Seven Silent Short Films for the Language Classroom

Kieran Donaghy, Director of the School for Training, writes about silent short films for the English language classroom.

As many short films are artistic, they have limited appeal in the commercial marketplace and are funded from diverse sources. To make them easier to sell worldwide, they often contain little or no dialogue, which makes comprehension much easier. As a result, they offer intensely ‘filmic’ experiences, using images and movement, sequence and duration, sound and music to tell their stories. These silent films are perfect for the language classroom as they can be used with any level – the teacher just needs to adapt the difficulty of the task to match the level of the students. Here are the seven short films which I have found work best in the language classroom.

 

Your Secret

Your Secret is a wonderful short film by Jean-Sebastian Monzani. What I like most about the film is that it involves the viewers and encourages them to take an active and creative part.

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

 

 

Taking Pictures

Taking Pictures is a simple but beautiful short animated film by Simon Taylor. The film can be used as a prompt for getting students to describe photos.

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

 

 

Moments

Momentos is a poignant and moving short film by Nuno Rocha which deals with the theme of homelessness.

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

 

 

A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words is a short film by Ted Chung which tells the story of a young man who finds a woman’s camera.

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

 

 

97% Love Match

97% Love Match by Ben Brand is a short film which deals with the theme of new technology and dating apps.

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

 

 

Amar

Amar is a short film by Andrew Hinton which focuses on a single day in the life of a fourteen year-old Indian boy.

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

 

 

Five

Five is a short film by The Mercadantes which shows the lives of five children of different religions.

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

 

 

I hope you like the films. Are there any other silent short films that you’ve used which have worked well with your students?

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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