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Teachers' Post: Make students talk with films - The Julio Diaz Story

The Teacher's Dilemma: How to make students talk in class?

We all have answers, techniques, materials that work, some better than other ones. Our colleague, Kieran Donaghy, strongly believes in the power of short films when it comes to motivating students to communicate verbally, to argue, to discuss and to tell stories in the classroom. In his blog, Film English, Kieran offers dozens of ready-made lessons with a series of suggested steps and activities that we can use with our students. 

The Student's Dilemma: What would you do if you were stopped by a mugger with a knife?

Here, even Kieran has no answer; after all, he is no police officer, but your students may have plenty of ideas, arguments or solutions. Find out how they would react by checking out the lesson of 14 steps based on a short animated film about Julio Diaz, a social worker in New York. The film was created by StoryCorps, and it offers a few twists and turns, which are great for guessing activities to make students want to speak.

Here is the film itself. See if you - as a teacher - agree with Julio's approach and response. Then feel free to use Kieran's lesson and the activities.

Julio Diaz from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Kieran has been invited by Euroexam International to give a plenary talk at the NYESZE Conference in Budapest on Saturday, 7 April.

Come and listen to his talk 'Moving Stories: Narrative and the moving image in English Language Teaching' from 10:40 in Hall B of BME, Building "E" (1111 Budapest, Egry J. u. 1.)

>>> More teaching ideas based on the Julio Diaz video from our blog on developing students' writing skills

>>> ...and to create speaking activities with your students using the same video