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Posted on January 3, 2013 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is designed around a beautiful and inspiring short film by called Validation. Students practise using positive adjectives and paying compliments, and write a narrative.



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

Learner type:All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching short film, speaking reading and writing

Topic: Paying compliments and being positive

Language: Positive adjectives and compliments

Materials: Short film and worksheet

Downloable materials: validation lesson instructions     paying compliments worksheet

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Step 1

Put your students into pairs and give them 3 minutes them to come up with as many positive adjectives to describe a person as they can. Get feedback from the whole class.

Step 2

Ask your students if they know different ways of paying compliments. Ask for examples of compliments.


Step 3

Pay compliments to different students in the following ways:

  1. to be + adjective.

For example, “Maria, you’re so thoughtful”

  1. Have got + adjective + noun.

For example, “Xavi, you’ve got a great sense of humour.” 3. Verbs eg. suit, match, flatter For example, “Anna, that dress really suits   you.”


Step 4

Put students into small groups and give them the worksheet. Ask them to write down compliments about the other students in their group using the 3 different constructions. When they have finished writing the compliments they should read them out to the other members of the group.  


[scribd id=118781746 key=key-1kqv8cdmm319m9uifhyx mode=scroll]


Step 5

Tell your students that they are going to watch a short film in which they will hear a lot of compliments. Give them another copy of the worksheet and ask them to put the compliments they hear into the correct category in the worksheet.

Validation from grzegor on Vimeo.


Step 6

After watching the film the students should compare their answers.


Step 7

Ask your students the following questions:

  1. Did you enjoy the film?
  2. How did the film make you feel?
  3. Does saying nice things to people make a difference?
  4. Does the film have a message?


Give students a link to the film and ask them to write a story describing what they saw and heard in the film using as many adjectives as possible to describe the story, people and situations.

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

28 thoughts on “Validation

  1. Great film, I remember seeing it somewhere, but you’re ‘amazing’ :-)…the way you create lessons out of anything. I’m back on your list and love receiving your lessons. Thank you.

    • Hi Jean,
      It’s great to hear from you again; I missed receiving your comments and I’m glad you’re back on the subscription list (sorry about the technology hitch). Thanks so much for your kind comments. Have a great 2013.
      All the best,

  2. You’re Awesomeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

    Another great lesson. I gotta use this in the beginning of the semester in February.

    Thanks Kieran. 🙂

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for this lesson Kieran! I think I´m going to use it for end-of-term class next March with my B1 Students… It´s so positive … We need something like this in this tough moment of our rough times…

    YOU ARE AWESOME !!!!!!

    • Hi Carmen,
      Thanks so much for your kind words, Carmen, I really appreciate them. It’s great to know you like the lesson so much. 🙂
      All the best,

  4. OMG! That’s an amazing video!! I smiled and cried at the same time, do you believe it? Thank you so much, Kieran. You are so kind. And I am totally going to use this in my classes. Happy new year!!!

  5. Hi Kieran,
    many thanks for this. I really enjoyed it! I’m always looking for new alternative film lessons for my teenagers. I’m sure they’ll love it.
    Keep you posted 🙂
    Happy New Year!

    • Hi Valentina,
      Thanks a lot for commenting; I’m really glad you like the lessons, I hope your students do too. Let me know how the lessons go if you use them, please.
      All the best,

  6. Watching this film made my day and using this lesson in class will make my students´day!!! Thank you so much for this thoughtful idea!!

  7. This is excellent, many thanks. However, I was already to use it today when I had broadband problems (not enough width) using You Tube. This can happen here (France)quite often. So I couldn’t do the lesson. A real shame. Any ideas how to get round this, as we cannot download You Tube/Vimeo etc. any more. Best, Susan

  8. It was great!I’m still smiling…. so cool. indeed, we’ve forgotten how to smile, or just smile like robots. I’m sure my students’ll enjoy It.Thank you so much.

    • Hi Manana,
      Thanks a lot for commenting: I’m really glad the lesson put a smile on your face; I hope your students enjoy it too 🙂
      All the best,

  9. Pingback: Inspirational Short Films: Validation- Wrong Side of the Bed | Chestnut ESL

  10. Pingback: Validation | Our Virtual English Classroom

  11. I used this film with a not-so-easy class and even the most dispirited students enjoyed it; it’s a great way to talk about the use of positive adjectives and it raises very interesting questions. I also enjoyed myself because it allowed me so much more than just teaching grammar. Thank you!

  12. That’s the best film I’ve ever seen; I really feel very happy after it
    and it helps always to keep smile on my face. I find your site really useful to help me learn English. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Validation is fantastic! It motivates everyone who watches it.
    If you are really sad you can think a little about it and realises that you aren´t or you shouldn´t have been like that.
    I’m from Brazil.
    Thanks for this amazing video.

  14. Really nice lesson and fantastic video. Thanks Kieran!

    To end off I put the students in groups and got them to recount as much of the story as possible and then showed periodic stills to jog their memory.