>Grab your students with suspense!

>A teacher asked for help, “A student has asked me to suggest TV shows that have easy-to-understand dialog. I’m afraid that I’m not well versed in current TV programming. Does anyone have any suggestions? We’re looking for shows in the North American market.”

I am always on the lookout for material that really interests my students and is at a level my students can understand, ie: Krashen’s i+1.

I was recently thrilled when I discovered a DVD collection of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Season One”. This old B&W classic (1955) from TV is absolutely great. They are 25-minutes long. The English is very basic, almost no slang, very clear speaking. Each one is a sort of suspense/mystery or thriller situation that really engages the viewer as the central character finds himself with some sort of difficult or impossible problem.

Play it in English with English subtitles and watch your students get trapped in the suspense. Monday, without introduction, I put it on during my college students’ break in the middle of class. 45 out of 50 students put their headphones on and were glued to the story and I was met with sighs of disappointment when I had to turn it off after the 10-minute break was up. We watched more during the next break.

Although someone usually dies in each show, the material is so tame by today’s standards of “CSI”, dismembered and dripping bodies, lawyer/detective/police, “24”, type of TV that is so awful today.

They are very easy and interesting to watch and, for this reason plus the fact they are so short, it is difficult to watch only one. I must confess I watched six last night while my wife watched “24” and some other things.

The series is in DVD 9 and only $22.50 from Amazon.com[1] or, if you are in China, $2.75 from your local DVD seller.

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