Seven Short Films for the English Language Classroom

I’ve been writing lesson plans designed around short films for my website Film English for over 12 years. Teachers often ask me how I find the short films I use in my lesson plans. The answer is quite simple: I’ve watched literally thousands of short films and developed an instinct for the type of engaging and simple short films which will work in the ELT classroom. In this article I’d like to share what for me are the seven best short films for the language classroom.

I’ve been writing lesson plans designed around short films for my website Film English for over 12 years. Teachers often ask me how I find the short films I use in my lesson plans. The answer is quite simple: I’ve watched literally thousands of short films and developed an instinct for the type of engaging and simple short films which will work in the ELT classroom. In this article I’d like to share what for me are the seven best short films for the language classroom.

 

We’ve All Been There

We’ve All been There is a  a moving short film by Nicholas Clifford. Adapted from a short story called What Goes Around Comes Around , We’ve All Been There follows three people’s connection to a flat tyre in the Australian outback, and shows how we are very often connected to each other without knowing it. The film also illustrates that no good deed goes unrewarded. The film has a beautiful twist at the end.

You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

The Notebook

The notebook is a moving short film by Greg Gray and is wonderful for introducing the theme of empathy. It can be used to get students to learn and practise vocabulary related to household chores. You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

The Present

The Present is a gripping short film with a wonderful twist by Jacob Frey which deals with the themes of empathy, teenagers and disability.  You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

Soar

Soar is a delightful short film by Alyce Tzue which can be used to get students to predict and write a narrative. You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

I Forgot My Phone

I Forgot My Phone is a thought-provoking short film by Miles Crawford which is a great prompt for discussion and reflection on addiction to mobile phones. You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

iDiots

iDiots is a short film by special effects company BLR_VFX and deals with the themes of technology, mass consumption and instant gratification. It’s a great prompt to get students thinking and speaking about mobile phones and technology. You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying is a beautiful short film by Conor Finnegan which is an effective way to introduce and discuss the theme of fears and how to overcome them. You can watch the film below and read a lesson plan here.

 

 

I hope you like the short films and find the lesson plans useful. Are there any short films you’ve used in the classroom that you’d like to share?

If you’re interested in the use of film and video in language teaching, check out our Film and Video in Language Teaching course.

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