Films help international students learn more about American Culture

Washburn adjunct professor Larry McFall and his wife host ‘movie night’ for international students.

Mairui Li is a junior majoring in accounting and finance

Larry McFall is an adjunct professor in the Intensive English program at Washburn University. In order to help his students and other international students improve their English, he and his family host movie night every Friday.

“A lot of international students need help with their English and we like to help them,” said McFall. “My family and I enjoy interacting with international students. They bring different culture. We learn something new from them.”

McFall and his family prepare shakes and drinks for every movie night. Afterwards they like to include discussions with the international students, which are usually based on the movies. Through the discussions, international students can gain insight on the American culture, and the culture shock may be decreased.

“I learned a bunch of things like American history, stories from the Bible, new vocabulary from the movies,” said by Jack Zhao, a freshman major in Business, “I think it’s a great place for international students to learn English.”

Choosing films is not an easy action. As a group they never choose R-rated movies.

“We shared the movies based on what is happening. For example, we may select some movies about football in the football season; we may provide the film called “The Bible” in Christmas time,” said by McFall. “Also we may choose some popular movies such as “Narnia” and “The Lord of Rings.” We hope the international students could also communicate with other Americans.”

McFall usually offers some selections for the international students. The students rate the movies to help decide what they would like to watch that night.

“I enjoyed every movie I watched so far, they’re all good movies,” said Zhao. “Especially “The Wizard of Oz.” From that movie I learned a lot of things about Kansas. “The Ultimate Gift,” a story of a rich man who changed considerably through the movie, had a profound impact on me.”

Zhao joined in this activity because of his friend Magid.

“Magid, one of Larry’s students invited me to Larry’s house and I went to their house and watched a movie,” Zhao said.

This movie group is getting bigger and bigger as more international students are taking part in the activity. McFalls provide a perfect chance for international students to enhance their English and learn about the American culture.

For more information about this activity contact Professor Larry McFall via email at [email protected]