Teaching with Trailers: Ready Player One

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 21 March 2018 > Webpicks

Ready Player One is set in a universe many pupils recognise – that of video games and virtual reality. The trailer is relatively simple in terms of speech and very rich visually, so it's a great classroom resource from A1+.

If there are pupils in the class who have seen the film already, or read the book, or just know about the film, use them as a resource to set the scene. It always works well if they believe you don't know about it and they need to explain. Below A2, you may need to keep this stage until you have watched the video together and come up with some vocabulary collectively. At A1+, work on the trailer will focus mainly on the images rather than listening comprehension.

The first speech is the hero Wade Watts saying the riddle that launches the contest to inherit the OASIS game world: "A hidden key, a leap not taken. Retrace your steps, escape your past, and the key will be yours at last."

Then he looks at a magazine cover about game creator James Halliday, and asks, "What part of your past are you trying to escape, Halliday?"

Like all riddles, the language is somewhat obscure but between the headline on the magazine and Wade's comment, pupils should be able to understand that there is a mystery about this man.

From 0:35, Wade gives a simple explanation of the situation:
"This is the OASIS, a whole virtual universe. You can do anything, be anyone, without going anywhere at all. The OASIS was created by James Halliday, and what he left behind changed everything: A contest. Three impossible challenges. The first to finish gets complete control of the OASIS. Which means complete control of the future."
The speech is slow and clear, and with your help even A2 pupils should be able to understand it. It's a great opportunity to work on can and on indefinite pronouns with the examples: anything, anyone, anywhere, everything.

The section (1:10-1:25) where Wade/Perzival meets Samantha/Art3mis is great for physical descriptions comparing the human versions Wade and Samantha with their avatars Perzival and Art3mis.

The rest of the trailer is mainly an action sequence and again great for description of the city, transport and sci-fi elements. Pupils can have fun spotting the visual references: the dinosaur/Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park, King Kong, robots, cyborgs, etc. And using the present with BE +ing to describe what is happening.


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Notion(s) culturelle(s) : "L’imaginaire"