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Mind the Gap

Posted on March 25, 2015 by kierandonaghy

mind the gap close up

This EFL lesson plan is designed around a moving and poignant short film by Luke Flanagan titled Mind the Gap. Students watch the first part of the film speculate and predict how it is going to end, read an article and talk about the film and article.

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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) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, predicting and speculating, reading an article and speaking

Topic: Love

Language: Speculation and prediction

Materials: Short film and article

Downloadable materials:  mind the gap lesson instructions     mind the gap article

 

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Step 1

Write Mind The Gap on the board. Ask your students if they have seen or heard this expression. Elicit or explain that you hear the expression on the London Underground every time a train stops at a station to warn passengers to be careful of the space between the train and the platform at some stations, and that there are also Mind The Gap signs at underground stations.

 

Step 2

Tell your students they are going to watch the first part of a short film titled Mind The Gap. As they watch their task is to think about why the film is titled Mind The Gap.

Show the film until 03:00.

 

Mind The Gap from Luke Flanagan on Vimeo.

 

Step 3

Elicit or explain that the film is titled Mind The Gap as the woman goes to the station every day and listens to an announcer say “Mind the gap”.

 

Step 4

Put your students into small groups and ask them to speculate about why the woman goes to the Underground station every day and predict the story the rest of the film will tell. Set a time limit of 10 minutes.

 

Step 5

Get feedback from each group about why they think the woman goes to the station and what will happen in the rest of the film.

 

Step 6

Tell your students they are now going to watch the rest of the film. As they watch their task is to try to understand why the woman goes to the station every day. Show the rest of the film.

 

Step 7

In their groups students have to discuss what they understand and try to explain why the woman goes to the station every day.

 

Step 8

Get feedback from the whole class, but don’t confirm that their answers are right or wrong yet.

 

 Step 9

Tell your students they are going to watch the whole film again. As they watch their task is to consider whether their answers are correct. Show the whole film again.

 

Step 10

Now elicit that the woman, Margaret Laurence, goes to the station to hear the voice of her dead husband, Oswald Laurence, who was the actor who recorded the famous “Mind The Gap” announcement. When he died in 2007 she regularly went to the one station which still played his voice. But one day his voice was replaced. Margaret contacted London transport and they were so touched by her story that they agreed to reinstate his voice at that one station.

 

Step 11

Explain that the film is based on a true story. pair your students and ask them to think about any other information they would like to know about the story.

 

Step 12

Give your students the article and ask them to find any information about the story which they didn’t know from watching the film.

 

Step 13

Hold a plenary session based on the following questions:

What adjectives would you use to describe the film and the article?

How did the film make you feel?
I hope you enjoy this ESL 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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16 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

  1. hi I am an EFL teachere here in Buenos Aires , Argentian an I simply want to Thank YOU for your lesson plan. It really worked!!!!!! My sts were really enthusiastic and thrilled !!!! Have a Great week. Regards Roxana

  2. Excellent short film! It kept me guessing what was the reason all the while. Yes, I am planning to use this short film to teach my students in my school, where I work.

  3. First of all, what a great resource website! I also enjoyed that you separated your lesson into ‘steps,’ making it easy to understand. I have taught ESL before and am a huge fan of showing videos and sound clips as teaching tools; students are interested in multimedia, and they often make it easier to provide a listening / speaking component as well as a writing / reading one. I also like the idea of having students watch it twice to watch for different details.

    I also have an education blog. Just started up.

  4. This worked so well with my class this morning, the film ended and there was just silence, very moving! And it really got their creative juices flowing thinking about how the film might end. Thank you!

  5. Great short film! It really worked with my students too! I used another video as follow-up work (with the real Margaret being interviewed) and the article you suggested. I then asked students to imagine the letter that Margaret sent to the TFL.
    Many thanks!

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