5 Short Movie Clips Perfect For English Writing Classes

Short video clips are great writing prompts. They stimulate imagination, provide context for new vocabulary and nudge students to try and explain complex ideas.

Over the years I have collected a few links to great ideas. Here are five of those videos. I often use these clips in the writing class. They also work well in a conversation class, especially in pair work activities.

Video Clips for the ESL class

1. The Black Hole (2:22)

There’s no dialogue but the moral of the story is easy to understand. Great ending.

Short Film ‘The Black Hole’ from PHOTOPLAY FILMS on Vimeo.


2. The Gift (4:35)

This artful and unusual sci-fi story will probably leave you wanting a better ending, but that could be the starting point for students to inject their own imagination. Some Russian dialogue with English subtitles.

The Gift from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.


3. Alma (4:54)

There are lots of dolls in this wonderful animation so you know something creepy will happen. Great video with a simple story.

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.


4. Electropolis (4:30)

No dialogue. Nice animation with a simple story so it is a good choice for low level students. The video seems a little long. Stop the clip at 4:30.

Electropolis from Kevin McCullough on Vimeo.


5. The Moment (2:08)

A very short video with an impressive story. Best suited for advanced students because the dialogue is the story driver.

The Moment from Karis Oh on Vimeo.


About the author: Rob Whyte is a professor, writer, and on-line wizard. Originally from Canada, he teaches English composition and conversation at a private university in Busan, Korea. Check out his Monster Pack: a Colossal Collection of Resources For Busy English Teachers or his website. This article was also published here.