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Love is Like Life but Longer

Posted on July 27, 2011 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is based on a poignant short film about love called Love is Like Life but Longer directed by Poppy de Villeneuve.  It’s one of the best short films I’ve ever seen,  superbly directed and written.

film_in_action_thumbnail

 

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Language level: Upper-intermediate (B2.1) – Advanced (C1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Love

Language: like + noun and narrative tenses

Material: Short film and PowerPoint presentation

Downloadable material: love is like life but longer lesson instructions     love is like life but longer     love is like slides

 

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Step 1

Write on the board:

Love is like ……………..

Ask students to complete the sentence in as many ways as possible. Get the students to compare their sentences, and then get feedback.

 

Step 2

Tell students they are going to see a film which is called Love is Like Life but Longer. Ask them what they think the title means and what the film is about. Next tell your students that there is a voice-over at the start of the film with  a man saying the words in the Scribd document below. Ask them to read the paragraph and to explain what it means. Ask them if they agree with the words.

 

[scribd id=118933228 key=key-1qkv3o84h61t50xmhztn mode=scroll]

 

“If there is such a thing as marriage, it takes place long before the ceremony: in a taxi, on the way to the airport as a cold bedroom churning with the sun of the morning. One lover watching the other and seeing himself for the first time. Where two strangers standing together in the rain, no bus in sight, some friends birthday dinner, a single night and you’re ready to give everything, even if it means ruin. Love is like a bookmark, divides us with the before and the after, and always without words. Love is like life but starts before and continuous after. We arrive and depart in the middle”.

 

Step 3

As the learners read the text they consider the questions about what is happening in the film that form in their mind. Pair the learners so that they can construct questions to ask you in order to work out what is happening in the film.

 

Step 4

You answer the learners’ questions about what is happening in the film.

 

Step 5

Show the film until 1 minute 18 seconds and the learners say if the film is how they imagined.

 

Get feedback from your students about whether the images were similar to what they expected.

 

Step 6

Show your students the 4 stills from the film below, and ask them to predict the narrative of the film from the opening scene they have just watched and the 4 pictures. Get them to work in pairs and give 10 minutes to write a narrative for the film. Next put 2 pairs together and then ask them to compare their narratives.

 

 

Step 7

Show the whole film and ask students to compare their narratives with the film’s narrative. Ask them what the film’s message is.

 

Step 8

Show your students the quotations starting with Love is like in the PowerPoint presentation below, and ask them to discuss the quotations in small groups.

 

[slideshare id=15852328&doc=loveislikeslides-130104045732-phpapp01]

 

I hope you enjoy this English language 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.

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14 thoughts on “Love is Like Life but Longer

  1. i like the idea of learning through watching movies and basing the classes on it, because in the movies you can listedn to a spoken language and this is very important for students who don’t live in an english speaking country!

    • Hi,
      Thanks a lot. I agree that films are really useful for presenting students with a wide range of colloquial expressions which they wouldn’t encounter unless they lived in an English speaking country.
      Kieran

  2. Videos are a great tool for teachers, but this one is even more than that, it is a beautiful piece of art in itself. I saw it once and immediately loved it, so it was great to find a way to use it in class

    • Hi Lea, Thanks a lot. A agree with you, it’s a beautiful film with wonderful cinematography, and very thought-provoking as well. if you use it with your students, let me know how it goes, please.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  3. Pingback: VALENTINE’S DAY in Esl | Chestnut ESL HOME

  4. I think this is a remarkable lesson and one which can really connect to the deeper values we have within us and which can provide a magnificent springboard to meaninful discussion. I think a lovely activity would be for ss to make up their own definitions of love using metaphor and this could easily produce some fantastic art work too. The film by Poppy de Villeneuve, as I think you so rightly say Kieren, is superb and I shall definitely make sure I see some more of her work. Thank you again for your ideas and knowing how to put them together so beautifully.

    • Hi Fiona,
      Thanks a lot. This is one of my favourite lessons too. The film is so beautiful and really moving. If you use it with your students, please let me know how it goes.
      All the best,
      Kieran

    • Hi Humay, Thanks a lot for your kind commnets. I’m happy you like the blog and the lesson. Please, let me know how the lesson go, if you use them. All the best, Kieran

  5. Thank you for such a nice lesson plan, Kieran, I am definitely going to use it with my students and I’m sure they’re going to enjoy it.
    Just a few mistakes I’ve detected in the script:

    1) The bedroom is a ‘cool’, not a ‘cold’ one, and 2) it ‘churns’ (not ‘churning’).
    3) “Where two strangers standing together in the rain” does not really make sense in this context, what is ‘where’ exactly substituting? I’m pretty sure the actor says ‘Or’ instead of ‘Where’.
    4) “Love is like life but starts before and ‘continuous’ after”. Yes, both ‘continuous’ and ‘continues’ are pronounced in the same way, but there is quite a big difference when using one or the other.

    I hope this is of help.

    Many thanks again for sharing your wonderful lesson plans!

    Marina

  6. You are the Master! Like in “Master and Margarita”. Your lesson plans work like a charm. So many layers there. I love how you build students’ expectations and let them build their own narratives. So much to talk about after they have watched the film!

  7. Thanks for this great lesson Kieran.
    Will use it for Valentine’s day that is coming up quite soon!

    Just one little thing, in the script, I believe that the cool bedroom is churned by the morning sound and not the sun! What do you think?

    Cheers.

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