Using film to teach English - ESOL - offender learning - Lesson plan

Film is invaluable in the prison environment as a way of focusing on communication skills: not only audio, but the body language and facial expressions which are so essential to understanding fellow inmates and officers.

This lesson plan is different from other Offender Learning resources in that it provides templates rather than complete resources. This is so you can use the ideas suggested in the lesson plan with any film you choose to suit your leaners’ interests and to support learning which is relevant to your learners. This does, however, mean you will need to create tailor made activities for your learners using the templates provided. We have chosen vocabulary for emotions, but if this is not appropriate for the film you have chosen, use the templates to create your own activities. 

The film you choose can be used independently or with simplified reading texts available through graded readers to provide further reading, pronunciation and vocabulary development.  Check online for book availability and level prior to selecting your film.

Level: Entry 1 – 3 / National 2 – 4 / CEFR A1 – B1

Time: 90 minutes plus extension material


  • To understand a part of a film
  • To describe types of films and something they have seen


Learners will be able to:

  • recognise some film genres
  • understand some scenes from a film
  • understand types of genre
  • describe something they have watched.

Extension objectives

Learners will be able to:

  • write about something they have watched
  • read parts of a book.
File Type: zip
Categories: ESOL, offender learning
Tags: E1, E2, E3, Lesson plan, Zip folder