More Ideas For Adding Videoclips to Your English Class!

Are you looking for more excellent videoclips for your English classes or private lessons?

As blog readers know, I’m a huge fan of encouraging students to find their own materials to summarize for homework on particular topics. For instance, students in my high intermediate oral skills found and reviewed videos offering advice on job interviews. Students emailed me their recommended clips with a short descriptive paragraph and a few sentences evaluating the video. Then I edited their writing, combined their reviews into a single document, and emailed the entire class the videoclips.

“Use or lose” was my comment. “Viewing these videoclips is an opportunity, not an obligation. Enjoy!” Almost every student chose to watch the videos and our 10-15 minute mock job interviews were quite strong. Allowing students to select their own materials lead to more authentic, student centered learning both in and out of the classroom.

Yet sometimes both students and teachers lack time. It’s a real pleasure to have someone systematically collect and sort through potential video materials for class.
Hall Houston, the author of The Creative Classroom: Teaching Languages Outside the Box, recently posted about Jamie Keddie’s excellent website on his blog:

Hall writes, “This website ( ) contains over 30 clever lesson plans for using video clips in the TEFL classroom. The lessons are well-written and contain teacher’s notes and handouts. I am looking forward to using some of these lessons in my classes this year (2009).” As so often, I share Hall’s tastes and concerns for creating a dynamic, creative classroom where students learn English and critical thinking skills.

By the way, Hall recently wrote a long, very positive review of Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics for English Teaching Professional. (Here’s a shout out to Hall. Thanks for the review and tip on videoclips!)

We live in a wonderful time to teach English. The technology allows us to gently cajole students to become autotelic, or self-directed, in their studies. Teaching with videoclips, both as homework and in class, adds visual information and builds rapport with our 21st century English students.

Use it or lose it. You choose. Will video work in your English – Seeing is Believing ?

Ask more. Know more. Share more.
Create Compelling Conversations.


  1. Hi ya, Eric

    Emphatically agree!

    I also think well chosen activities like the one you chose above not only get the students motivated -somehow it feels like they’re relaxing not doing ‘homework’ (a word I deplore) BUT it also cuts teacher-prep time down considerably. In my experience a 3 min clip that takes a few mins to download can provide enough fodder for a 1.5hr lesson.

    Take care, Karenne

  2. We really do think alike!

    You also made an excellent point about saving teachers’ time. This advantage, which I often underpromote, seems to be the biggest selling point for quality ESL materials. Given the nature of our work, we often have too little time to prepare for our classes the way we would like. These clips save time – and provide quality.

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