MovieListens: using animated shorts for listening assessments

Thanks to the popularity of MovieTalks, there is such a plethora of good animated shorts out there for us world language teachers to capitalize on for classroom use.  The IFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Facebook group is FULL of great ones that members post for others to use for MovieTalk, and I’ve also found some great ones through Remezcla that are authentic and full of culture.  Remezla is a MUST FOLLOW for Spanish teachers!  There are also several teachers who have created databases with great options for MovieTalk – just Google “MovieTalk Database” and you get several options.


MovieListens: using animated shorts for listening assessments | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at

As great as MovieTalks are for engaging my students and keeping them interested, sometimes they’re even better when I’m lacking creativity for a reading assessment or a listening assessment.  Such was the case as I was preparing my most recent listening section on my exams.  Instead of wracking my brain for an eternity, I decided to find an animated short that I could show and then create various sentences about it for one of my listening assessments.  After finding the video I wanted to use, I took 13 screenshots, loaded them into a document, and lettered above them.  Above the images, I listed #1 through #10 in a horizontal line so it wouldn’t take up a lot of space.  On the day of the test, I first handed out the images and then I played the video (without sound or narrations) to help students understand the images in front of them.  I then read students 10 statements about the images they had on their paper and they had to correctly identify which image was being described.  My students did SO well!

I know this isn’t super creative, but I think that’s kind of the point.  Use someone else’s creativity when you need some inspiration!

3 thoughts on “MovieListens: using animated shorts for listening assessments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you. You obviously created something which students enjoyed and where they could learn successfully. You taught them accoeding to their needs and showed some inspiration in how to use digital materials to support language development. Did you get feedback from them about what they thought of the exercise?

    • Cathy –

      Thank you for your kind words!

      If I’m truthful, I didn’t solicit their thoughts afterwards as it was the last day and we still had reading, writing, and speaking tests to complete. I can tell you a lot of students smiled or reacted to the video while they watched it, and all nodded their heads in agreement that watching the video (instead of just using the images) helped them understand better. I hope that helps!

      – Elizabeth

      • It would be good for you to get them to give written feedback so you can see and have evidence that you did carefully plan that for them. Last day? Have a well earned rest!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s