Useful Websites Related to
This Page

Places to find movie trailers and movies on the Internet:

iTunes Movie Trailers

Yahoo Movies

Internet Moving Image Archive
   Select one of the following:
   >Animation & Cartoons
   >Prelinger Archives
   >Youth Media

Listening practice using movies and movie trailers:

Listening at English Online France (Glenda Hanson's Exercises)
   Scroll down to Movie Trailers

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab
   ▪  DVD Movie Rentals [easy]
   ▪  Video Rental Shop [easy]
   ▪  Movies and DVD Rentals [medium]

▪    Online Movie Rentals [medium]
   ▪    Movie Show Times [medium]
   ▪    Where's the Movie Theater? [medium]
   ▪    Movie Reviews [Difficult]
▪      Movies [Medium]

Daily English: Conversation Starters
   ▪    Watching Movies
   Search "Alan Silverman" + name of the movie [these are reviews of older movies]
Desktop movie players:
   QuickTime Player
    Windows Media Player

See the EVO Video Archive page for more resources--content sites, sites with ready-to-go lessons, Web cam sites, presentation software to use with students, etc.

How to Annotate a YouTube video
using YouTube tools (4:47 min.)

A Quickstep to the Movies

This page outlines a quickie lesson plan for writing a movie review or getting students ready to see any recent movie with a critical eye.
For teachers and advanced students: How to Annotate a YouTube video, using text bubbles, titles, etc.

Target audience: 
high intermediate-advanced ESOL learners

What you need:  Internet with a 56 Kbps minimum connection and  a free online video players, such as Windows Media Player, or QuickTime.

What to do:

1. Have your students preview of some of the vocabulary used in movie reviews:  Go to Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab and select >Movie Review in the right-hand column (Difficult under General Listening Quizzes); you might use the Basic Listening Quiz about Movies in the Medium category first).  Students listen to the conversation about a movie while filling in the blanks on some questions. (See below Movies and Language Practice for more listening practice with movie's at Randall's site.)

2. Go to Yahoo Movies to check out the >Critics Reviews of the selected movie (put the movie name in the >Search Movies box). You might want to select one Critics Review on the high side and one on the low side for your students to read. Also decide if the language/vocabulary of the reviews is appropriate for your students. All of the reviews link to a trailer of the movie.

3. Have your students read at least one review and watch the trailer (see Resources for Movies Online below). You might put your students in groups to each read a different review, report back, and discuss the differences they found.  Have them copy the substance of their feedback to a digital document to send to you or have them make a blog or podcast entry in their electronic portfolio of this set of activities.

3. You may also be able to find an Alan Silverman review with related video or audio shows (and podcast capability) at Voice of America.  (Search for his name, and then add the name of the movie.) Though Silverman does not write for lower level students, his reviews include the names of the major characters, a plot synopsis, and some of the background of the film, so it is good for more advanced readers and writers. Students can listen to a podcast of the show as they read. This resource is especially useful if you have found an older movie that might be free on a video on demand service or in one of the Resources for Movies Online below.

4. Your students have by now collected enough information to write a good review, or to see the movie with at least some idea of what they will be looking at. Below is a simple format to use for a review. Please feel free to copy this format and revise as you wish.

A quick format:

Name of the Movie

Reviewed by _________

Plot synopsis: [Summarize what happens in one-two paragraphs, but try not to give away the ending]

What was the best actor/actress/scene?

Did you enjoy this movie? Why or why not?

Your rating [could be A-F, 0-2 thumbs up, etc.] and why:

 [Even if you didn't like the movie it might be very well done and others might like it.]

Students might
  • Read the book the movie was based on
  • Write a script for a scene that was "left out" of the movie
  • Act out the script for the new scene
  • Act out a scene from the movie but in a different time or culture
  • Create a multimedia presentation about the movie and its significance
  • Watch the movie together (over several classes if needed), and discuss it using the reviews that they read
  • Etc. (don't forget the popcorn)


iTunes Movie Trailers
Has links to trailers at the major movie sites, without lesson plans.
Mostly very recent movies; allows you to download the trailers (select Play first). (You may need to wait for the whole trailer to load and then replay it, as it takes a lot of bandwidth.)

Internet Moving Image Archive
Contains over 3,000 feature length films out of copyright, usually in B & W and running around an hour, as well as Open Source Movies, TV shows, news programs, ads, etc.

Search for more reviews, interviews with stars, trailers, movie news, etc.

How to annotate YouTube videos using YouTube's tools online.

Movies and Language Practice

Listening at English Online France
Glenda Hanson's English On-Line site has a several trailers with accompanying exercises in her Listening section. Scroll down to find Movie Trailers.

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab

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Last updated 3 May 2017; copyright Elizabeth Hanson-Smith (with many thanks to Aiden Yeh for suggesting many parts of this lesson plan in an e-mail 2 October 2002)

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