This study investigates how Chinese College Students (CCSs) make sense of foreign films and TV series from an intercultural perspective, and then explores the theoretical and pedagogical implications of the findings on the use of foreign films and TV series in English language teaching, particularly for developing students’ intercultural communicative competence.\ud The study employed a questionnaire survey and multiple-stage semi-structured interviews. Research subjects were second-year or above CCSs with students from 15 Beijing universities participating. \ud The empirical findings suggest that:\ud • In the Chinese context, foreign films and TV series are the main resource Chinese college students use, and the one they prefer to use, to learn about the U.K. and the U.S.A.\ud • Making sense of foreign films and TV series is a highly complex and dynamic process which is culturally specific. Chinese college students’ undertake sense-making activities which fall into five main categories: 1) comprehending the plot; 2) compare: identifying differences; 3) compare: identifying similarities; 4) re-contextualizing; and 5) perceiving as realistic. These sense-making activities tend to be intertwined and occur on various levels.\ud • These sense-making activities affect Chinese college students’ understanding of and attitudes to foreign people and culture, as well as to local people and culture.\ud A Foreign Media Sense-Making (FMSM) model is developed based on the sense-making activities identified and the variables which influence them. This model provides a theoretical framework suggesting how foreign films and TV series can used to develop students’ intercultural communicative competence in the English language teaching classroom, and an intercultural approach to the use of foreign films and TV series in ELT is suggested.\ud The findings give valuable insights and have practical implications for those interested in using foreign films and TV series in ELT. The FMSM model provides a conceptual framework and useful resource for the development of future research and teaching programmes
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