Using Movie Trailers to Improve your English

Questions to Ask While Viewing

Watching English movie trailers can be an excellent way to improve your language skills, but in order to get the most out of this activity, you need to be actively watching and listening to the trailers to ensure that you’re fully comprehending them. Therefore, you should ask yourself questions while watching English trailers to ensure active listening throughout your activity.

General Questions
For any given movie trailer, you should ask yourself questions like:
- What was the trailer about?
- What were some words and phrases that I did not understand?
- Were there any references that did not make sense?
- Could I explain this trailer to someone else?

For some of these questions, you should actively verify or address your answers. To ensure that you fully understood a trailer, for example, you may want to read about it in your native language and compare the correct description with your interpretation from the English version. Reading about the trailer (after watching and answering questions) in your native language will also help you get a better understanding of any references that you may have missed. Additionally, you should always look up any words or phrases that you struggled with in order to expand your knowledge of the English language.

Specific Questions
You can also ask specific questions about the trailer you view in order to enhance comprehension. If you’re an EFL student, then you can use online teaching resources that provide learners with specific comprehension questions for various trailers. Though the trailers that they provide questions for are limited, these resources are incredibly useful for self-taught learners or learners looking to supplement their in-class lessons.

If you’re a teacher or tutor, then you can generate your own questions for any given trailer. As a general rule, you should include a variety of questions that test students’ understanding of the trailer at hand as well as their ability to communicate their thoughts in English. In class, you will want to ask general questions like “did anyone not understand a word or phrase?” On worksheets, you may ask a handful of basic, multiple-choice comprehension questions and then move on to short answer questions that allow your students to express their thoughts in English. You can even conduct activities like showing two different trailers for the same movie and asking students to discuss differences. As with most lessons, the questions you ask will depend upon your students’ skill levels.