Introducing Pixar Shorts in the Greek EFL Classroom as a Means to Enhancing Empathy Among High School Students


For the Greek EFL classroom, film viewing is not a clearly defined objective of the curriculum. Neither is there an approved list of films corresponding to each language level. A careful scan of the registered films on the Digital Film Platform for Schools supported by the Hellenic Film Center, CINEDU, reveals a total absence of Disney animated films as resource material. On the occasion of the author’s membership in the action group involved in her school’s self-evaluation on the improvement of the students’ relationships indicator, she was assigned to find films that nurture empathy. This paper not only proposes a more clear-cut policy framework in the case of film appropriateness but also makes a cross-curricular case for Pixar shorts’ storytelling as an educational tool for enhancing empathy. Hence, five Pixar shorts (i.e., Bao, Day & Night, Lou, Piper, Purl) were used for making an empathy-raising intervention through TEFL. More specifically, the Harvard Project Zero’s “perspective-taking” thinking category, with an emphasis on “Stories” thinking routine, served as the basis for the elaboration of a post-viewing writing activity that prompted the elicitation of emotional and cognitive responses. To this end, EFL students stepped in and out of the film characters’ “shoes” to reflect upon the conveyed, the untold and the personal story. According to the final valuation report, student response essays gave the first indication in favor of supplementing the range of educationally acceptable films and suggestions were made for improving empathic awareness through TEFL as part of further action research projects.

Author Information
Angeliki Ypsilanti, Ionian University, Greece
Ioannis Karras, Ionian University, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2024
Stream: Teaching and Learning

This paper is part of the IICAH2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Ypsilanti A., & Karras I. (2024) Introducing Pixar Shorts in the Greek EFL Classroom as a Means to Enhancing Empathy Among High School Students ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon