And the Oscar Goes to… Using Popular Films for Language Lessons

Share a bit of pop culture and allow recently nominated and/ or awarded films to engage your students. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Black Swan. Look at the official trailer posted by Foxsearchlight. Have students read the video description and locate all present and past participles used as modifiers. After watching the trailer, pair students up and challenge them to write 2-3 sentences describing the characters and/ or the film using participial adjectives.


  • Inception. Go to the official website. Students can either watch the trailer or read About the Film for background information. Select a photo from the Gallery. Ask students to describe on paper what they see. Allow five minutes of writing, and require students to write in the present tense.  At the end of five minutes, have students switch papers with a partner. They will proofread and offer suggestions to each other. Final versions can be read aloud to the class. Review common uses of the simple present, present progressive, and present perfect tenses using examples from the students’ writings.


  • Choose any of the nominations for Best Picture and ask students to work in small groups or pairs to write an introduction. “The next nomination is a film about… .” They may use (but not copy word-for-word) information online that supplies the plot, the cast, etc. Have volunteers read the texts aloud as if they were presenters for that category.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. sultan23c says:

    Interesting article!

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