Film in Action

Teaching language using moving images

  • Coursebook
Film in Action Cover

Key features

From the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series!

Film in Action convincingly places the moving image at the centre of the 21st century language learning agenda. This ground-breaking book shows how teachers can benefit enormously from the emergence of video distribution sites and the proliferation of mobile devices.

The book invites teachers to experiment with film, and provides:

  • Insights into how learners can engage with film.
  • Over 100 activities for teachers to bring film into the language class.
  • Steps for teachers and learners to create their own moving images.

We are living in an age of visual information and Film in Action takes on the challenge of the digital revolution to show teachers the educational benefits of not just watching but also creating moving images.

Film in Action contains three distinctive parts, which focus in turn on theory, practice and development:

Part A introduces the many different aspects of film: how it can inspire, while exposing learners to a wide range of authentic language, improving comprehension, intercultural understanding and visual literacy.

Part B contains over 100 activities – from an exploratory look at film itself – across two chapters which move from responding actively to film to actively producing film. The activities are clearly and simply set out, mixing highly original ideas with reassuringly ‘classical’ procedures.

Part C goes beyond the classroom into the wider school environment and into a world dominated by visual information, by looking at innovative ways to integrate moving images through longer, more complex projects.

Visit Kieran’s Blog to learn more about this exciting new title!




"Film in Action is a vital book for those teachers wishing to incorporate film in the classroom with some stimulating and rewarding ideas for lessons"

Martin Sketchley

EFL Magazine, June 2015 PDF

'Film in Action is full of activities which use moving images in the language classroom...The author's knowledge and enthusiasm shine through'.

Pete Sharma

EL Gazette, July 2015 PDF

'Film in Action is a practical guide for all those in education who believe in the educational advantages of moving images in language learning and who are looking for arguments to adopt this and for activities or inspiration to start doing it themselves.'

Mathy Vanbuel

Media & Learning Newsletter, July 2015 PDF

'I think this book should be part of every teacher and teacher-trainer’s toolkit.'

Jo Westcombe

MELTA News Issue 86, Summer 2015 PDF

'The book covers all aspects of teaching English through film and teaching film and creative expression through English. It provides over a hundred ready-to-use and, most of them, easy-to-apply lesson plans and activities: a real time-saver for the teacher. An extensive list of additional resources adds to the pool of ideas. Kieran Donaghy's book is written in a very approachable manner and, by following clear guidelines and procedures, makes it easy for even a less experienced teacher to implement the ideas in the classroom.'

Margarita Kosior

TESOL Macedonia Thrace Newsletter, Autumn 2015 PDF

'I expect this book will soon be as creased up and dog-earred as my copy of Teaching Unplugged.'

David Dodgson, September 2015 PDF

'Where it succeeds most is in providing clearly explained activities, pedagogical rationale for the use of moving image in the classroom and, above all, accompanying online resources which genuinely do help teachers.'

Sam Lanchbury

IH Journal, Autumn 2015 PDF

'Overall, I think this book is excellent. Donaghy’s obvious enthusiasm shines through, and makes for very interesting reading. It is, as I’ve mentioned, extremely modern and has some truly cutting edge suggestions. I’m really looking forward to trying out more of the lessons from ‘Film in Action’ with my secondary learners in 2016!'

Rachel Pooley

IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers Special Interest Group Publication, Winter 2015 PDF

'It is worth saying that there is always a suggested film for teachers who don't have time to source an appropriate clip or film. This is a detail but a significant one which takes the book from a methodology-only text to a book any teacher would find highly useful. The layout is simple, clear and easy to read. References, recommended readings and websites are much in evidence...I thoroughly recommend the book and suggest you ask Santa to pop it into your stocking this Christmas.'

Catherine Richards, December 2015 PDF

'Kieran writes with infectious enthusiasm and a passion for his topic. My feeling is that his ideas will work best with older teens and young adults, but there are sources of inspiration for all of us here.'

Philip Kerr

TEA ELT News, Winter 2015 PDF

'Overall, it will be difficult to find a book that covers the area better. There are dozens of practical ideas that can be used in any classroom and a number of very stimulating concepts which could be developed into longer projects either within a class or, for a school as a whole.'

Enda Scott

TESOL Spain E-newsletter, January 2016 PDF

'In my view, the medium, short films in particular, offer great potential for enhancing language learning, and this book does an excellent job at providing a thorough and all- encompassing overview of exactly why.'

James Taylor

ETAS Journal 33/1, Winter 2015 PDF

'Overall, with Film in Action, you will be guided and inspired. This book is particularly suited for those with a special interest in more fully appreciating all aspects of films.'

Claire McGrath

English Australia Journal Volume 31 No 2, Spring 2016 PDF

Component ISBNs

Coursebook 978-1-909783-07-2

13 responses to Film in Action

  1. […] celebrate the forthcoming publication of my new book Film in Action for DELTA Publishing in April, I’m going to share some activities from the book in a series of […]

    • Mary says:

      Hi kieran
      I advocate your site everywhere. I currently work in China and showed it at a conference – everyone loves it. I totally appreciate all your work – great for encouraging talking/listening which is my focus in EAL. I encourage English teachers and social studies teachers to use it as well. Many subjects can benefit from it.
      Basically my question – is the book in digital form as living in China there are delivery issues?
      I’m back home in the north (Belfast) in July so could maybe get it delivered there but then I have sooo many goodies I need to take to China for my homesick days :-)
      Congrats on the site and awards.

      • Helen Beesley says:

        Hi Mary, thanks for your message to Kieran, which we’ll pass on to him to see. In answer to your question about the book, this isn’t available in digital format I’m afraid – so you’ll need to make space for it in your suitcase : ) Hope you enjoy the book. Helen

  2. […] celebrate the recent publication of my new book Film in Action for DELTA Publishing, I’m sharing a number of activities you can try out with your students. In […]

  3. […] celebrate the recent publication of my new book Film in Action for DELTA Publishing, I’m sharing a number of activities you can try out with your students. […]

  4. […] celebrate the publication of Film in Action this month we are launching a student film-making competition in which your school could win over […]

  5. […] Kieran Donaghy’s introduction to his new title Film in Action, launching at IATEFL Manchester in April […]

  6. […] Film in Action by Kieran Donaghy, the latest title in our multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series, is now in stock! You can find out more about the book here and why not enter our student film making competition here too, for a chance to win over £300 worth of software? […]

  7. […] with the video is adapted from two activities (Ordering the actions & Six-screenshot story) in Film in Action: Teaching Language using moving images (Delta Publishing) by Kieran […]

  8. […] celebrate the  publication of my new book Film in Action for DELTA , I’m going to share some activities from the book in a series of  posts over the […]

  9. […] To view information on Kieran Donaghy’s book Film In Action, follow this link: […]

  10. […] adapted from two activities (Memory Game & See-hear-feel) in Kieran Donaghy’s excellent book Film in Action: Teaching language using moving images (Delta […]

  11. […] Donaghy is an award-winning writer, teacher and trainer. He is the author of the methodology book Film in Action (DELTA Publishing). His website Film English won a British Council ELTons Award in 2013. You can […]

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