More on the Use of Film Clusters
In this third and final installment of this article series we continue with the concept that not only are clusters of movies, films, videos and documentary clips stimulating, interesting and enjoyable for your English as a foreign language learners, but the broad selection of available genres and types offers a substantial range of English language teaching and learning didactic aids. We previously identified a film cluster as simply a group or series of related movies, clips or videos. First though let’s continue the last part of our brief overview of the genres in which most films are classified.
Popular Film Genres
Let’s take an additional, final look at a few of the more commonly available film genres, what they are and exactly how we might use them in our English as a foreign language classroom settings.
The final group of the more widely known movie and film types includes:
Science-Fiction (also known as Sci-Fi) or Fantasy – If your imagination and tastes are truly vivid then likely this genre is one of your favorites too. Combining the real with future possibilities, this genre of films provides fuel for almost any range of imagination. Special effects are often the key here as many characters, settings and conditions are purely imaginary. You know these film series examples, don’t you? “Star Wars”, “Matrix”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Harry Potter”
Animated – Actually not just for children, this genre does frequently feature films and stories for the young (or the young at heart). A number of Disney and children’s movies that portray classic stories from ”Peter Pan” to “Toy Story”, “The Simpsons” and the “Shrek” series comprise good examples of this genre. Films which are produced by the relatively new “Pixar – graphic pixels generation process” are generally also included in this genre. Can you say, "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo"?
Comedy – Designed to get you, and keep you laughing, this pleasant, for-all-ages genre is one of the most enduring. Humor can be culture-specific or broad and general enough to appeal to viewers of many different cultures and languages. This genre includes many of your favorite movies starring Jim Carey, Eddie Murphy and England’s hilariously soft-spoken Mr. Bean who has captured smiles worldwide. Classic comedies have value too. The Marx brothers, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo starred in a number of comedy films as did Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the Three Stooges (Larry, Moe and Curly), the late Don Knotts and several other classic comedians of note.
War and Military – Another on again, off again genre in popularity there are occasional films which are of merit. Some notable recent examples are the films, “Saving Private Ryan” with Tom Hanks, “Black Hawk Down”, “The Hunt for Red October” with Sean Connery and “They Were Heroes” starring Mel Gibson.
Improvement of multiple English language skills and competencies
These genres in which most film clusters are classified, feature a character or story series (usually in the same genre) like the Star Wars saga, the Matrix sequels, the Indiana Jones series of adventures, James Bond, Harry Potter, the Die Hard series of films, King Kong remakes, Tarzan, Batman, Spiderman and numerous others also have sequels, trilogies or multiple parts. For the improvement of multiple English language skills and competencies such as listening comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, in-context use of idioms and expressions or applied use of connected speech elements in English language learners, such film and video clusters or related series can be invaluable.
Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. Need professional, original content for your blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? Want more information, have a comment or special request? Contact the author using the e-mail address above.