MovieTalk for Comprehensible Input

Movie Talk is a term that refers to using video as a opportunity for the teacher to provide comprehensible input. The input does not come from the movie itself, but from the teacher’s commentary. It may be easier just to see it in action.

The Movie Talk procedure goes something like this:

  • Play a bit of the movie and pause when the scene changes.
  • Describe key elements of the scene.
  • Ask “concept checking questions”, ex. Is this a door? (yes question) Is this a window?  (no question) Is the man playing a guitar or a violin? (or questions) What is the the woman doing? (WH-questions). TPRS teacher’s call this “circling”.
  • Move to the next scene and repeat.

Notice that there is no grammar instruction, no vocabulary lists, and no reading. But despite the obvious lack of teaching, did you learn any Spanish? It’s almost impossible to walk away without having learned some new Spanish vocabulary and grammatical structures, even if you’ve never studied Spanish in your life.

This is an example of how learning occurs in the All English program. Learning happens by creating direct connections between the language concepts and the spoken language and is all done without reading, translation or explicit vocabulary or grammar instruction.


If you want to see a brief, but powerful, explanation of comprehensible input, check out this video clip of Steven Krashen:


Here’s a script for a short film to illustrate how you would talk through a movie clip:

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