Teaching English with Videos Part One by Hall Houston

In the next few articles, I’m going to explore the topic of videos in English teaching, and show you how videos can be used in the classroom.


I want to start off by sharing some of my favorite sites for ESL/EFL videos.


The first is called Lessonshare (www.lessonshare.org). It’s a website created by Jamie Keddie containing many brilliant lessons involving video clips, such as Clumsy Best Man and Elevator Pitch. I’ve used many of the lessons on his site with my classes and have never failed to get a positive response. Two clever lesson formats he presents on his site are: What Happens Next? (students watch the first part of a video and guess what will happen next) and Videotelling (teacher explains some of the story in a video, eliciting answers from students as he goes, then shows the class the video).


Another great site is Film English (www.film-english.com). This site has English learning lessons that involve award winning short films. However, a large number of lessons are more suitable for upper-intermediate or advanced students. If your class is at a lower level, you might opt for a video without dialogue, such as Father and Daughter.


BBC/British Council has a number of fantastic series of videos for learning English. Students can learn common English idioms with a series of hilarious videos from “The Teacher” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theteacher/). Also, students can pick up some practical conversation in these cute skits titled “How To” (http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/how-to). If your students enjoy sports or reality TV, they might want to play The English Game (http://premierskills.britishcouncil.org/)


SOZO Exchange has some quick and clever videos focusing on pronunciation and intonation. Check out Can you tell the difference? (http://sozoexchange.com/quizzes/) and How you say it matters (http://sozoexchange.com/how-you-say-it-matters/)


Claudio Azevedo has two websites featuring film clips and accompanying lessons. The first, Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals (http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.tw/), links short film clips to grammar points. The second, Movie Segments for Warm-Ups and Follow-Ups (http://warmupsfollowups.blogspot.tw/), uses movie clips to generate conversation on an intriguingly diverse range of topics.


Finally, if your class loves music, you might want to introduce them to Lyrics Training (www.lyricstraining.com). On this website, students watch a video and do a cloze exercise (fill in the missing words) while they listen. The video will not continue to the next segment until the student enters the correct word. Best of all, the site features videos from popular artists such as Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars.


In the next article, I will give some general guidelines for using videos in class and finding videos your students might enjoy watching.


>> Continue to Part 2 >>



Hall Houston teaches at Kainan University in Taoyuan County, Taiwan. His articles have been published in periodicals such as It's for Teachers, Modern English Teacher and English Teaching Professional. He has written 3 books: The Creative Classroom: Teaching Languages Outside the Box, Provoking Thought: Memory and Thinking in ELT, and The ELT Daily Journal: Learning to Teach ESL/EFL

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