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Your Secret

Posted on September 7, 2011 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is based around a short film called Your Secret. What I like most about the film is that it involves the viewers and encourages them to take an active and creative part.

The lesson won the British Council TeachingEnglish Blog Award for September 2011.



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: Pre-intermediate (A2) – Intermediate (B1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Secrets and creativity

Language: Vocabulary related to secrets

Material: Short film, discussion questions and film transcript

Downloadable material: your secret lesson instructions     secrets discussion questions     your secret transcript


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Step 1

Write Secrets on the board and ask students what comes to mind when they see the word.


Step 2

Pre-teach the following vocabulary:

to keep a secret

to reveal a secret

to confide in somebody

to confess


Step 3

Get your students to discuss the questions about secrets in the document.


Step 4

Pre-teach the following vocabulary:







Step 5

Tell your students they are going to watch a film called Your Secret in which they have to think about a secret. Ask them to follow the instructions in the film, and then when they have finished ask them how they feel.



Step 6

Show your students the transcript of the film in the document. The transcript has some words missing, in pairs your students should try to complete from what they remember of the film. Show  the film a second time for students to check their answers. The complete transcript  is  on the second page of the document.


Step 7

Ask students what they think the message of the film is, and if they like this message.


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.

Monthly subscription

One-off payment

48 thoughts on “Your Secret

  1. Hi kieran! I’m new here your blog was recommended by the TeachingEnglish Newsletter. I have read this lesson and I think you have done a brilliant job. I like the way you planned this lesson and the video is very interesting. I’ll try it with my students and will let you know the result.
    Thank you very much for sharing.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I’m really happy that you like the blog. i hope your students enjoy the lesson, please let me know how it goes as it’s great to get feedback from other teachers.
      All the best,

  2. Hi Kieran,
    I can´t find words to say how much I enjoyed your secret video, indeed.
    Thanks for sharing it with all of us.
    You know what, I´ve always wanted to do great lessons like this one but I don´t know how to, first thing because I don´t know how to make a video which maybe isn´t the most difficult part, but……….well I don´t want to make this very long but before leaving I want to say a few words in Spanish.

    Qué bonito video!!. Precioso realmente. Me encantó y seguro que a los alumnos también. Y la lección, perfecta.


    • Hi Paloma,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments. I’m just happy that you’ve enjoyed the film and the lesson. The film works really well with students, and generates a lot of discussion, I’m sure you’ll students will reallly like it.
      ¡Que te vaya muy bien!

  3. Hi Kieran,
    Thank you for the film. My curiosity to know the secret remained till the end. Then the sudden realization that it’s the ‘secret’ between ‘you’ and ‘me’. Certainly students will enjoy it and moreover it may pave the way for introspection revealing some secrets.
    With regards,

    • Hi Satheesh,
      Thanks a lot for your kind comments. You’re right, the way the film builds students’ curiosity is really nice.
      All the best,

  4. That’s just amazing!
    Congratulations for your idea, and thank you for sharing it with us!

  5. Hi Kieran,
    Congratulations, a wonderful job and effort!
    I would really like to use it with my students, but we do not have direct internet access in a classroom. Are there any ways to download it to a pendrive or DVD?

    • Hi Choplin,
      Thanks a lot. I’ve just checked at Vimeo and this video is not available for download. However, there are many programmes which you can donload which allow you to do download videos from Vimeo, YouTube etc. Here’s a link to one, Clip Nabber:

      I hope you can download it and show it to your students, I’m sure they’d really like it.

      All the best,


  6. It’s VERY hard not to procastinate with ideas, films, emotions like these. I could happily spend all day going from one thing to another on your site, forgetting all the other “tasks” that await. But “taying” with your ideas will never be a waste of time, they are a source of constant inspiration, enjoyment and challenge to think differently and encourage our students to do the same. Thanks again for all Kieren

  7. Hi Kieran,
    I recently just started teaching and am finding your materials really useful for the parents’ class I am teaching. Thanks a lot for sharing the lesson plans!! I really appreciate all the effort you put into the lessons! Very interesting and inspirational! Thanks again! 🙂

    • Hi Jessie, Thanks a lot for commenting. I’m really glad to hear you find the lesson plans useful and inspiring, great to know! Thanks a lot, Kieran

  8. I did this lesson today with two boys, 12 and 14, and it was fantastic! They loved it. And when we finished watching the film and I asked them how they felt, they said (in German, I had to translate it for them) thoughtful and contemplative. Perfect. I began the lesson by playing Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s ‘Secret,’ and asked them simply, what is his secret? The whole thing clocked in at exactly 60 minutes. Great lesson. Thanks!

  9. I did this lesson with an ipad class today and all of the students loved it. Thanks a million for such a highly artistic and imaginative website; it’s very generous of you to share this with everyone. You should publish an EFL book on film cause it would sell by the truckload.


    • Hi Pat,
      It’s a pleasure. Thanks a lot for your kind comments; it’s great to know you like the site so much. I have written a book on using film to teach medical English and I plan to write an ELT one soon. I’ll keep you posted : )
      All the best,

  10. This looks very interesting, Kieran.
    I’ve used quite a few of your ideas recently, such as Tick Tock, Paperman, The Benefits of Learning Languages, Time, etc, and they’ve always worked well.
    I’ll try this one very soon.

    • Hi Simon,
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment and for your kind comments. I’m really glad you like the lessons; let me know how this one goes.
      All the best,

        • Hi Simon,
          Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment and for letting me know how the lesson went; I’m really happy your students enjoyed it so much 🙂
          All the best,

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  13. I am going to use it with my class of 4 teenage girls soon. I am looking forward to their smiles and their excitement.
    Thank you for sharing it with me.

  14. I have to say. This is one of the best film lessons you have created. My students absolutely loved it! I teach a few pre-intermediate groups, so it would be great, if you thought a little more about lower than Intermediate levels.
    Keep up the good work! Thanks!

    • Hi Michel,
      Thanks a lot for the kind words.I’m really happy you enjoy the lessons. I’ll do a few more lower level lessons soon.
      All the best,

  15. Hey Kieran

    I have been browsing your website for about 5 or 6 months now, and have used your lessons with my various classes at a Japanese high school.

    Without exaggeration this website is the best teaching resource I have ever found. What an inspiration you are.

    I would say keep it up, but it is so clear that you make these lessons because you love it, and need no strong encouragement.