ESL Lessons Based on Awesome Movies!
****About Movies Grow English****
WHOLE MOVIE LESSONS by Movie Genre
WHOLE MOVIE LESSONS by Level of Difficulty
SHORT SEQUENCE ESL LESSONS
BROWSE the 135+ movie posters below. CLICK a poster to link its esl-lesson portal.
PREVIEW the beautifully-designed 5-9 page esl lesson.
DOWNLOAD the .pdf for $1 USD.
About Movies Grow English
Thank you for visiting Movies Grow English (MGE), and welcome to a little corner of the universe where the magic of movies might actually brings dreams to life. I've been a teacher of ESL (English as a Second Language) for nearly twenty years. My students come from all over the world. They are college age or older and mostly college bound. Many have their sights on graduate school. Some have 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. I want nothing less than to help each of my students achieve their dream. This is why, in 2010, I founded Movies Grow English.
Simply put, I have learned 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 160 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.
-- 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 Fingertips
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.
-- 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
ON THE MENU BAR:
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
ON THE MENU BAR:
Forum 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 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 Freedom
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."
Click a TITLE to visit its Whole-Movie Portal
and preview its Movie Lesson
HIGHER LEVEL LESSONS
2001: A Space Odyssey
A Beautiful Mind
Bowling for Columbine
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
The Dark Knight
Dead Poets Society
Good Will Hunting
The Great Debaters
The Great Gatsby
I love You Man
The Kings Speech
Lord of War
Million Dollar Baby
Much Ado About Nothing
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Shakespeare in Love
The Shawshank Redemption
The Social Network
The Truman Show
V for Vendetta
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
The 40 Year-Old Virgin
The Adjustment Bureau
American History X
Charley Wilson's War
The Chronicles of Riddick
The Devil Wears Prada
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Into the Wild
It's a Wonderful Life
Last of the Mohicans
The Lone Ranger
The New World
Quantum of Solace
The Royal Tenenbaums
Super Size Me
The 3rd Man
A Walk in the Clouds
When Harry Met Sally
Across the Universe
The Book of Life
Bringing Down the House
Cowboys & Aliens
Deep Blue Sea
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The Hunger Games
The Iron Giant
It Happened One Night
Kung Fu Panda 2
Life of Pi
Little Miss Sunshine
Mad Max: Fury Road
New York Stories (Part 3)
School of Rock
Toy Story 3
Without a Paddle
The Wizard of Oz
"Movies Bring Dreams to Life."
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