Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Can You Help Me Out With Movie Clip Suggestions Demonstrating The Qualities Of A Good Language Learner?


I am amazed, touched, and very grateful for all the helpful suggestions readers made to my request yesterday, Can You Think Of A Funny Movie/TV Scene Where A Bilingual Character Uses Two Languages To Get Out of Trouble?

People generously shared their ideas here, on Twitter and on Google+.

Because people were so helpful, I’d like to make another request — and I promise I won’t be making any more similar requests for awhile.

In my book, Teaching English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work, I discuss what researchers have found to be characteristics of a good language learner. These include:

Intrinsically Motivated

A Sense Of Self-Efficacy (Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem)

Willingness To Take Risks

Willingness To Make Mistakes

Willingness To Teach Others

I’d love to find short movie/TV scenes — ideally funny ones, but they don’t have to be — that illustrate a second language learner demonstrating any of these characteristics. I think some of the movies that people suggested in response to my last question, I think, might even have some scenes that respond to these qualities.

But I’d like to ask people to pick their brain and see if you have other suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Here are some projects my students have created that (I think) demonstrate several of those characteristics, especially risk-taking and having self-confidence:

  2. “Spanglish” is a lovely movie whose main character is a young woman who comes to the US from Mexico speaking no English. From her first job interview where her sister has to translate for her, she goes on to learn on the job and through study, and certainly demonstrates all those characteristics. Often funny and sometimes touching.

  3. It is not exactly what you want but the desire to escape from boredom, the interest for another culture and the desire to travel abroad can be huge motivators for adults. See Italian for beginners, a Danish comedy :

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar