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Film as a source of authentic material in teaching ESL writing. Open Access


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Krasnikova, Irina
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English-language instruction
writing instruction
language acquisition
English as a second language
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Research Material
The objective of this paper is to examine how language acquisition can be most effectively maximized through film as the visual medium. This project explores ways of using modern Hollywood movies in the ESL classroom as a means of developing the writing skills of ESL learners. To my knowledge, no previous studies have focused on the relevance of the linguistic material and content of authentic video resources to a certain writing proficiency level outlined by Canadian Language Benchmarks competency indicators. Particularly, the benefits of using films are analyzed within the framework of CLB 6-8 writing requirements including both language proficiency and competence profiles. CLB 6 to CLB 8 proficiency has been chosen for this project because language requirements at these levels assume an expanded range of vocabulary, grammar, and rhetorical conventions. The movies have been selected based on linguistic and non-linguistic criteria relevant for the specific environment of the ESL classroom. Some recommendations regarding movie selection are suggested to instructors. Based on these criteria, a number of classroom writing activities have been created (3 to 5 for each film). Finally, the study encompasses films that were released in the last decade and have not yet been in the spotlight of pedagogical attention. The language, cultural context, and pragmatics in these films can be motivating for learners due to their current and meaningful content. This study may contribute to a better understanding of benefits of authentic language use in the ESL classroom.
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