WAGOLL- Onward review

Some days ago I shared my analysis of a review of the film Marriage Story, as an example of what a good review looks like. Today I am sharing a similar analysis of a review of Onward, the latest Pixar film. This instance is not a perfect one: it is a bit informal at times, and the conclusion is perhaps not as strong as it should be. The reason why I am using it is that it is shorter-and consequently closer in length to what students are expected to write in an exam; and also because it manages to include some useful, relevant vocabulary.

As with previous WAGOLLs (see Mary Poppins Returns and Marriage Story), click on the image below to open a ThingLink. There you will find links to dictionary definitions and tips on how to structure a review as well as voice comments.

You can read the original review here.

Film genres and subgenres- vocabulary

Watch this video to find out more about different film genres and subgenres:

You can download the slides here.

WAGOLL-writing film reviews: Marriage Story (C2)

If you want to see what a good example of what a film review looks like, you can have a look at this review of Marriage Story (2019) by Mark Kermode, a well-known British film critic. If you click on the images you will access ThingLink interactive images, which will help you understand the structure of the review,  and will provide further information on some of the vocabulary. You will also be able to listen to some voice comments. Please click on the images to access all the interactive features:

If you haven’t watched the film, the trailer can help you get a better idea of the main storyline:

My Favourite Things (from The Sound of Music) to tell the difference between /s/, /z/ and /ɪz/

This activity is aimed at helping students tell the difference between /s/, /z/ (and /ɪz/) in plural endings (the same as in 3rd person singular present simple endings and possessive ‘s). It uses the song “My Favourite Things” from the film The Sound of Music, which makes a long list of plural things the singer allegedly loves.

Students are provided with the phonemic transcription of the singular word. By applying the rule, they can guess what sound(s)/phoneme(s) would be used to pronounce them in the plural. Then, they can check their answers against Julie Andrews’s performance, by paying special attention to the way she pronounces either /s/ or /z/. Can they tell the difference?

  • Exercise- click here
  • Key to answers- click here

 

Game of Thrones blooper spotted- Starbucks cup

Apparently, fans were shocked to find a Starbucks disposable coffee cup on the set of the latest Game of Thrones episode. Listen to this news report to know more about this blooper:

Annotated transcript (pay attention to the highlighted expressions)

  • Do you remember other bloopers you might have seen on film or TV?
  • What’s your take on the last part of the report? Would you say this blooper (or others) are intentional, or simply careless mistakes?

I, Daniel Blake- Ken Loach interview

Watch the trailer for I, Daniel Blake (to watch with subtitles in English, click here):

As you watch the trailer, write down any expressions related to work and unemployment. Then, check your answers against the transcript here.

Then, listen to this clip taken from an interview with filmmaker Ken Loach, the director of I, Daniel Blake, about the film. You can listen to the clip twice. Then, submit your answers through the Google Form.

Open form in new tab here.

Read the full transcript here.

When you check your answers, please pay attention to the feedback given to both right and wrong answers. It includes the quote from the interview that gives you the key to the right answer; definitions of words that might have been distractors (some false friends), as well as audio comments trying to clarify why that is the right answer, or dealing with ambiguities.

WAGOLL- film review: Mary Poppins Returns

To model writing a film review, I wanted to show my students ‘what a good one looks like’ (WAGOLL). I decided to use this review for Mary Poppins Returns.  In this case, it may not have been the best review I could find, but it served the purpose of illustrating the typical structure of a review.

I also wanted to provide students with the same explanations I would give them if I was explaining the positive points of the review in class. Even if I did go through them during classroom instruction, having an online document allowed them to access the information again, or for the first time if they had been unable to attend that particular session.

That is why I decided to create a Pages document on my iPad. First, I annotated it (highlighting relevant keywords, or underlining structural elements); then, I took a screenshot of the document, to get an image file, and uploaded it to Thinglink (open link in new tab here). Thinglink allows you to create interactive, media-rich images and videos, by adding text, audio, video, and/or links to specific parts of the image.

On the left-hand side of the document, headings to the paragraphs were added: that way, students can check the structure of the review. On the right-hand side, audio comments for each of the paragraphs were included, with a view to providing further clarification, or the reasons why some language resources and expressions had been/can be used.

This was the annotated/enhanced review (click on the picture to access all the interactive features):