Approaches to using film

When you are looking to utilise a film in MFL, what are the best approaches?

  • Identifying certain scenes/sequences within a film, and using these clips to understand how narrative markers work and predicting what happens
  • Using oral activities to form questions to discover what the scene is; students describe the scene; students contextualise the scene
  • Exploiting tasks developed following a viewing to contribute to oral and written assessments
  • Using trailers to discuss film content and skills in summarising the narrative and storyboarding
  • Separating sound and image with learner-generated dialogue or sub-titles
  • Using a sequence to consider character profiles, to express points of view, to narrate events and to produce descriptions or other creative writing tasks that might arise
  • Watching a sequence without the sound, focusing on the visual (or vice versa) to concentrate students’ attention on a particular element within a scene
  • Exploring how the text directs the audience to respond, either at a particular moment or throughout often produces detailed and thoughtful analysis
  • Using an excerpt as a stimulus for descriptive writing, providing learners with an audio- visual reference point for writing about characters, periods and places beyond the remit of their own experience
  • Developing précis skills using sequences from a film, whilst storyboarding in turn can provide an active approach to engage more reluctant writers
  • Re-sequencing to offer the chance to manipulate the narrative and to begin to reach an understanding of how and why the director makes the choices they make
  • Using trailers as a form of condensed storytelling. Film trailers are intended to get audiences excited about seeing a film at the cinema. In a few minutes an extract can establish genre and mood, introduce character and setting and establish plot and key themes