Teaching English through movies : ATEM journal
Online ISSN : 2433-1929
Print ISSN : 1342-9914
A Study on Language Development through Movie Utterances : On the basis of Desperate Housewives
Jiyoung Seo
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2014 Volume 19 Pages 89-103


This paper aims to reconsider the conventional idea that movies are rich repositories of 'practical' expressions. To figure out whether students use movie expressions practically, students' actual conversations were analyzed. Before a conversation began, students had learned English using the scripts of American TV drama Desperate Housewives. The results show that students hardly utilized memorized expressions at first, but they slowly created sentences based on their understanding of grammar. Then they started to partially use chunks of expressions. Then they started to imitate structure patterns of the movie expressions. Finally they used the whole expressions whenever they met the same situations as in the movie. However, learned expressions are of no practical use at this point. This is rather a prerequisite stage for the final stage where movie expressions play a practical role. Finally, which is named 'prefab + prefab' in this paper, students created sentences with new meanings by combining the chunks of expressions. Although the results did not show a significant number of 'prefab + prefab' utterances, there was an indication of potentiality. This paper concludes that movies can be excellent materials with which students can develop remarkable abilities to express themselves if they use the expressions practically.

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© 2014 The Association for Teaching English through Movies
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