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Kaplan: ‘Potter’ DVDs Most Popular Among ESL Teachers

16 Apr, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'

More than 75% of English as a second language (ESL) teachers use movies in their classrooms as teaching tools, and by far DVDs from Warner’s “Harry Potter” franchise are the most popular, used by 18% of ESL teachers to engage their students, according to a new study.

The study by Kaplan International Colleges, which provides ESL courses worldwide, surveyed more than 500 teachers from 40 countries. “Wallace and Gromit” (14%) “James Bond” (9%), “Twilight” and “Lord of the Rings” (5%) rounded out the top five film franchises shown by ESL teachers in class.

“Due to the increasing importance of visual and media images, films have a great potential in the language classroom,” said Dr. Carmen Herrero, head of Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University and co-director of Film in Language Teaching Association. “Films are rich multimodal texts containing linguistic meaning, but they also incorporate other modes that are sometimes more difficult to illustrate or provide in the standard language lesson, such as the gestural component.”

“Harry Potter” has also proven a popular English-speaking tool outside of the classroom, used by 79% of those surveyed in a separate Kaplan study.

The in-classroom results found 60% of ESL teachers also used TV shows as well to help their students with English, with “Mr. Bean,” “Friends” and “The Simpsons” among the top shows used.

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