Movies as One of My Favorite Teaching and Learning Tools

Assalamualaikum Sahabats ….

Being an English teacher force me to be creative. For so long English has been considered as one of the most difficult subject in class. Most students feel reluctant to study English futher because of so many reason. Different pronounciation, complicated grammar, or even their former English teacher were “killer” or boring, are just several reason why some Indonesian students hate English.



Even in this modern era where English is considered to be one of the most important life skills, that thought is still exist. I can see in my students’ eyes on their first day how they hate and afraid of English. They think that English is just “not so important” subject and as soon as they finish their class (only 1 or 2 semesters), they will stop learning English. So my first mission in class is to change their perception. Learning English is very crucial yet, it can be so much fun you don’t even realize you are studying.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I always try to find atractive and fun ways to teach them English, especially when it deals with grammar. I try to use many kinds of tools to support my lesson. I can use things, maps, songs, videos, games, movies, and many more. My favorite one is always movie. I am a movie freak and I have watched millions of movies and I think it can be one the best teaching and learning tools too. With our children growing up in a culture where most of their information and entertainment comes through the mass media, the practice of applying critical thinking to media messages is more important than ever.

Not only that we are having movie session together at class but we are also learn something from it. Motivation is one of the most important factors in determining successful second-language acquisition.ย  Film, as a motivator, also makes the language learning process more entertaining and enjoyable. Another benefit of using film is that it provides a source of authentic and varied language. Film provides students with examples of English used in โ€˜realโ€™ situations outside the classroom, particularly interactive language โ€“ the language of real-life conversation.

The โ€˜visualityโ€™ of film makes it an invaluable language teaching tool, enabling learners to understand more by interpreting the language in a full visual context. Film can bring variety and flexibility to the language classroom by extending the range of teaching techniques and resources, helping students to develop all four communicative skills. For example, a whole film or sequence can be used to practise listening and reading, and as a model for speaking and writing. See??? You can never underestimate the power of movies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough with the serious talk hahahhaa …. It was a strugle for me to choose a favorite movie because I am a movie mania. I have tons of favorite movies and I cannot tell you which one that I love the most. Well in order to answer the question asked by mbak Untari and mbak Ira sulistiana about Favorite Movies of all time, I decided to share 5 favorite movies that I always love to watch at class with my students.

  1. Freedom Writers

This is like a must see film at my writing class. It is about a dedicated teacher played by Hilary Swank who teach a racially divided Los Angeles school. Most of her students were at risk teenagers deemed incapable of learning and came from broken families. Instead of giving up, she inspires her students to take an interest in their education and planning their future. She assigned reading material that relates to their lives and encourages them all to keep journals about their life.

As a teacher this movie which was taken from a true story encourage me to never give up with my students and help them to reach out their best.

2. Bucket List

Hilarious yet inspirational movie played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is on my next list. They were two strangers meeting in a hospital room and decided that they will complete a list of things they want to see and do before they die. Against doctor’s advice, the men leave hospital and set put the adventure of a lime time. There are so many life lesson that you can learn from this movie that I can share with my students. And at the end of the class I usually ask them to make a bucket list and a piece of writing telling about their future plans. ( a fun way to teach Future Tenses, right). ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Blind Side

Another true story of a football player, Michael Oher, a homeless black teen who has drifted in and out of school for years. One day Leigh Ann (Sandra Bullock) deciced to become his legal guardians, transforming both his life and theirs.Michael’s big size and protective instinc has made may couches from many universities interested to take him on their team. Sadly his academic capability was not so good that Leigh Ann decided to find him a tutor. All of his effort finaly paid when he was accepted at University and a football team.

Sometime you just don’t realize the potency that you have and let other people judge you. All you need is to motivate your students to do their best and help them to find the way.

4. To Kill a Mocking Bird

You have got to know this novel, right. Harper Lee published it in 1960 and became an immediate succes since then. At my Prose class, I will ask my students to read the book and then watch the movie together. The primary theme of the book and movie involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Watching this movie, students will get a clear picture about the situation is America during Great Depression in Alabama, a city which legalized slavery. I cannot tell you how interesting the discussion that we had after watching this movie. If you can’t find the movie just read the book (Indonesia translation), I bet all of you agree that it is a damn good book.

5. Hidden Figures

I was thrilled when I saw this movie. I knew that it will be a good material in my American History class. Another true and brilliant story played by famous African American actresses, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, about three brilliant black women working at NASA. I mean .. common NASA during 1950 was such a sacret place for Americans and it was prohibited for African American, especially women. Yet with their brilliant brains, those three amazing women made their way in NASA. This movie has just launched at 2016 so you can difinetely find it on Youtube or many other channel. Watch it! and you will agree how amazing this movie is. ๐Ÿ™‚

Aaahh … there actualy a lot of movies that I love to share in my class just because film is such an amazing tools to be used in class. Just like any other literary works, film is a mirror of a society, we can learn so many things just by wathcing it. I love …love …love …love films. ๐Ÿ™‚

3 Replies to “Movies as One of My Favorite Teaching and Learning Tools”

  1. wah mantap neh blognya, bahasa inggris, tp saya gak ngerti,,, salam kenal mbak

  2. I like hidden figures too. very inspiratif movie

  3. I couldn’t agree more… To Kill a Mocking Bird also my favorite, sensational yet inspiring very nice share..

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