Dec 27, 2010

What do you mean it's not in the computer?!

In this activity students watch a short clip from the movie “Red Eye” and then discuss problems people may encounter when staying in hotels. The activity is suitable for both adult and young learners at pre-intermediate level and up.

You will need a DVD of the film or, alternatively, you can show the clip on Youtube (click here). If you're using the DVD, the scene starts at 2.12 and ends with the receptionist saying on the phone “they were such a**holes”. If you find it inappropriate, stop the playback right after the customers say “We won’t!”

Before you watch

Freeze-frame: a view of the hotel from outside. Discuss with students if they have ever stayed / often stay in hotels. Brainstorm what kind of problems hotel guests may encounter while staying in a hotel (e.g. rude staff, room not being cleaned etc)

While you watch
1. Show the clip. Was the problem the guests experience in the film mentioned in the pre-watching discussion?
2. Give out the handout (2 versions available below). Ask students to look at the questions in While You Watch. Show the clip again. Students answer the questions in pairs then discuss as a whole class.
3. Show the clip again. If you are using DVD you may want to show the clip with English subtitles at this stage.

Two versions
What do you mean it's not in the computer?! or preview below

After you watch
1. Do the language work focusing on computer-related expressions
2. Discussion in pairs/groups

Optional extension / follow-up
• Discuss whether students have ever deleted files by mistake from their computers. What happened? How did they solve the problem?
• Mini role-plays: Customer complaining to a hotel receptionist

Coursebook link
Innovations Intermediate. Unit 8. Complaints. Page 49 activity 4 – Softening complaints.


  1. I couldn't access the handout on the film . is it possible to chcek that out for me ? Interesting approach to language teaching especially because you're using a lot of fil material which is very student-friendly.

  2. Hi Isabel
    Thank you for pointing it out to me. This is one of my earliest posts when I still used the (now defunct) file hosting services provided by Google Groups. I've uploaded it to Scribd now.
    Happy to hear you find my activities student-friendly.
    Do drop by again

  3. Thanks Leo, for bothering to check that out for me !I am quite receptive to the lexical approach and I have read a few things on it and tried to incorporate it in my teaching practice, although I find it sometimes more difficult to improvise as I'm not a native speaker. I completely agree that recycling is fundamental for memorising new words/ chunks whatever... It's a pity coursebooks are still not that much focussed for this approach...

  4. I know what you mean about finding it difficult to improvise, e.g. supplying correct collocations on the spot when students ask how a word is used. But you can explore these together with your students - using dictionaries in class or online dictionaries or websites like

    Besides, I believe that all teachers - whether native or non-native - should prepare to teach lexis just like they prepare to teach grammar. I know it's sometimes difficult to predict what language may come up in class but if you have an idea of the topic you're going to focus on in a lesson, you can look up examples, collocations and patterns of the items you're going to teach beforehand so that you walk into the class prepared.

    Hope it helps.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge on this topic. This is really helpful and informative, as this gave me more insight to create more ideas and solutions for my plan. I would love to see more updates from you.

    Web Hosting Services


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...