There’s a woman with a standing microphone next to a wooden stool on a stage. She speaks for about an hour and the paying audience laughs every now and then. What is this? It’s a stand-up comedy. Or maybe it isn’t. Oftentimes, when we are working on skills in a language class, we treat genres as something simple to identify. You see the characteristics of the the text, you can tell the genre, or so we would like to think. Sometimes we can do that even before reading or listening...

Continuing this series of exercises based on the concept of less is more, this month we turn to the movie trailer as a resource for the language classroom Trailers have become omnipresent in digital media and gain more views on YouTube than almost any other genre, except the music video. They are fascinating to analyse partly because they have undergone radical changes in terms of objectives and content over the years. As concentration spans have diminished, the trailer has become shorter and more dramatic and evolved into the ‘teaser’. One...