Esl notes


Movies are always really popular with students (and teachers) of all ages. So, if you haven’t heard of it already, take a look at It contains dozens of movies (mainly American) with transcripts to go with them. Whether you want to watch a whole film or just a particular scene this site is a great place to get the resources you need for an effective lesson.

If you have the film already all you need to do is download the transcript for free. If you don’t already own the film then there’s a link to the relevant page on so you can order it from there.

There are also tips for how to go about teaching a lesson with a movie on the Thoughts for ESL Instructors page.

Each transcript starts by introducing the characters and giving a synopsis, and at the bottom of each transcript there are discussion questions. There’s also a glossary section which you can use to pre-teach unusual or colloquial vocabulary that your students may not be familiar with. You can see an example transcript, for the movie Shrek, here. The transcripts are printable so it’s easy to adapt them to suit your lesson and your learners, but the resources are probably most suitable for intermediate to advanced levels.

There’s also a nice extra on the home page in the form of ‘Movie quote of the week’ and ‘Headline of the week’. Both of which normally contain unusual vocabulary and might make for a useful lesson warmer.

If you’re thinking of watching a movie that you haven’t seen why not see what rating it gets on the Internet Movie Database before you buy it. This site gives movies a rating out of ten. It has plot summaries and information about the film as well as reviews, details about actors and information about awards the films have won. Great for film buffs!

Steph Earnshaw

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