is why, in 2010, I founded Movies Grow English.

Simply put, I have come to believe that movies have the power to accelerate language learning and retention like nothing else. With MGE I get to share what I've learned, and I might even get paid a little for my time. What you'll find here, in a nutshell, is roughly 30,000 words of text (the equivalent of about 120 book pages) which discuss in detail the challenges and merits of showing movies in the ESL and EFL classroom. You'll find an expanding catalog of more than 230 carefully-selected whole-movie and short-sequence ESL lessons, which can be delivered instantly in .PDF, and they each cost only $1 U.S.

Movies Grow English combines the new wave of paper-free educational publishing with blended learning. You'll discover that the design of a MGE lesson is consistent, transparent, and adaptable, making it easy to get the hang of its user-cool format. Lessons are in the same order as the movie, so you'll know where you are and what to expect from start to finish. Here's a sneak peak at a complete Whole-Movie Lesson. So if I may, I'd like to welcome you to explore the landscape and perhaps share the dream.

Let's begin this journey with an overview of what's at Movies Grow English:

-- Quick Tips for Using Movie-Based ESL Lessons in the Classroom

1. Preview both the movie and its lesson. Lesson and movie are in the same sequence.
2. Estimate how you'll use available time for both watching and discussing the movie.
3. Within the lesson, decide which quotes, questions, and vocabulary to focus on. Highlight or cut-and-paste content you plan to use.
4. Remember: Most questions on the lesson are easy for native speakers of English to answer, so the movie itself is the answer key.
5. Assessments are at http://www.moviesgrowenglish.com/Assessments.html.

-- The Deep Magic of Movies and ESL

So why movies?  ESL teachers have long recognized that movies bear a value which ignites an ESL student's potential to both acquire and learn English -- with good reason!   Movies radiate the artistry of language in ways that instantly immerse ESL students in profound depths of true-to-life vocabulary, syntax, pronunciation, slang/idioms, native culture, the four basic skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking), and the authority of verbal and writing fluency.
In short, learning English by watching a great movie is possibly the next-best thing to forming a romantic bond or a close friendship with a native speaker of English!   From a teacher's point of view, a movie or short sequence is possibly the most high-interest context around which to design a seemingly endless range of lessons, from survival to academic, from K12 to adult education.


-- Movie Lessons at your FingertipsMY office at JEF, University of Southern California. ESL Lessons for movies at Movies Grow English.

The MENU BAR to the left starts with this home page, which is your gateway to the Whole-Movie Portals for all the 130+ whole-movie ESL lessons available at MGE. Portals can be accessed from ABOVE (click on a movie poster) or BELOW (movie titles grouped by level of difficulty). Notice that Movies Grow English has a catalog containing a wide-ranging inventory of ESL lessons designed around some of the most universally-loved movies of all time! Each Portal invites you to preview a summary/setup of the selected 5-9 page lesson along with a screenshot of its cover page. Many Movie Portals include a link to the MGE Forum where you can read student and teacher comments about the selected movie. You'll find a convenient link to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Wikipedia, where you can fact check additional information about your movie of interest. If desired, you may securely and instantly own a .pdf of the ESL movie lesson for the tiny cost of $1 USD.


-- Methodology that Sparkles

Each ESL movie lesson incorporates innovative pedagogy developed and tested in classrooms at UCLA, University of Southern California (USC), California Institute of Technology, and Santa Monica College during more than seventeen years (See my ESL Credentials.). My expanding methodology for teaching with movies makes use of traditional methodologies along with today's blended-learning approach which combines both the old-school classroom setting and the autonomous learning environment available across the electronic milieu (Cavage, 2012). The high-octane teaching-and-learning process of blended learning has been documented by Christina Cavage (2012), Anthony Picciano (2009), Ely Siltzmann (2009), and others. I've discovered that movies seem to provide endless growth pathways into the heart of language luminosity.


-- See for Yourself

Featured Lesson showcases the subtle elegance of a typical whole-movie lesson laid out in the same time order as the movie. Notice that this typical ESL movie lesson contains a brief story setup (understandable to a low-intermediate student), prompts (comprehension, discussion, essay), vocabulary notations, movie quotes, screen shots, resource links and more. It's all presented in a format that is consistent and adaptable. Thus, the ESL movie-lesson resources at Movies Grow English are engineered to be flexible for the teacher and transparent (jargon-free) for the student. Vocabulary items which appear in the world-renowned Academic Word List (Averil Coxhead, 2000) are marked with an asterisk*. Many of the MGE lesson plans are also available with simplified Chinese 简体中文 vocabulary annotations thanks to the generous contributions of Zhi Xin (Season) Li.


Images of students presenting in a movie class for an ESL movie lesson-- Look more Closely

You can inspect the action details of a typical MGE lesson at How to Use a Whole-Movie Lesson , where you'll find a detailed examination of the lesson's Content and Recommended Use. This "Anatomy of a Whole-Movie Lesson" discusses how its various aspects reference the actual movie in an intuitive manner that eases the burden of lesson planning. The anatomy also suggests how the lesson references the efficient use of time in the classroom. Once the busy ESL professional becomes familiar with the consistent design-simplicity of an MGE movie lesson, both lesson planning and class management become easier! Having spent many a weary hour designing movie lessons, often through trial and error, I've come to appreciate this benefit, first hand.


-- Great Expectations

Teacher - Whole-Movie Lessons
contains pedagogical rationale and general suggestions for using movies to both teach and learn English interactively. This is a must-read for ESL teachers who want detailed information about how movies can be used to interactively motivate students in the classroom. Featured Whole-Movie lesson! offers a sneak peak at an example of a typical whole-movie lesson. This page was extensively revised and expanded in 2016.

Short-Sequence Lessons (new in 2013) is a growing collection of 5-page short-sequence movie-based ESL lessons designed around a 4-6 minute movie clip. Each carefully-selected clip tells a complete mini-story. Each lesson includes many of the features we've come to expect in a chapter of a typical listening or reading book. These include main idea, details, vocabulary and much more. Featured Short-Sequence Lesson! is an example of a typical short-sequence lesson.

At Teacher - Short-Sequence Lessons there is a detailed discussion of rationale, design, and use of Short-Sequence ESL movie lessons. It also has a variety of imaginative classroom activities and exercises which use short sequences. Some of the activities were suggested by colleagues at UCLA and elsewhere. Short-Sequence includes a small collection of free lesson templates, the formatting and content of which can easily be replicated by cutting and pasting from portions of Whole-Movie ESL Lessons. Short-sequence also discusses the fully formed 5-page lessons that were introduced in 2013. Note: This page was extensively revised in 2016 to expand and clarify the instructions for exercises and activities.

Classroom Guidelines offers specific strategies for selecting movies and creating a proactive classroom environment where students are motivated to learn. Classroom Guidelines discusses strategies for organization and management of precious class time when using movies. This page was extensively revised and expanded in 2016.

Student FAQs asks questions that students typically ask about how movies can help them learn English.

The 6500-word Movie Vocabulary List, also on the menu bar, cross-references vocabulary from all the whole-movie ESL lessons at Movies Grow English. As a database-in-progress, it has become a growing corpus of formal, idiomatic, and slang expressions found in every-day, academic, and professional English. My fond expectation is that this resource may one day be used for ESL research. The Academic Word List is a handy reference page of the 570 most-commonly used words used across the academic environment (Averil Coxhead 2000)

Assessments contains both an HTML and a PDF version of sample Assessment and Grading questions. These questions can easily be copied over to a test instrument, or used as example questions.

Kidz Korner, hosted by Theresa Q, brings together all things kids love about movies and turns them into lessons for learning English. Parents know that the best Kidz movies are usually the ones that grown ups also love. Since Movies Grow English was admittedly created by a grown up (me), you guessed it, the kidz movies at Movies Grow English are also Kool 4 adults.


-- A World Community of Ideas

The Lone Ranger and Tonto posterON THE MENU BAR:
has grown into a treasury of student and teacher posts covering specific movies and ideas for using movies in the ESL classroom. If you're a student or teacher looking for a movie suggestion, the Forum can be a good friend. It has tons of informed opinions derived from many of the movie lessons offered at MGE as well as recommendations for other movies. The forum has received some 200,000 visits. There are more than 3000 posts from more than 800 members.

Please note: At the Forum, to POST/EDIT a comment or start a new thread, you must first register and become a member. When registering, you are asked to enter the "secret word" (to avoid *spam*). The word is syzygy. Please feel welcome to register at the Movies Grow English Forum and post your comments.


-- Feel the Buzz **** Share the Buzz --

Would you like to know how other teaching professionals and students feel about MGE? Please visit Testimonials to read about their experiences with the site and how they have discovered movies to be a powerful catalyst for teaching and learning English. There are glowing validations, which are always appreciated. Some comments describe how the author used MGE, and some offer suggestions for improving Movies Grow English. You are welcome to share how you feel about Movies Grow English by contacting my email address here Contact information or at Feedback.

Link on the menu bar to the left is a hub that connects to a wide selection of suggested ESL and movie-industry websites. It also connects to a growing library of MGE resource handouts. Please let me know if you'd like to recommend your own favorite ESL or movie links.


-- Imagine the FreedomSketch by David Paredes, Peru, 1998 at UCLA: Movies Grow English.  Watch movies, learn English. ESL lessons here.

ESL movie lesson plans here at MGE along with supporting material are designed to provide motivational language enhancement for English learners and to streamline time-management for the busy ESL professional both in planning and in the use of classroom time. If you're interested in ESL and movies, it's all happening here at Movies Grow English. I am confident that as the destination expands, it will prove ever more useful and fun. Content is added and refined frequently, so please bookmark www.moviesgrowenglish.com. and visit often. Whether you purchase lessons here at Movies Grow English or find your own ways to use movies in the classroom, I sincerely hope this website contributes to your experience with movies and ESL/EFL. Thanks for visiting!

Please note: MGE recognizes that movies are intellectual property. MGE supports the legal and fair distribution of movie content. At the whole-movie portals (linked from above and below), the actual movies can be legally and securely purchased or rented through Amazon™. Netflix, Blockbuster and other companies also offer legal options. In addition, the public library may have movies for free checkout. Movies Grow English is not licensed to sell, rent, or share movies in any way.

"Movies Bring Dreams to Life."

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Click a TITLE within levels to visit the corresponding Whole-Movie Portal and preview its Movie Lesson.

The suggested levels (high, intermediate, and low) are a good starting point for matching a film to the level of students. However, most any movie/lesson can be adjusted by level providing the lesson plan takes into account the intrinsic level of the movie/lesson. For example, a teacher could apply an intermediate lesson to a high-level group of students by holding them to a higher standard of comprehension and language production (written or spoken) by adjusting the lesson plan accordingly. In other words, each lesson in MGE is a TOOL, and the plan is how you choose to apply it.


2001: A Space Odyssey
American Beauty
American History X
A Beautiful Mind
Blood Diamond
The Chronicles of Riddick
Cloud Atlas
Dark City
The Dark Knight
Dead Poets Society
The Descendants
Donnie Brasco
The Founder
Good Will Hunting

The Great Debaters
The Great Gatsby
Hidden Figures
Hotel Rwanda
I love You Man
Into the Wild
The Kings Speech
Last of the Mohicans
Lord of War
Lost Horizon
The Martian
The Matrix
Million Dollar Baby
Now You See Me
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Prestige
Pulp Fiction
Quantum of Solace
Rain Man
Ready Player One
The Rock
The Shawshank Redemption
Slumdog Millionaire
The Social Network
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The 3rd Man
Tin Cup
Training Day
Tropic Thunder
V for Vendetta
Vertical Limit
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


The 40 Year-Old Virgin

The Adjustment Bureau
The Avengers
Baby Driver
Black Hawk Down
Black Panther
Black Swan
Bowling for Columbine
Bringing Down the House
Charley Wilson's War
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich
Falling Down
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forrest Gump
The Hangover
High Fidelity
The Hunger Games
The Intervue
Iron Man
It Happened One Night
It's a Wonderful Life
John Carter
Jurassic Park
L.A. Story
La La Land
Little Miss Sunshine
The Lone Ranger
Matchstick Men
Much Ado About Nothing
The New World
Premium Rush
Pushing Tin

Rat Race
The Royal Tenenbaums
Shakespeare in Love
Super Size Me
The Truman Show
When Harry Met Sally
Without a Paddle


Across the Universe
Almost Famous
The Artist
Blue Crush
The Book of Life
Christmas Vacation
Cowboys & Aliens
Deep Blue Sea
The Devil Wears Prada
The Expendables
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Finding Nemo
Groundhog Day
Inside Out
The Iron Giant
Kung Fu Panda 2
Life of Pi
The Lost Boys
Mad Max: Fury Road
New York Stories (Part 3)
Nim's Island
The Notebook
A Quiet Place
School of Rock
The Secret Life of Bee
Spirited Away
¡Three Amigos!
Toy Story 3
A Walk in the Clouds
The Wizard of Oz


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Student collagee from Spring 2003 at UCLA for Movies Grow English.  ESL lessons using movies.Movies Grow English: "Watch Movies - Learn English"
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