Movie Talk is the BEST THING EVER! WHY?!

Literally…. Movie Talk is the BEST thing ever in the HISTORY of all EVERDOM!!!…. I know that I say that frequently about many things, and that is because I am a passionate person. However, I must say that I really do feel that Movie Talk tops EVERYTHING….

I have spoken lots about how challenging it is to be a language teacher and manage the prep load that we do. Last year I had 18 classes, 9 preps. This year 5 classes and what I thought would be 3 preps turned out to be 5 (yes, 5 per day). I still have it better than MANY! It is SO much, and no body REALLY understands what we do, other than the art, music, and sometimes elementary school science teachers that work around us. We are all in a boat together trying to accomplish 4 times the amount of planning and prep as other teachers, with the same OR LESS prep time! It is CRAZY…. Movie Talk can be a LITERAL life saver. Let me tell you WHY….

There are so many blogs out there on how to “do” movie talk. So this is just a blog to tell you WHY movie talk is the BOMB.COM!

  1. YOU CAN USE THE SAME MOVIE FOR ALLLLL LEVELS!!!!! So often when we look at movie talks we look for big, evident actions, or things that happen in the movie that allow us to use our “key” structures.
    • You do NOT have to do this. Every time I see a video that I like on my Facebook feed I save it. I can find a way to use each of these videos in EVERY class that I have. The best way to plan for this is to think about the video from your student’s perspective. What sort of questions can you ask them about the video? Using the vocab they’ve already been working to acquire.
      • For example, with this video, I know that with my very BEGINNERS, who now are comfortable with: goes, there is, has, wants, lives, walks, runs, screams, sits, stands, is called and is (emotion), I can ask them questions immediately like, “How many Pikachus are there?” “Where are they going?” “How do they go?, in a car/bike?” “Where do they live?” “What do they have?” These kids are so stinkin’ engaged (YES! Even the ones who HATE Pokemon Go! They just can’t wait for what is coming! When they see the first scene of the man getting knocked over by the ball they can barely contain their screams! EVERY kid. Those who love Pokemon Go!, and those who despise it!
      • In my more advanced classes I can ask questions about who the people are? Do they play the game? Do they hate the game? What games do they prefer? Are they angry at people who do play? Is it good to play Pokemon Go! ? Is it safe? Is what THEY are doing safe? Where are these people? Why do they think it is in ________ (whatever place they name)?
  2. RULES of Movie Talk create HUGE engagement! (at least mine do! Try them!!!)
    • Rule number 1: NO SPOILING!
      • Students are absolutely NOT allowed in ANY way, shape, or form, to EVER spill the beans about ANY part of the video that they may have previously seen or heard about outside of the class.
        • IF THEY DO….. I get 75 points automatically (a HUGE deal), if you are confused about this please read my blog on my point system.
    • Rule number 2: NO WHINING!
      • Students will under NO circumstances EVER whine or “whinge”, as my British father would say, about me pausing the video. I tell them before our first Movie Talk, and remind them of this EVERY Movie Talk there after, that I will be in complete and total control, and if I choose to pause the video every 1 second then it is my choice and I will do so….
        • IF THERE IS WHINING, or EYE ROLLING, I get 50 points!
          • The best part of this is when it happens for the first time, usually after I pause for the 3rd time and we are only 2.5 seconds into the video!!!! 1 or two students falter and let out an exasperated moan, but the rest of the class catches them and try to cover up with cheers of excitement! I LOVE it! I just give them an evil, suspicious eye as I wander to the points board awarding THEM points instead of me…. The second time it happens I quickly give myself 50 points to let them know I am serious…NO WHINGING!
    • Rule number 3: 100% PARTICIPATION 100% of the time
      • Every student is expected to answer EVERY question EVERY time…
        • If this doesn’t happen, I won’t push PLAY! HA!
  3. If you work at a school where you HAVE to assign homework, and you ACCIDENTALLY run over on time, and you hadn’t quite finished the movie?! (I did the one about Rock, Paper, and Scissor friends today and we only made it through 25 seconds in 45 minutes! HA!) Their HOMEWORK!? Watch the video the whole way through at home! (This was perfect because my most frequent brain breaks at the beginning of the year are all Rock/Paper/Scissors brain breaks!)
    • Guaranteed EVERY student will do that homework….and they will show ALL of the their family and friends! It is also only a minute long!
  4. Students become OBSESSED with trying to find you GREAT YouTube videos for Movie Talk material. (and sometimes they are successful!)
    • I welcome and encourage this, but I only accept it if students tell me exactly what “structures” they think I could use when speaking about the video in class. Obviously, I can think of these myself, but it means that my kiddos are going home and THINKING in Spanish about what we could speak about IN SPANISH with the language we’ve already acquired. They are doing this each and every time they are watching their YouTube channels! Isn’t that magical?!?

I hope that if you didn’t before, you now see WHY Movie Talk can be the BEST thing ever in YOUR classroom too!!

Click here to read about an extension for Movie Talks!

Until next time,



La Maestra Loca


  1. Hi, Maestra.
    Since I stumbled upon your log, I just can’t stop reading your posts. You are reminding me so much of the teacher I was, (or perhaps who I wanted to be!) Old lady speaking…sorry!
    Regards. Marie.

  2. Thank you!!! I was struggling with setting rules for movie talk. This is so great. Muchísimas gracias. Espero poder atender el IFLT Conference el siguiente año. Tengo muchas ganas de verte en acción. Sí vas a participar este año, verdad? Un abrazo.

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