Each lesson is divided into three sections: Vocabulary Development, Listening Guide & Tests. The film is
used in 10-15 minute parts, not shown as a whole. Let's use RAIN MAN as a sample of how the lessons
work. First you will find a list of words as they occur in the film segment. This exercise should be done before
you watch the movie segment. The definitions are offered in a matching list or as multiple choice.
By using a dictionary, you match each word with its definition. Next, you complete the fill-in-the-blank
- funeral A. very soon
- exaggerate B. gases from burning fuel
- exclude C. stopped by the police
- EPA D. a government agency to protect nature
- bail out E. to pay money to get someone out of jail
- will F. $1,000,000
- no point G. a car whose top goes up or down
- pulled over H. a ceremony for someone who died
- momentarily I. to throw out
- grand J. to say much more than is true
- emmissions K. a document dividing a dead person's belongings
- convertible L. a waste of time and effort
section, using the words from the list. Here are some sample questions.
This vocabulary exercise can be done as homework or in class. Answers are provided in a separate section,
- In his ____, Charlie's father left Charlie some rose bushes and a car.
- Charlie goes to Cincinnati to attend his father's ____.
and can be available to the student or not.
After the words are learned, you watch the 10-15 minute movie segment, noting the vocabulary words as used
in the dialog. Also, you answer the questions in theViewing guide. You might have to back up the film to
catch the answer. The questions are in the order they occur in the film. For example:
The answers are available in a separate section.
- What city is shown in the opening of the film?
- What kind of cars does Charlie import?
- Why does Charlie stop his vacation?
- What does Susanna notice about Charlie's father's property?
Next, you either talk about or write about (or both) the Discussion Questions:
For study-at-home students, we are available on SKYPE as an option to talk about these questions or any part
- Do you like Charlie? Why or why not?
- Is Charlie right to be bitter about his father?
- Tell us about your father.
of the study exercises We are also available for questions from teachers.
When the film is completed (10 segments), there are discussion/writing questions for the film as a whole:
- Is it right for Raymond to go back to Wallbrook? Explain.
- List the funny moments you remember.
- If you had a brother like Raymond, would you want to live with him? Explain.
Finally, you take the test. Answers are provided. You may copy & distribute pages for nonprofit use.
RAIN MAN is an example of a packet for upper intermediate and advanced ESL students. I've also used it
successfully in standard English classes at a community college.
ESL Movie Lessons
for Teachers of English as a Second Language
HERE IS A SAMPLE OF HOW THE LESSONS WORK.
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