1. English Foreign Language Teaching (EFLT) meets the Cinema

by Silvia Roma, Manuela Cipri


The Cinema is a narrative means whose enormous power is linked to the fact it exploits different languages, that is, images, sound, speech and gesture, and evocates meanings at various levels.

The combination of sound and vision is a particularly exciting and dynamic way of exposing learners to language. Film watching is a very motivating didactic activity: the screen captures the learners’ attention in a way quite unlike other media, and enhances the audience’s emotional experience.

Watching a film in its original language is an extraordinary language experience in EFLT (English Foreign Language Teaching) and a very valuable resource in the classroom. It is a whole didactic experience whose main aim is to reveal students the expressive power of English language in a literary perspective.

  1. English Foreign Language Teaching (EFLT) meets the Cinema.

Widely speaking, cinema conveys “contextualized information” so learners are exposed to experience language directly in action.

EFLT can successfully meet the fascinating world of Cinema in order to rise up students’ interests and language response. The visual content of a film or a sequence can be exploited as an effective aid both for motivation and for language learning. When watching a film, learners can see what the setting of the story is and what the characters look like which both provide “referential” information and aid comprehension. Learners can see clues in the real context, which will be important for the language too, as for the type of vocabulary, structures, stress, rhythm and intonation. They can see how characters move while speaking, and focus on how their arm gesture and facial expressions are (non-verbal language, paralinguistic elements).

2. Media Education.

Cinema is a Media Education approach. Here is a list of its main aspects:

  • Cinema is a system of signs whose function is both referential (referring directly to the object) and poetic (multi-layers of meanings), thus it educates to a complex vision of the world.
  • Students are exposed to negotiate meanings coming from complex situations, on the basis of their personal conditions (personality, interior life, feelings) and the context of the film.
  • Cinema educates to dynamic views. Audio-visuals activate the right hemisphere of the brain (the simultaneous, analogical, global one) used for projecting and identifying in the characters’ point of view. But the left hemisphere, the logical-analytical one, is involved the same acting on awareness;
  • Cinema allows students to use multiple intelligences and develop their

musical, spatial, visual gifts.

Films are an extraordinary source of didactic exploitation in terms of:


  • All four skills involvement (reading-writing and listening-speaking);

  • Literacy and accuracy skills involvement;


  • Focus on Lexis: different registers of English;
  • Focus on Semantics: meaning or the way in which meaning is structured;
  • Focus on Syntax: sentence structure;

Focus on Language Functions: the way information is conveyed, in a Denotative or Connotative way;

  • Contrastive analysis between the film-script in the Source language (SL) and the Italian version in the Target language (TL); translation and Terminology Research in problematic words finding for adaptation.


  • Text analysis practice in terms of setting, characters, narrator, plot, theme, genre,

form, historical insight;


  • Cultural attitudes and Pragmatics, the use of the language as related to the context;


  • Communication, non verbal language (gesture, body language, facial expressions);


  • As a cross-curricular Project Work it links to many Historical subjects such as

History, History of Literature, Cinema History, History of art, Music History, and History of the English Language. In addition it employs actively the multimedia means.


Ballads &cinema


Silvia Roma

Type of project

Syllabus based project work

Skill focus

All 4 skills: Speaking, Listening, Writing, Reading

Language Functions

Expressive, Phatic, Referential, Poetic, Meta-linguistic, Connotative.



Communicative, Lexical, Content oriented, Interactive input, Multimedia, Audio-visuals.


From B2 CEFR level (FCE – First) to C1 CEFR level (CAE Advanced).


Italian high school students of EFL as L2, attending the final classes (3-4-5) of Linguistic, Classic, Scientific, Artistic, Human Sciences, Chore-Musical addresses.


By the end of the project students will be able to:

  • Relate Literature to Cinema;

  • Experience Media Education;

  • Activate a Linguistic and Physical response;

  • Implement Literature competence;

  • Develop cross-curricular competence among Historical Subjects;

  • Develop Heuristic competence.


See above


Students should have 4 skills at good levels and tools for appreciating film viewing. They should be already introduced to English Literature and Text analysis.


Dictionaries and/or terminology sites, literature textbooks, computer, language lab, DVD films.


The total hours amount involved in the project are about 8, including class activities and homework activities.

Class procedure

Activities are divided into 6 sections:

  • Lead in: brainstorming activities to promote anticipation and prediction and/or introduce the subject of the film;
  • First viewing: listening- comprehension of the film sequence by the SKIMMING TECHNIQUE (global comprehension):
  • Second viewing. Do the active watching of the film by the SCANNING TECHNIQUE (intensive comprehension).
  • In-depth activities. Ballads analysis: Text Analysis, Cinematic techniques Analysis, film synopsis. Translation: Contrastive Analysis between the film-script and the Italian version; terminology research in problematic words finding for adaptation.
  • After viewing: reading the literary work from which the film has been inspired, creative writing tasks like comment or composition, ballads singing and playing, storyboard drawing, etc. You may also ask students to do a dramatization activity.

Senza categoria

Informazioni su euroterminologia

Manuela Cipri at present works as a researcher in the Department of Languages for Public Policies, Faculty of Political Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Chairwoman from the Scientific and Technical Committee in Hermes -CSE -- European's Researchers of linguistics field -- Board of NiKolaos Route (La via Nicolaiana, responsabile Monia Franceschini)- i cammini d'Europa Biographical outline: After graduating in Political Science,and pianoforte, Ms. Cipri attended a Masters course in Linguistic-cultural Mediation, an advanced training course in Specialised Translation and a Masters course in Geopolitics at the Sapienza University of Rome. From 2004 to 2006 she was a research assistant in English in the Department of Languages for Public Policies and carried out research activities in Canada, at Geonames in Ottawa, and participated in various conferences all over the world. She is a member of several research groups in Italy and abroad, such as the REI, the Italian Network for Institutional Excellence. She is on the board of directive Hermes - CSE Euroterminology, Nicolaiana Rout with Proff. Paul Arthur and Romeo Ciminello. She on the board and member of several Academic magazine such as "Fuori Luogo- Sociologia del Territorio, Turismo, Tecnologia" editor Fabio Corbisiero, publisher PM, and "Confini sociologici" Academic book FrancoAngeli "Confini sociologici" editor Prof. P. De Nardis Formafluens, Eurolinguistics-South Association. She is a member of the Italian Geographical Society and the Italian Association for Canadian Studies. Since 1999 she has written articles on place-names for the magazine International Tourism. She has interviewed various important figures from the world of politics and culture, including President George W. Bush, actor George Clooney, director Francis Ford Coppola, Nobel prize-winner for Literature Wole Soyinka and the Irish writer Jennifer Johnston Main publications: Cipri M. Processi Di Formazione Di Parole Nella Toponomastica Inglese, Guaraldieditore (2004) Second Edition 2007. Cipri M. (2004), L. Kovac: oltre le utopie razionalismo evoluzionista e noocrazia, in v.a. ‘Biologia moderna e visioni dell'umanita', Rome University "La Sapienza"(2004). Cipri M. (2004), Helga Nowotny:sulla difficile relazione tra le scienze della vita e le attivita' umane, in v.a. ‘Biologia moderna e visioni dell'umanita', Rome University “La Sapienza” (Premio Libro Europeo "Aldo Manuzio"2004). Cipri M. Approccio interculturale alla toponomastica inglese (2014) Cipri M. et al. , Text tools and trends(2013) Cipri M., Donna, domina in Sofonisba Anguissola's picture (2016) Cipri M. , Political communication in Italy – The fact checking on Matteo Renzi and Matteo Salvini (2014-2016) Cipri M. Network society : case of study – David Cameron and BREXIT (2016) Editor blog: euroterminologia.altervista.org CEO : ToESP/ ToELSP Test of English for specific purposes/ and Test of English for linguistics and specific purposes (TOESP è un esame di lingua inglese specialistica che permette di conseguire la Certificazione Europea nei livelli B1 e B2, for terminological knowledge on the scientific skills (medical language, economics language, and Legal language) Label Europeo 2009. CEO : Hermes - Centro Studi Europeo on Eurolinguistics and Euroterminology and collaboration with Termcoord EU (2016)

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