This study reports on the utilization of the Disney film Zootopia in a college English class. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology clearly prioritizes the advancement of international education, or education that opens the students’ minds to the wider world, in Japan. To achieve this educational ideal, the authors believe that more activities promoting intercultural understanding should be performed in classes. Using materials from films is an effective way of motivating students and nurturing their understanding as such materials contain attractive visual scenes and interesting scripts with sound or songs.The classes in this study taught English as a foreign language (EFL) and also aimed at developing students’ intercultural understanding in communication. Students were provided materials for pair work or group work and were asked to discuss and write their ideas on worksheets. These continuous activities were conducted for approximately half a year. The results of questionnaires administered before and after the classes revealed that students became more motivated and their intercultural competence improved after they used the materials. Screening certain scenes from Zootopia helped students improve their competence in understanding intercultural communication. In this study, the authors provide ideas for classes and propose class materials. These materials will be useful for teachers as examples of practical lessons that encourage students’ intercultural understanding in EFL classes.
Mikako Nobuhara, Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology, Japan
Satomi Yoshimuta, International Christian University, Japan
Stream: Education for intercultural communication
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