This article reports the use of the movie “Im Labyrinth des Schweigens” in an intermediate German class at Hiroshima University, along with the results of a questionnaire survey conducted after the class.
The lesson consisted of three stages. In the first stage, the students were divided into six groups, with each group watching one of the six episodes of the Japanese subtitled version of the movie. After watching, the students summarized the stories of the episodes they had been asked to watch, and wrote reports on the characters appearing in the movie and the historical facts they learned.
In the second stage, the students watched two sequences chosen from among the episodes they had watched in the German subtitled version, and wrote down the German subtitles. The German transcripts were then translated into Japanese by students. In the third stage, the students’ translation was used as teaching material in the class, and the translation was discussed from the perspective of pragmatics.
Previous studies in English language education have reported that movies are effective for listening training, as well as contributing to learner motivation. However, from the results of this survey, it was found that this teaching method is also suitable for reading training in intermediate German classes. Students found that translating movie transcripts into Japanese is more interesting than regular text translation. Also, by translating the movie transcript, students’ understanding of the contents of the movie was deepened.