Teaching Film in the proficiency-based classroom: Belle et Sébastien

When I teach students French through film, I follow my regular World Language teaching rules: make the task accessible, limit the length of video clips, and everything we do prioritizes speaking and leads to discussion. I am going to walk you through how I do this referring to the film Belle et Sébastien. You will find all of my resources in this folder.

I have come to learn that when the language in the dialogue of a film is difficult, I can have students comment on the action and this works particularly well if you chose a film with a lot of action. While students are watching the film, they respond to statements as true or false and they have questions to guide their comprehension. See the handouts for during the film: 1 2 3 4 5

Using only short segments of a movie at a time allows me to use the rest of the class to explain culture, the historical setting of the film or to have the students do activities that help them understand the film. You will see how I did this in the teaching slides that go with the film.

As I said above, everything we do in French class prioritizes speaking and leads to a class discussion. After each segment, students respond to questions in pairs doing a Partner Turn and Talk. Students get many chances to speak each class because they are put into pairs for conversations. And, when doing this work in pairs, they prepare their thoughts for the class discussion that follows.

As a last point, I wanted to share that we studied this film after my students had already done a unit on World War II in their Social Studies class. It felt good to me to be able to reinforce what they had already learned.

It is my hope that through the examples that I have offered you can see some news ideas on how to use film to teach in the Proficiency-Based classroom. Please respond in a comment to tell me what parts of this lesson work for you or what you would include in a lesson on film. It would make me so happy to hear from each person who gets something out of this post.

10 responses to “Teaching Film in the proficiency-based classroom: Belle et Sébastien”

  1. I am so greatful for your resources and expertise? Do you do this film in year 4
    As intermediate mid to high unit?

  2. I teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade French and do this film at the end of 8th, so at the end of our students’ third year of the language. We consider what we teach in three years to be French 1 and the students go on to French 2 at the high school.

  3. Hello I am wondering where I can purchase the movie to show or if you have a link showing the full movie as I did not see the link for the movie in your post

  4. I only found the English version on Youtube with english audio–I would like to link it in my lms for students during virtual learning

    • Hi! I bought my copy on a trip to Quebec. When I just looked on Amazon in Canada, it came up as being available. I don’t know how you get them to send it to you in the US though. Let me know if there is any way I can help.

  5. I am a French teacher in Australia and have just found this amazing resource, we are embedding movie and TV into our programs. So I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog today, I greatly appreciate these resources, and will be using them with our film unit.
    Merci mille fois!
    K. Curtis

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