Using films as a motivational medium in teaching foreign languages for non-linguistic major students | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

Библиографическое описание:

Исмоилов А. А., Рузимова О. Р., Пулатова М. А., Абдуллаев Д. И. Using films as a motivational medium in teaching foreign languages for non-linguistic major students // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — №12. — С. 1009-1011. — URL (дата обращения: 21.06.2018).

The importance of motivation, in the context of learning, cannot be overstated. As students enter college and gain greater autonomy over what, when, and how they study and learn, motivation plays a critical role in guiding their behaviors. In addition, because there are many competing goals that via for their attention, time, and energy, it is crucial to understand what may increase or decrease students’ motivations to pursue specific goals related to learning. [1]

Technology has surely advanced the accessibility of information in the process of education and namely in teaching. However, the education as always has been in great demand of an incentive to people/students who try to obtain education at all levels. I will tackle challenges in motivating students of non-linguistic majors using movies as an inspirational tools during the process of teaching and acquiring foreign languages.

One might not be a big cinema fan but people these days tend to watch more films than some thirty years ago thanks to the internet: online streaming and downloading. Most of the internet users are young adults, which is a big share of students. So, how do movies can serve as an incentive in teaching foreign languages for students with non- linguistic majors? Since a major cinema industry in the world is Hollywood, which is entirely in English might be a tremendous source of various kinds of movies available with subtitles and nowadays even with complementary cast commentary channel available in DVD and other video formats. This is a big plus.

First of all, subtitles allow a viewer to grasp the plot of the movie amply. Secondly, it lets a student to learn more about details of language use. Besides an instructor should choose inspirational movies where the plot focuses more on getting education and knowledge. For instance, a Gus Van Sant movie «Finding Forrester» where the plot develops around a young black teenager, a flair basketball player from the spoiled blocks of New York meets a reclusive Pulitzer winner writer. The movie is inspirational in terms of education and interpersonal ties where two different representatives of various social classes can make friends. Moreover, the main protagonist of the movies is interested in writing besides basketball, which might serve as an educational trigger incentive for writing essays for students. A teacher can organize a movie class letting student’s watch the movie in the original language along with its subtitles. Next step is a discussion. In-class discussion of the movie will be of great importance since it directly tackles the speaking comprehension of students. After discussion, a teacher should give students a written assignment namely a short essay about the movie: students are asked to jot down their impressions about the watched film. This assignment is designed to empower student’s written comprehension. I carried out this assignment with non-linguistic major students and I know from my experience it was a very effective method.Exposing students to the language of origin used in the movies can help them understand the real up-to-date lexicon and grammar of the language. Moreover, movies are oftentimes a vital reflection of the nation and region, which will serve as an informative tool for learning more about the very culture of a country. For example, when watching the movie «The Great Debaters» (2007) a viewer gets exposed to the history of segregation in the south of the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. A student as a viewer can find out more about history of African-American people and namely their culture as well. Also, the movie plot is about a group of African-American people debating with various colleges in that hard for them period of history. The movie is full of argument based soliloquies and public speeches which do not leave a viewer indifferent, especially young people engaged with education equipping them with useful skills of debate. The movie is very inspirational in terms of education since it cherishes knowledge over bias and prejudice. Watching films of this genre inspires students to focus more on education and knowledge, which I am sure, will impact their academic career positively.

Finding complementary materials for a teacher in preparation is of no hard job since the internet is full of free subtitles sites.Below I will provide several steps of class preparation and implementation for teaching foreign languages through movies for non-linguistic faculty students:

  1. Movie selection. This process is very crucial since you don't want your students to be bored throughout the whole movie. So, a teacher should approach this important step with solid criteria:
    1. a movie should be interesting to watch;
    2. a movie should be of appropriate ratings especially when watching with a group of young adults. All of following web sites provide almost all information especially on age ratings on these sites:,, etc.
  2. Language difficulty. A teacher should choose a film where English is rather understandable for example animation films «Finding nemo», «Antz», «Toy story» and notably the recent animation cartoon «Inside Out» where English used is simple and friendly. This will give students a close to full understanding language and phrases used in the film.
  3. Software. Using an appropriate software for playing and adjusting subtitles of the film can save up and make the process of watching movies convenient when a teacher can stop/pause and use other functions of the player. There are several reliable video players on the internet which are free to download and use as well.
  4. Subtitles. Using subtitles in teaching foreign languages for non-linguistic majors is very essential since the grasp of the spoken language can be obtained in a written form as well. After choosing an appropriate movie and going through all the upper stated stages of film selection, a teacher can download the subtitles for the movie if not available by default in the video file. When downloading a subtitle, a teacher should pay attention to the script of the subtitles namely on its authenticity: grammar, text latency and accuracy of text and the grammar used in the film. Also, the software (all the mentioned) has the function of attaching and synchronizing subtitles into the video file which makes the process easy to use even for generic users of PC.

A passion for «authentic materials» has dominated language teaching for some years. This was a natural reaction to the previous very unnatural texts of many earlier teaching materials. However, it’s probably less important to strive for authenticity in classroom materials in favour selecting materials that is intrinsically, engaging and relevant for your specific group of learners. [2]

To conclude this article, it is hence appropriate to state how students of non-languages faculties benefit, namely get motivation for further learning of foreign languages. Watching movies with high focus and interest makes a viewer become observant, pay more attention to little details in the film being able to describe what has happened in the flick. Also, vocabulary as a vital part of the language will be improved since the movie is watched with subtitles and decoupled with a later written assignment about the movie therefore enhancing written skills of a student. Enriching the written assignment about the film with personal and individual tasks such as guessing the end and main heroes’ destiny will help students to improve their deduction and critical thinking. More importantly choosing inspirational films will enable students’ affection to study more and raise interest to education and knowledge as a whole. I am more than confident was of my personal experience that using movies as a motivational medium in the process of teaching foreign languages to students of non-linguistic majors will be of tremendous help and trigger their interest to pursue their academic objectives in career and life as a whole.


  1. Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, Marie K. Morman. How learning works. 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. What factors motivate students to learn? Jossey-Bass. 2010. p. 69.
  2. Jim Scrivener. Learning Teaching. The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching. Third edition. Macmillan. 2013.
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): DVD.


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