Film English

Winner of the MEDEA Award for User-Generated Educational Media 2013

MEDEA Award Winner 2013

Film English, created by Kieran Donaghy, is the first language learning resource site to use short films to promote cineliteracy - the ability to analyse and interpret moving images - in the language classroom. It is a resource bank containing over 90 lesson plans for teachers designed around moving images.

Film English considers cineliteracy as a 21st century skill which all students need to learn. Young people should be as confident in the use and understanding of moving images as in the printed word to participate in society and culture locally and globally. To achieve this goal and to develop all four communicative skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening) these short films, used by teachers and students from around the world, are the perfect medium.

The showcase video of Film English including an interview with Kieran Donaghy.

The site is aimed at elementary and advanced learners and their teachers. It is very user-friendly, legible and well organised. The lessons are categorised by topic, level and age appropriateness and include homework and follow-up activities. There is a glossary of common film terms and links for teachers and students to related sites. For ease of use the short films and worksheets are embedded into the site. The teachers do not need to download anything, they only need internet access, a computer and a data-projection in the classroom.


What the judges said

"Film English is a highly engaging language learning resource website which uses short films critically and creatively to not only support language teaching but also to promote cineliteracy in the language classroom. It's easy to use. There are plenty of materials that teachers can take straight into the classroom, lesson plans written for specific causes and so on. I think that students will love to learn English using this entry!"

About the creation of Film English

Screenshot of Film English


Kieran Donaghy on why he created this website: "The site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in English language teaching and learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. The site promotes cineliteracy, the ability to analyse moving images, and considers cineliteracy as a 21st century skill which our students need to learn. In addition, the lessons promote critical thinking in the language classroom, and encourage learners to reflect on values while learning a language. Many of the topics that are dealt with in the short films are controversial e.g. bullying, racism, human rights …

Screenshot of Film English


Film English has become a very popular resource in the English Teaching bank and is visited by over 80,000 teachers every month and there are over 2.5 million page views a year. It has received critical acclaim winning various awards, including winner of Best Individual Blog and Runner-up in The Best Use of Video in 2011 Edublog Awards; the 2011 Site of the Year; and British Council Teaching English Featured Blog of the Month."

About Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy works at UAB Idiomes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is a teacher, trainer and award-winning writer particularly interested in the use of film in education. Kieran writes extensively about film in education. Kieran is the co-author of Films in Health Sciences Education and his website on the use of film in language teaching Film English won a British Council Eltons ELTons Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources in 2013.

During the MEDEA Awards Ceremony that took place during the Media & Learning Conference, “Film English” was announced as the Winner of the MEDEA Award for User-generated Educational Media 2013. Kieran Donaghy received the MEDEA Statuette as well as a Go Pro Black Action Camera and a Camtasia Studio & Photoshop Lightroom 5 software bundle.