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Posted on November 22, 2012 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson plan is designed around the original trailer for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a masterpiece, one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen.  In the trailer, which is a masterpiece, Hitchcock takes us on a tour of the film set of Psycho. Students practise speaking about films, listening, film vocabulary and word order.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2.1)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Talking about films, watching a film trailer, speaking and writing

Topic: Film genres, favourite films and Albert Hitchcock

Language: Film genres and vocabulary related to film

Materials: Film trailer, PowerPoint presentation and discussion questions

Downloable materials: psycho lesson instructions     psycho trailer jumbled sentences     psycho trailer discussion questions


Step 1

Introduce the theme of films by writing film genres on the board. Put your students in pairs and ask them to come up with as many film genres as they can in five minutes. Next get feedback from the whole class and write the genres on the board. Now ask get students to discuss the following questions:

Which film genres do you like most?

Are there any genres you can’t stand?

What’s your favourite film of all-time?


Step 2

Ask your students if they can name any famous film directors.  Hopefully they will come up with Alfred Hitchcock, if not, ask them who the director of Psycho, Vertigo and Birds.


Step 3

Put students into small groups and ask them to discuss anything they know about Hitchcock’s film and life. Get feedback from the whole class after five minutes.


Step 4

Put students in pairs and show them this mosaic of Hitchcock films. Ask them to talk about each film.



Step 5

Get feedback from the whole class about each film, but leave Psycho to the end. Ask them what they know about the film.


Step 6

Tell the students they are going to watch a trailer of the film Psycho. Show them the 8 jumbled sentences in the PowerPoint presentation and tell them they have to put the words in order to form sentences which are about the trailer.



Step 7

Check your students’ sentences by showing the trailer a second time and asking students to tell you to stop when they see or hear information about each sentence. Here are the correct sentences:

1. The motel is in a quiet location and looks peaceful. True

2. The woman was first seen in a window on the second floor. True

3. The second murder took place at the bottom of the stairs. False

4. The woman’s room is still beautifully preserved. True

5. None of the woman’s clothes are in the wardrobe. False

6. The son’s favourite room was his bedroom. False

7. Hitchcock goes to cabin number one. True

8. An important clue was found in the wash-basin. False


Step 8

Tell the students they are going to watch the trailer and they have to check whether the sentences are true or false.



Step 9

Ask students to discuss the questions about the trailer.


Psycho Trailer Discussion Questions


I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.

Film English is a labour of love, it takes hundreds of hours and thousands of euros a year to sustain and provide free English language lesson plans. Keeping it a free, clean, ad-free experience — which is important to me and, I hope, to you — means it’s subsidised by the generous support of readers like you through donations. So if you find any inspiration, joy and stimulation in these English language lessons or if they help you teaching English, please consider a modest donation — however much you can afford.



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