The power of film. Teaching culture, media literacy and intercultural competence in ELT

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: In this paper I discuss how film can be used to teach culture, media literacy and intercultural competence, skills necessary in a global, high-tech society according to several of the studies cited. Linguistic and ethical aspects to regard when choosing materials and methods are also discussed. The reasons for using film can be many: Motivational, rewarding, providing functional language input, increasing vocabulary or, as several examples in this paper show, provide a source for cultural insight and discussions (regarding both one’s own culture and others). However, to successfully teach culture, media literacy and intercultural competence through film, preparational as well as follow-up work are essential and the film materials need to be chosen with care, since not only language but also other aspects of the content may interfere with learning. Used wisely, film has the ability of being a powerful and efficient teaching tool in ELT.

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