Collaborative idea generation for ELT

One of my all-time favourite podcasts is Kermode and Mayo’s Film reviews from BBC Radio 5 live. It makes me laugh (sometimes enough to get weird looks from people on public transport or in the street!), and even if I don’t always agree with the reviews, they always make me think.

About a year ago listeners were asked to send in suggestions for acceptable cinema behaviour, and the whole thing was collated into this poster:


There is also an accompanying video, bringing the poster to life.

In 2014, BBC Learning English produced an episode of 6-minute English on cinema etiquette, based on a new story Simon Mayo recently told on the show about a breach of cinema etiquette, as well as some clips from the Code of Conduct. It would be good for lower levels or as an introduction to the text.

What would you do with the Code of Conduct in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

P.S. Hello to Jason Isaacs.

Comments on: "Wittertainment Code of Conduct" (2)

  1. I have already used this!!!!
    (And somewhere there is a video of me teaching a demo one-to-one lesson with it – scary)

    Basically I felt the language was too much but the basic concept was brilliant. So I whited-out (is that a verb?) the text but left the bubbles and headings and hey presto a template to work with. Very basically I do

    1. General discussion about good/bad films we have seen recently (including DVD)
    2. What can make a trip to the cinema a bad experience – apart from the film. If you have some students who don’t go to the cinema ask them why not. Put ideas on the board.
    3. Explain background and concept of a ‘Code of Conduct.’ Give out poster.Which ideas match ours?
    4. The first bubble is ‘No Eating’. Work as a whole class, what do we mean by ‘No Eating’, why can it be a problem in the cinema? Can we write a ‘rule’ for the cinema based around the idea of ‘No Eating’? Help students shape the sentence on the board.
    5. In pairs, students complete rules for other bubbles.

    Options – depending on level there are different grammar or structures available, including modals, infinitives, verbs (e.g. permit, forbid, allow – and their passives). Sometimes we look at a few before they start writing, sometimes half-way through, and sometimes after.

    6. Students share some of the better / funnier ones.

    Follow-up – Code of Conduct for the zoo / classroom / my flat or bedroom / theatre / aeroplane

  2. Katy Davies said:

    My sister was telling me about their code of conduct the other day when I was complaining about the trials of cinema-going in Dubai! Loved the suggestions Dave 🙂 I was thinking that it could also be a useful prompt for a letter of complaint writing activity (like in FCE or CAE). Maybe it could be a competition for each group to try and include as many different complaints as possible in their letter to the cinema on the theme of ‘worst cinema trip ever’!

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

%d bloggers like this: