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Signs

Posted on March 5, 2011 by kierandonaghy

This lesson is based on a beautiful short film called Signs by Patrick Hughes about communication. Students speak about communication, watch a short film and write a composition about improving their communication.

film_in_action_thumbnail

 

I would ask all teachers who use Film English to consider buying my book Film in Action as the royalties which I receive from sales help to keep the website completely free.

 

 

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Advanced (C1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Speaking about communication, watching a short film and writing a composition

Topic: Communication

Language: Vocabulary related to different types of communication

Materials: Short film and discussion questions

Downloadable materials: signs lesson instructions     signs questions

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Step 1

Write Communication on the board, and ask students what different forms of communication there are. Students may well come up with the following forms:

Oral communication

Written communication

Non-verbal communication

Visual communication

 

Step 2

Ask students to think of examples of each form of communication. You may like to elicit some of these examples:

Oral communication

Conversations, discussions, speeches, presentations

Written communication

Emails, text messages, letters, booksarticles, reports

Non-verbal communication

Body language, gesture, motion, eye contact, touch, smell, clothing

Visual communication

Colours, drawings, pictures, signs, photos, graphic design, typography

 

Step 3

Ask your students the following question:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of communication?

 

Step 4

Tell the students they are going to watch a short film about communication, and they should watch out for the different types of communication used. Show the film.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy0HNWto0UY&w=630&h=354]

 

Step 5

Get feedback from students on the film.  Ask students to discuss the questions about the film.

[scribd id=117779853 key=key-2ojm1etlpgxrt2uhbu3j mode=scroll]

 

Follow up and homework

Write up the following sentence on the board:

How can we communicate more effectively?

Put students in small groups and get them to brainstorm ideas. Get feedback from the whole class. Ask students to write a composition titled:

How can we communicate more effectively?

 

I hope you enjoy the film and the lesson.

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

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24 thoughts on “Signs

  1. This worked really well with my Advanced adults. Lots of discussion about different types of communication and you’re right, it is a beautiful film. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas. The film is really nice, I’m thinking of using with my students at the beginning of next year, to make them think about how we communicate.

    • Hi Saro,
      Thanks a lot. Let me know how it goes. It’s worked really well with my students, and other teachers have told me it’s gone down well with their students.
      Take care,
      Kieran

  3. Thank you so much for Your site! For the films, you find for your lesson plans! It’s hard to find the words to describe how I feel watching them. They are not just educating stuff, but a kind of delicious award for students, that should be gained!

  4. Hi Kieran,
    Your blog looks absolutely incredible and very inspiring. – thank you. I am planning to use this video on communication with my advanced class (C2) and I’m adding a grammar angle using wish / if only. I will let you know my students’ responses and how the lesson goes. Many thanks and congratulations!
    Rachel

  5. There is a Chinese version (still with English signs though) which I am hoping will create even more discussion. Eg. What are the differences between the films? Which one do you prefer and why? Etc.. 🙂

  6. Hi Kieran,
    I’m really excited about using this lesson tomorrow for my Upper Int/Advanced Special Topics class. The lesson plan looks brilliant and I know my students will love it.
    Your site is amazing and I’ll be using it regularly,
    Thanks you,
    Suzi B, London.

  7. Kieran,
    My students loved this video. I ended up using it with A1 students in a lesson that reviewed daily routines. The thrust of the lesson was to practice “to be going to” to predict what they will do next. In fact,I used this idea for the final project of an Internet tools class. My final project is at this link. Let e know what you think of it. http://chrisseceg.posterous.com/

  8. Hello,
    I’m teaching in China where your website is blocked. I see it through a proxy at home but have no way to access the film at school. I was wondering if there is a way to get a copy of the film so that I can use the entire lesson plan.

    I’d appreciate your advice.

    Thanks and regards,
    John

  9. I’m going to show it to my students today. I think it is very interesting and it will be a motivation for a larger discussion. Thanks 🙂

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