Teaching English As A Foreign Language – 7 Tips For Using Popular Movies

Movies and Videos in the EFL Classroom

If you’re looking to expand the role of movies and videos in your EFL classroom, what better way to expand the learners’ communicative skills, grammar and vocabulary than by using clips from popular movies? Try using these seven tips for stimulating learner motivation while enjoying a favored pastime of children and adults alike, watching short scenes or clips from popular movies.

1. Use pre-viewing activities

Before the video, warm up your learners to the theme and grammar using pre-viewing activities. A variety of these might include puzzles, photos and images, short games like “concentration” or TPR activities, a story or anecdote, or activating the schema of the learners’ in a number of other ways.

2. Have learners complete a chart while viewing

While they are watching a short video or movie segment you might have the learners fill in key information in a chart. Items like names of characters, occupations, family relationships, clothing and settings can be easily recorded this way. This allows the learners to focus more on the communicative aspects and less on actually writing.

3. Select a grammar point repeatedly demonstrated in the movie clip

There’s no need to leave grammar out of a video-based lesson or stage. If a useable grammar point or structure is repeated or prominent during the movie clip you plan to use, all the better. Just remember to pre-teach that grammar or structural element, even a class or two before the video, so that it will be recognizable in context.

4. Have a list of six to eight lexis

Select a list of from six to eight or ten vocabulary words, idioms and expressions from the movie clip or video you plan to use. Pre-teach these during the pre-viewing stage of the lesson. When the learners then hear them used in context during the video viewing session, the lexis will have added impact.

5. Make use of visual input

A popular movie clip is an audio-visual experience, so use it as such. While learners are watching and listening for general and detailed spoken information, include visual aspects for them to skim and scan for as well. How many? How much? When? Where? Who? How and why are good starters for capturing visually-presented information from the movie clip or video segment.

6. Allow learners to select their preferred movie clip

It can be quite a dilemma. There you have perhaps two or three or more movies from which to choose, but you’re not sure which your learners would prefer. So I have an idea, do you choose, let them do it. Take three movies for example, show the learners only the first five minutes of each, and then let them choose which they’d like to work with. If you have a clip in mind from each of the movies, show each clip and give them a choice. You can work up your activities and lesson stage plans confident in having your learners’ interest and motivation.

7. For post-viewing discussion:

If not addressed during pre-viewing activities, now is the time to talk about favorite actors, actresses, similar plots and stories from other movies, and what might be different or better outcomes for what as seen. Stage re-enactments, altered dialogues and plot twists your learners might come up with. Be imaginative, be creative, be bold or even funny, but get them communicating about their experience.

Prepare a Worksheet

You can prepare a one or two page worksheet to be photocopied and used by the learners for the video session. Alternatively, learners can copy the format into their notebooks. Just be sure to plan your pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing activities well and your English language video clip-based lesson is sure to be an award-winner.

English Tuition – Tips For Learning English As a Second Language

If English is your second language, there are many factors that may stop you from mastering it but similarly, there are many ways to help you improve English. Here are a few tips that might help you to learn English.

Just do it and speak out without anxiety

The major problem many people encounter in mastering a new language is their own worry. They always concentrate on negative things. They worry too much that they will not say things appropriately, or that they will look silly, so they do not talk at all. The most effective way to master anything is to do it repeatedly until you obtain it right. Practice makes perfect! Similar to anything mastering, English involves practice. You should not allow fear cease you from acquiring what you want. Set a goal and go for it. You are bigger than yourself.

Learn English through Movies

I enjoy learning English by watching movie or television. This is not only a fun approach to learn, but it is also very powerful. By watching English videos you can broaden your vocabulary and hear the flow of conversation from the stars. Pick your favorite film, memories the dialogues and study how the way the actor converse, rehearsing it repeatedly. If you like to listen to news, you may give yourself chance to listen to English news, note down useful phrases that you wish to learn, you can also hear various accents. You can also improve your listening skill by watching news.

Learning English by Listening to English Music

Music is another very helpful way of learning English. Truthfully, it is usually utilized as a way of strengthening comprehension and vocabulary. The best way to learn though is to get the lyrics (words) to the songs you are listening to. Read the lyrics first and try to understand them. There are quite a number good websites where one can obtain the words for most songs. This way you can practice your listening and reading at the same time. And if you like to sing, fine.

Record Your Voice

No one like to listen to their own tone of voice on recording but like tests, it is excellent to compare your recording from time to time. You may be so amazed with the improvement you are creating that you may not mind the sound of your voice as much.

Learning Korean: 3 Hot Tips for Mastering the Korean Language

Because it uses an alphabet much different than our own, called Hangul, the Korean language can be challenging to learn. Like all languages, however, if you learn how to learn, and then make a good learning strategy, prior to hitting the books, you can pick up the language quickly and easily. This article is going to give you three very important tips that you should follow when learning the Korean language.

Tip 1: Define Your Korean Fluency Goals

One does not sit down and learn a language. One sits down and learns pieces of a language. For example, most language textbooks are divided into sections, such as shopping, eating, family, and transportation. Before you sit down and start studying, decide which part of the language is most important to you. If you are going to Korea to be an English teacher, your first goal could be to learn “classroom Korean.” If you are going to Korea on business, start with basic business Korean. If you’re traveling, learn travel phrases. Set small but important fluency goals and your learning will move along swiftly and smoothly.

Tip 2: Have Structure From the Beginning

When learning the Korean language it is important to have structure. You must first learn how to pronounce the letters of a new and unfamiliar alphabet. Then you must gain an understanding of Korean sentence structure and grammar, which is very different than it is in English. Then you can start to memorize vocabulary words, phrases, and, eventually, complete sentences. Failure to follow this structured approach will cause frustration and poor learning progress. Get it right from the beginning, on the other hand, and you’ll progress nicely.

Tip 3: Be Consistent With Your Studying

Consistency is an important part of learning any language; studying for five hours one day and then skipping the next four days is not nearly as effective as studying for one hour each day for five days in a row. This you probably already know. It is worth noting again, however, because this consistency is particularly important when studying a language that has an alphabet that is unfamiliar to you.

The reason is because you have to not only learn new words and phrases, but you also have to remember how to pronounce a whole new set of characters, characters that you cannot sound out, as you could if learning, for example, Spanish.

Final Thoughts

Learning Korean can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Define your Korean language fluency goals, create a structured learning plan, and be consistent with your studies, and you’ll pick up the Korean language quickly and easily.

Ten Tips To Learn Foreign Languages Quickly

Languages are the best way to communicate with different people around the world. In order to interact with the people in our everyday lives, we need to learn and understand foreign Languages. With the growing importance and influence of the global economy, it is very necessary to learn Foreign Languages for business purposes. So, if you are planning to study abroad, or going abroad for business purposes or traveling in a foreign country, you need to learn the local language so that, you can easily communicate with people.

The most popular foreign languages in the world are English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese and Chinese. So, if you would like to learn foreign languages quickly, follow these tips.

1. Join Any Coaching Institute: It is preferred to join any coaching institute to learn a foreign language. So that, you can learn any language professionally, also its gives you an environment to study and learn.

2. Start from Basic: If you wanted to learn any language, start learning and basic words, most common phrases, greeting, counting etc.

3. Reading Basic books: Start reading some school textbooks, will help you to learn basic things like colors name, fruit and vegetable name, the name of months and days etc.

4. Reading Newspaper: Reading a newspaper will help you to read the words, and improve your reading and speaking skills. It will also help you to improve your vocabulary.

5. Reading Novels & Literature books: Reading novels and literature books will also help you to learn different words and improve you speaking. It will also let you know about the culture and civilizations of the country.

6. Listen to the Audio Songs: Audio songs will help your listing skills and you can also listen to audio tutorials available on different websites.

7. Watch Movies & TV Shows: Movies and TV soaps are also good media to learn foreign languages. You can learn different words without getting bored.

8. Writing Small Phrases: Writing small phrases will improve your writing skills. Some languages use different scripts for writing and speaking.

9. Group Discussion: Group discussion will remove your hesitation and give you the confidence, to speak in public. Speaking in front of a mirror will also boost your confidence.

10 Use YouTube & Google: If you have any problems, you can watch lots of tutorials videos on YouTube. Google is the best search engine to find meaning and correct pronunciation of any word.

Tips On How To Easily Learn A Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language not only opens many job doors for you and makes you feel good about yourself, but it also makes you look sophisticated. While many people find it hard to learn a second language, there are some that fluently speak up to 10 different languages. If you would be interested in learning an additional language, here are tips you should follow:

Have a reason

Just like in any other sphere of your life, you can’t put a lot of effort into something if you don’t have a good reason as to why you are doing it. If you don’t have a good reason why you are learning a different language, you will most likely fall off within a short time.

To stay motivated, have the end in your mind. For example, you can start learning a language if you are confident that it will give you a new and exciting job. You can also learn the language if you are interested in knowing another person better in the native language.

Have someone you are liable to

This is someone who acts as a mentor. While he/she might be at the same level as you, you will be reporting to him/her of your progress. This has been shown to be highly effective as you are less likely to fall off. In addition to the partner encouraging you, he/she ensures that you stick to the classes.

Have fun

You will agree with me that you are less likely to stick to something that you don’t enjoy. When you attend class, have a good time by composing interesting songs. If learning it at home, you can make a radio play. You can also draw a comic strip, write a poem, or just choose interesting words that are easy and you can throw them in your sentences.

Be like a child

Studies show that there isn’t a direct link between age and ability to learn. The studies show that the ease at which you learn something is all dependent on your attitude. To learn the new language, you should behave like a child. This is where you lose your self-consciousness and play with the new style. As rule of thumb don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Conclusion

These are tips that will help you in easily learning a new language. Have a good reason why you are doing it, act like a child, and you will definitely learn the language.

Japanese Language Learning Tips – Proper Use of "-San"

In this Japanese language learning tips article, I will explain the proper use of “-San” in Japanese. “-San” is frequently misused by beginning learners of Japanese, but there is a simple rule you can follow that will ensure you get it right every time.

When to Use the “-San” Form of Address in Japanese

“-San,” as in Tanaka-san or Smith-san, is a form of Japanese address that just about everyone is familiar with, whether or not they are a learner of the language. “-San” is used to address someone in a polite, somewhat formal manner. 

Just as in English we would address someone we don’t know that well or someone with a somewhat higher status than us as “Mr.” or Ms.,” in Japanese we would use “-San” in much the same way, with one important difference: in Japan, there is a much greater emphasis on formality and politeness, so unless the person you are communicating with is a very close friend or intimate, you should ALWAYS use the “-San” form of address.

In the West, where we tend to be much more informal, we may initially address a person we have just met as “Mr.” or “Ms.” and then after a few minutes take the liberty of addressing that person by their first name. In Japan, this is a big no-no. Never eliminate the “-san” form of address when speaking to a Japanese person unless specifically invited to do so by that person. 

The Most Important Rule on Using “-San” in Japanese

In addition to the above advice, there is one essential rule you must follow regarding the use of “-San” in Japanese. When introducing or referring to yourself, NEVER call yourself “XX-San.” So if your name is Mary and you’re introducing yourself in Japanese, or even to a Japanese person speaking English, you must never say “I’m Mary-San.” In Japanese, you simply never refer to yourself using “-San.” 

Similarly, and this becomes a bit more complicated, you never address members of your own group using “-San” when speaking to persons outside of your own group. For example, when interacting with a business client or counterpart from another company using “-San,” you would never address yourself or someone from your own company as “XXX-San!” 

Forms of address in Japanese are actually quite complex and there is much more to the story, so I’ll go into more depth in another article. For now, just remember this basic advice on the use of “-San” and you’ll be assured of impressing your Japanese counterparts as a well-informed and well-mannered gaijin! 

Tips on How to Motivate Your English Language Learners to Study ESL

Rod Ellis defines motivation as referring to “the efforts which learners put into learning an L2 as a result of their need or desire to learn” (1995).

The two main types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, can affect the learning process. Intrinsic motivation is task motivation that derives from an inherent interest in the learning tasks while extrinsic motivation refers to the external influences that affect the strength of learner’s motivation such as that which comes from teachers and parents.

While some students have their own intrinsic motivation or external motivation, other students need to be motivated to learn. There are many things that you can do as a teacher in order to motivate students to learn. These strategies are based on various articles I have read below.

Students are more likely to want to learn when they appreciate the value of the classroom activities, and when they believe that they will succeed if they apply reasonable effort. Hence, “student motivation to learn is an acquired competence developed through general experiences but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others – especially teachers and parents” (Brophy, p.40) When it comes to lower performing learners, teachers realize that such learners are accustomed to experiencing failure, hence, the teacher’s task is to help them experience success.

Here are some strategies and tips that may motivate students and stimulate them to learn.

  • Provide a supportive environment and establish a trusting bond. “Motivation is the feeling nurtured primarily by the teacher in the learning situation” (Ellis, 1994). Greet your students, interact with them, indicate a personal concern about them as individuals.
  • Cater levels of activity to students’ level – try and make sure that the learning tasks pose a reasonable challenge to the students – neither too difficult nor too easy.
  • Help students recognize links between effort outcome – learning is a long term plan of effort and investment.
  • Break down learning steps into digestable pieces.
  • Minimize student’s performance anxiety during learning activities.

Articles on Motivating Students

Brophy, J. Synthesis of Research for Motivating Students to Learn. Educational Leadership, Oct. 1987. p.40-48. (article summary)

Ellis, R. (1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tips on Learning a Language

If you are learning any foreign language, you will have to put a considerable amount of time and effort in it. Even the most linguistically gifted people need to work hard to learn a new language. Therefore it is crucial that you stay motivated, however it is not always easy to actually do so. I have collected some tips for learning a foreign language during the time when I was learning English, German and Dutch, that might be useful for all those trying to learn a foreign language.

Tip 1: Make the right choice

There are over 6,000 spoken languages, so you better chose a language that you either need to learn or really want to learn, because it will take you 10,000 hours to learn it. Unless learning foreign languages is your hobby, you should focus on the foreign language that in your situation makes the most sense. In some parts of the world English can be considered a “world language” but economical changes in Asia make Chinese also very interesting to know. Languages of the neighbouring countries can benefit you as well, since specially in the boarder regions the economical exchange makes it profitable to know each others languages. A decision on learning a language doesn’t have to be dictated by economy, it could also be your personal life. I have met quite a lot of people that want to learn the most strange languages because that’s the mother tongue of their spouse or their parents. Whatever your reason might be, make sure it’s something that will last all the time that you need to learn the language.

Tip 2: Decide how far you want to go

This is something no linguist will ever tell you, but it’s very important for you to decide on. Whatever course you are following, the assumption is always that at some point you will be using the language you are learning, just like the natives. In many cases that’s totally beyond the ambitions and needs of the student. If you are going for holidays to Italy or Spain, you don’t need to be able to read the literature in Italian or debate in Spanish. You need very simple grammar and very specific words. This means you will not actually be talking correct Italian but people will understand you and you will understand them, you have reached your goal! On the other hand if you want to be able to study in a foreign language, your intimacy with the language has to be way deeper. Just remember this is your choice!

Tip 3: Don’t over do it with the grammar

This is how I was taught at school. Grammar, grammar, grammar. At certain moment I could do German grammar exercises without understanding the sentences. But that’s not the point, now is it? On the other hand, I was watching lots of cartoons and movies in English, without that much of grammar lessons and my English during school was way better than English of my peers.

Tip 4: Make it a routine

Sure it’s not always a pleasure, specially in the beginning you just need to sit down and learn things. It’s the best to make it your daily or weekly routine. One hour of learning words or grammar exercises a day, will get you very far. Do it always at the same time of day and you’ll get used to it.

Tip 5: Live the language

In an ideal word you would be living in the country the language you are learning, like in my case of the Netherlands and Dutch. Then you can experience the language all day, every day. You pick up stuff almost from the air. If you combine it with lessons you’ll be talking the language in a no time. If you are not that lucky you can always go for holidays to the country where they speak the language you are learning. Just make sure you go alone. If you go with your friends or spouse, this is not going to work at all. If you are going for holidays take some short lessons during that time. It will help you to meet people that are also learning. This worked out perfect for me, when some time ago I went to London to practice my English. The classes that I took were not that relevant but I met few people during these classes or just at school and we were hanging out together for two weeks speaking only English. This is what you want, just talk with other people on different levels of advancement, no teachers so no one to correct or explain what you wanted to say, no fake topics to talk about.

Tip 6: Involve everyone around

If you are one of the lucky one’s and you do learn the language of the country you live in, make an advantage of everyone around you to learn and pick up stuff. When I have reached a certain level of confidence in my Dutch, I have informed everyone at work that starting from now on, I’ll be writing internal emails in Dutch. Then I have introduced a “Dutch day”. It was one and always the same day of the week that I was supposed to talk only Dutch and everyone was supposed to talk Dutch back to me. Only if it was totally unclear what I was saying, we were switching back to English. It was hard in the beginning, but people were happy and eager to help. Then after a while I had two, three, four and five “Dutch days” a week. Just be really firm in it. Not everyone will be aware of your “language day” so explain shortly the idea in the language you are learning.