Using Movie Trailers to Improve your English

Other Strategies for Learning English with Movie Trailers

When using English movie trailers to supplement your English as a Foreign Language (EFL) studies, you should ensure that you’re getting the most out of your time by engaging in active learning strategies while viewing these trailers. While you can certainly ask questions while viewing, you can also engage in other activities to ensure that you get the most out of this useful resource.


For Students
If you’re a student learning independently or looking to supplement your classroom education, then you can use these strategies to better utilize movie trailers as an educational supplement:

Repetition
Because movie trailers feature many everyday English phrases that classrooms often miss, you will hear new slang words and phrases that you may not have heard before. Repeating a phrase over and over again while listening to the trailer will help you work on pronunciation as well as more easily remember the phrase.

Transcription
If the movie trailer has available subtitles, then you can attempt to transcribe it in order to test your listening skills. If you’re an advanced learner, start the movie trailer without subtitles, transcribe it, and then check your answers with the subtitles. If you’re intermediate, then you should maybe watch the trailer with subtitles a few times without writing anything and then attempt to transcribe it.

Create a Phrasebook
As you watch movie trailers, you’ll find words and phrases that you may not fully understand. As you continue to watch trailers, you should take note of all words and phrases that you look up to create a handy phrasebook of English slang.


For Teachers and Tutors
If you’re an EFL teacher or tutor, then use these strategies to accentuate students’ learning through watching movie trailers.

Introduce a Topic
One great way to implement movie trailers in the classroom is by using them to introduce topics. If you’re talking about history, for example, you could use a trailer for a historical fiction film to engage students with the topic.

Compare/Contrast
Having students compare and contrast different but connected trailers can be a great way to engage critical thinking skills while enabling them to express their thoughts in English. With beginners, you can ask basic questions about similarities and differences, but you can go more in-depth with advanced learners.

Write Reviews
For intermediate and advanced students, you can do an activity where you show movie trailers and have them write a review based on the content. Show them sample film reviews in order to familiarize them with the genre, and then you should offer them choices of a handful of different trailers.