This paper reports the semiotic factors which are useful in choosing the teaching materials from movies suitable for students in English classes. The main concept of the factors is postulated as the 'understandability' of the movies by analogy with the 'readability' of the linguistic texts. In order to compare the verbal expressions of the texts with the scipts of the movies, readability scores are calculated from several versions of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', which is often cited in English texts for Japanese students. In addition to finding some characteristics of the expressions of the movies on the basis of these readability scores, it is assumed that the original characteristics of the movies are the very pictures, and their space, time and cohesive sequences. In conclusion, these factors should be taken into consideration in applying the movies as teaching materials in EFL classroom setting.
Simulation is an effective exercise to acquire practical knowledge and skills, and can also be a useful tool to motivate students. Movie translation is quite different from normal translation for its strict limit on the number of Japanese characters used for each dialogue. Also, a timing (spotting) list, which records the length of each dialogue, is necessary for deciding the maximum Japanese characters for translation. By connecting a closed caption decoder to a computer, dialogues of a movie video and the length of each dialogue can be easily obtained, and thus make it possible to simulate in class the work of movie translators, in which many English majors are keenly interested. In-class simulation exercises can be useful to motivate students and also help them enhance their sensitivity to their native language.
This article presents a frequency list of words used in 350 closed- captioned movies. The list reveals that dictionaries often omit or inadequately describe informal words, even though they are used in many movies. For example, the word "mm- hmm" is used in 201 movies, but it is not included in two major English-Japanese dictionaries that I consulted. Furthermore, one dictionary classifies "yeah" and "uh- huh," which are very frequently used in the movies, into the vocabulary group of the lowest importance. On the other hand, "yep" belongs to a more important group, although the word is used less frequently than "yeah" and "uh-huh." The degree of importance that the dictionaries assign to such words does not reflect their frequencies in the movies. This article also investigates the difference between words used frequently in the movies and those contained in the JACET 4000 Basic Word, an authentic list which identifies the words that Japanese students should be able to recognize by the sophomore year of college. The comparison suggests that JACET's list also ignores informal English lexical items which are often used in the movies.
Many researches reveal a sad fact that the ways of English teaching in Japan have produced a great number of language learners who dislike English. The purpose of this study was to determine if they can restore liking English by utilizing English movies in class. A survey of using movie in English classes for one semester showed an unexpectedly favorable reaction from the students. It was concluded that the use of movie in the English class resulted in regenerating students' favorable attitudes toward English learning.
In spite of the increasing number of needs analysis in the field of EFL, only few attempts have so far been made for such a specific area as Teaching English through Movies (TEM). The possibility of the movie as an authentic EFL material must further be explored in terms of the learner's needs. An example of the analysis of learners' needs in TEM is worked through in the present paper.The purpose is to provide the teacher with the idea that needs assessment is fundamental to the planning of TEM courses as well as general EFL courses, and to give the teacher a basis of how needs data are collected and interpreted for translation into TEM's material design. The results of the needs analysis questionnaire include: (1) 95.3% of the subjects favored the use of movies in the classroom, (2) love story movies (81.4%) were most preferred, whereas the musical film (30.2%) was their last choice in the classroom use, (3) watching the whole movie (83.7%) instead of selected segments (9.3%) should be used in class, (4) ten minutes (46.5%) is the favorable length of one segment used in one class hour. The procedure given here is not intended as a guide or a model; in other words, this paper hopes to afford researchers the chance of exploiting the further potential of the movie use in EFL.
Once I proposed to use a novel-movie unit in our English class so that we can drill students both in listening comprehension ability and reading ability at the same time by having them read a novel and then watch the movie that has been made based upon it. I called that approach 'reading-listening dual approach". I adopted the approach in my English classes for the past three years and found that it could be an effective way when we were wise in selecting a good novel-movie unit which would be appropriate to the particular class we teach. To successfully read through a novel and practice listening to the Enslish dialogues in the movie, we need a fair amount of class hours -- preferably three hours a week.
Movie dialogues are a valuable resource for teaching English for communication. Because they have specific cultural backgrounds and meaningful contexts, and are rich in paralinguistic and extralinguistic information, they give learners intellectual and emotional stimuli which are not found in ready-made textbooks, as well as help enhance learners' motivation and enliven classroom atmosphere. This paper examines ways of using fragments of movie dialogue as supplementary materials in conversational English classes based on situational and functional syllabuses. Emphasis is placed on how to adapt various pieces of dialogue for creative communication activities at intermediate level and upwards.
It is very difficult for many Japanese to discriminate some English phonemes such as /r/ and /l/ only through ears. If so, then, how about using eyes to discriminate them like deaf people? This paper reports how deaf people communicate, how speech reading or lip reading is done and how it is taught in deaf schools, and then it examines the applicability of speech reading to Japanese learners of English by using the home video 'Working Girl'. The findings are that it is not impossible but not easy, and yet it is worth trying. There are a lot of things to learn from deaf education.