14 Oct 2008


Using a video in class has not always been really appreciated by administrators in education since they considered it as something used by teachers when they did not have anything better to do, or when they had not prepared their lessons. But using a video in an appropriate way can be really useful for your students because they can learn English in a natural way and associating vocabulary to a context. It is really important to present vocabulary within a context. What is more, as videos are a tool for communication they become more motivated than just doing exercises in their notebooks, because they can express their ideas and therefore, they feel important in class.

I have posted some interesting and funny videos which just last some minutes. Some of them are songs for primary and other ones are children stories but I am sure you will find also resources for teens.
Videos are a source for listening and speaking practice.

Teaching tips:

ONLY PICTURES: Introduce the video without sound (only in children stories) and ask your students to tell you what happens in the story. After that play the story again and make them questions about it.

ONLY SOUND: It is the other way round. Play the video but without the pictures, and students have to interpret what they listened.

THE FROZEN PICTURE: The teacher stop a picture and asks his/her pupils what they think it is going to happen next.

ROLE-PLAY: you can adapt a story to perform it, and do a video with your pupil’s story. You can also use the grammatical points you have explained in class for doing other communicative activities with your students. For example, when you have taught present and past simple they can be journalist and make interviews to other partners or to the people who works in the school; they can make a recipe, a cake… and explain how they are making it in order to practice food vocabulary and the imperative. While they are making the cakes or other recipes you can record them.

DICTATION: we can also use the video for dictations. This video is not for children, but it is for elementary learners. It deals with directions and places in real situations.

This one is for introducing yourself and spelling names

There is another interesting video about countries and nationalities. Maybe they cannot understand everything but I am sure they can identify some simple structures they have learn, such as “My name is…”, they country they are from…

There are many videos about this topics in YOUTUBE. BE CAREFUL WITH COPYRIGHT, there is no problem if you only use them in class.

FILL IN THE GAPS: you can also use the videos to create your own worksheets with the text where they students have to fill the gaps with the right word.

JUST A HALF: divide the class in two groups and show just the half of the story to one group. After that show the second part of the story to the second group. Then one group have to tell the part they have seen to the another one and vice versa to reconstruct the story.

MAKE A NEW STORY: the students after watching the video have to create a new story using some words which appeared in it.

a) This is a 4 years children singing Ten in a Bed. They are really adorable! This is a song which was performed by a class. It is important to teach songs through mimic since they can remember more easily.

b) An ABC song for children.

c) Teaching tips with the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

d) Song with body parts + can. THE BATH SONG.

e) Teaching Tips. Game: Who took the cookie?

g) Funny video about Itsy Bitsy Spider Song. Animated.

h) A teacher teaches the song to their children through mimic.

There are several versions from the song There was a lady who swallowed a fly. It is very useful for teaching ANIMALS:
1. Muppet Show - "There was an Old Lady who swallowed a Fly" Super, super funny. It is from a Sesame Street Chapter. It is a simple and funny story to learn animals since it is very repetitive.

2. Song There was an Old Lady… It is another version performed by an Asiatic teacher.

3. This is another version with the animals pictures while the song is listened.

4. The tale with images in a video.

5. And this is my favourite one (CARTOON SONG) There was an Old Lady who…

The visual must enrich the text but don't forget that we cannot exploit a song and a video in the same way.Tom y Jerry’s video.

All these videos are good because they don’t last too much, just a minutes, so you can plan many activities with them. And at the same time, children will pay attention because it is a different activity, it has got images, a different voice…


Hi! I saw your blog in eslprintables (I'm Trelly there) and I really liked your first post!

Personally, I think that videos should be included in an esl class to provide students with opportunities to listen to authentic language in use (specially if you live in countries where there are few native English speakers).

I'll add you to my blogroll so as to keep in touch.



Dear Inma, I'm an English Teacher from Seville. I've seen your blog in ESL-Printables. Now, I haven't got so much time but I will try to read your blog later and give my opinions.
Take care!

My dear Inma

It´s a five star blog that you have here .

Love from Portugal
:) ***********

Thanks a lot to all of you for the nice comments you have left in my blog. I hope the topics and resources I upload are useful for you and your students. I'm really interested in sharing resources, ideas... with those super teachers from all over the world!!!
Have a nice day!

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