This comprehensive guide will show you how to use videos to teach English and advance student language learning.
In today’s digital age, video content has become a cornerstone of effective language learning. Videos offer a dynamic and engaging way to teach English, making the language more accessible, enjoyable, and practical. Whether you’re a teacher looking to enhance your classroom experience or a student seeking to improve your English skills, videos can be a great tool.
Using Videos to Teach English
Before you start using videos to teach English, you need to consider the aims and objectives you’d like to achieve by incorporating them into your lessons.
Many educational platforms and websites provide English-language video content designed for teaching purposes. Websites like TikTok and YouTube have thousands of videos for learning English, with dedicated channels and playlists curated for language learners.
There is a mass of information out there and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what’s available. It’s therefore important to select material that will actually enhance the student’s learning experience. You should keep in mind the following (I like to call it RAT):
- Relevance: Choose videos that align with the learners’ language proficiency and overall English level. For beginners, opt for simple, straightforward content, while intermediate and advanced learners can handle more complex material.
- Authenticity: Authentic videos can be very useful for older learners but may not be appropriate for young learners. They often prefer cartoons! Meanwhile, movie clips, news broadcasts, or YouTube vlogs, offer a glimpse into real-world language usage and are suitable for older students. They expose students to different accents, tones, and contexts. You can use them according to the content of your lessons.
- Target language skills: What aspect of language do you want your students to acquire? Are you trying to help them improve their grammar, vocabulary, listening, or speaking skills? There are a whole host of ways you can use videos to teach English, and this is just scratching the surface. You need to choose video content that matches your student’s learning objectives and the language skills you are targeting.
With that in mind, what can video be used for when it comes to teaching English?
How Videos Can Be Used To Teach English
Videos can be used to improve a wide range of English language skills, making them a versatile and effective teaching tool. Here are some key language skills that videos can help enhance:
By watching and imitating native speakers in videos, learners can practice pronunciation, intonation, and fluency. Role-play and speaking activities based on video content can also improve conversational skills.
Videos provide a wealth of authentic audio content in various accents and dialects, helping learners improve their listening comprehension, recognize intonation patterns, and become more accustomed to the rhythm and flow of spoken English.
Vocabulary & Spelling
Videos introduce learners to new words, idiomatic expressions, and phrases in context. Watching videos that focus on specific vocabulary themes or topics can help expand learners’ word banks and improve their spelling.
Videos can illustrate and reinforce grammar rules by showing how they are applied in real-life situations. Learners can observe how sentences are structured, tenses are used, and complex grammar concepts are applied. Explainer videos for English grammar are particularly useful for this.
Video subtitles or captions can be an excellent tool for improving reading skills. Learners can follow along with the text while listening to spoken English, which aids in vocabulary recognition and comprehension.
After watching videos, learners can engage in various writing exercises. These may include summarizing the video, composing essays or reports related to the content, or writing dialogue based on what they’ve seen and heard.
Videos often provide cultural insights, introducing learners to the customs, traditions, and social dynamics of English-speaking communities. This enhances their understanding of cultural contexts and communication.
Listening and Note-Taking
Using videos with varying degrees of difficulty can challenge learners to improve their note-taking skills. They can learn to extract key information from spoken discourse, enhancing their academic and professional abilities.
Videos can be used to spark discussions and debates, encouraging learners to analyze, evaluate, and form their opinions on various topics. This helps develop critical thinking skills and enhances their ability to express their thoughts in English.
Videos depicting social interactions, conversations, and interviews offer learners the opportunity to understand the social dynamics of language use, such as appropriate greetings, body language, and conversational cues.
Videos can be a valuable resource for those preparing for English proficiency exams like TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge exams. They can serve as practice material for listening and speaking sections.
Accent Recognition and Adaptation
Exposure to different accents through videos helps learners adapt and become more comfortable with various English accents. This is crucial for effective communication in a globalized world.
Motivation and Engagement
Videos can make language learning more enjoyable and engaging. They can spark interest, curiosity, and motivation, making learners more eager to explore and practice the language.
How To Use Video To Teach
Let’s look at how we can use video to teach different areas of English in a bit more detail:
Using videos to teach English, particularly focusing on speaking skills, is highly effective in various contexts. Here are some situations when you can incorporate videos to enhance English speaking skills:
- Speaking Practice Sessions: Dedicated speaking practice sessions can be built around video content. Videos containing dialogues, conversations, or interviews are excellent resources for practicing conversational English. After watching a video, students can discuss the content, engage in role-playing, or share their opinions, fostering better speaking skills.
- Role-Playing Exercises: Create role-playing activities based on video content, allowing students to take on different roles and practice speaking in various scenarios, such as ordering food at a restaurant or conducting a job interview.
- Debates and Discussions: Use videos to introduce thought-provoking topics, which can then serve as a springboard for debates and discussions. Encourage students to express their opinions, provide arguments, and engage in group discussions.
- Pronunciation and Accent Training: Videos featuring native speakers can help learners improve their pronunciation and accent. They can watch and listen to the speakers, imitating their speech patterns, intonation, and pronunciation. Use videos from different English-speaking regions to expose students to diverse accents and cultural nuances.
- Listening and Speaking Pairing: Pair listening and speaking activities together. Have students watch a video, and then ask them to retell or summarize the content in their own words. This combination reinforces listening and speaking skills simultaneously.
- Storytelling and Narrative Skills: Videos with compelling stories, short films, or animations can be used to teach narrative skills. After viewing, have students retell the story in their own words or create their own story, promoting storytelling and creative speaking. These prompts for narrative writing can help get things going.
- Fluency Development: Play videos with fluent English speakers, and encourage students to mimic their speech patterns, pacing, and rhythm. This helps enhance fluency in spoken English.
- Real-life Situational Conversations: Videos featuring real-life scenarios, such as customer service interactions, job interviews, or social gatherings, offer opportunities for students to practice speaking in context.
- Oral Exam Preparation: Videos can be a valuable resource for students preparing for oral exams. They can watch model responses and practice answering similar questions to build confidence and improve their speaking skills.
- Self-assessment and Improvement: Encourage students to record themselves speaking about a topic or answering questions after watching a video. This allows them to self-assess their speaking skills, identify areas for improvement, and track their progress over time.
It goes without saying that video is a powerful tool for enhancing listening skills. Here are some things you can do:
- Listening Comprehension: Play videos with various accents, speech speeds, and dialects to expose students to different forms of English. Afterward, conduct comprehension exercises and discussions related to what they heard.
- Transcription Exercises: Challenge students to transcribe a part of the video, which helps improve their listening skills, spelling, and grammar simultaneously.
- Shadowing: Encourage students to shadow (repeat out loud) what they hear in the video. This helps with pronunciation and intonation.
Videos are great for expanding vocabulary:
- Contextual Learning: Use videos to teach new words in context. Provide definitions and encourage students to identify these words as they appear in the video.
- Word Families: Videos can demonstrate word families, helping students understand the connections between related words.
- Synonyms and Antonyms: Show videos where synonyms or antonyms are used to illustrate meaning and expand vocabulary.
Videos can help improve spelling through visual and auditory reinforcement. They work especially well in this regard when teaching English to young learners. Here’s how you can utilize them:
- Word Recognition: Choose videos that display words in context and encourage students to recognize and spell those words correctly. Animated videos, songs, flashcards, or subtitles can help in this context.
- Phonetics: Videos can help teach students the connection between sound and spelling. Use videos featuring phonetic exercises, pronunciation guides, or English lessons where words are spelled out as they are pronounced.
- Spelling Bee: Organize spelling bee competitions after watching a video. Select words or phrases from the video and have students spell them aloud.
Videos can be effectively used for teaching and reinforcing grammar rules:
- Tense Usage: Show videos with different tenses in use to illustrate how English verbs change based on time. For example, you can use video clips of past events to teach the past simple tense.
- Sentence Structure: Use videos to highlight different sentence structures, including questions, commands, and declarative sentences. Create activities where students identify and analyze these structures in the video dialogues.
- Conditional Sentences: Utilize videos to demonstrate various types of conditional sentences, such as zero, first, second, and third conditionals. Show how they are used in context.
- Direct and Indirect Speech: Show dialogues or conversations in videos to teach the transformation of direct speech into indirect speech and vice versa.
How To Incorporate Video Into Your Lessons
Now that we’ve covered how to use videos to teach English, let’s take a look at an example of how you can incorporate them into your lessons. What you can do will of course depend on your students’ English level.
Before playing the video, prepare students for what they are about to watch. Engage them in pre-viewing activities to pique their interest and activate their prior knowledge.
a. Predictions: Ask students to make predictions about the video’s content based on the title, a brief description, or a single still image from the video.
b. Vocabulary: Introduce key vocabulary or phrases that may appear in the video, helping students better understand and retain the language.
c. Discussion Questions: Pose discussion questions related to the video’s theme or topic to get students thinking and talking about it before viewing.
Watching the Video
While watching the video, focus on creating an interactive and engaging experience:
a. Active Listening: Encourage students to actively listen to the dialogue, paying attention to pronunciation, intonation, and context.
b. Subtitles: Consider using subtitles or closed captions, especially for beginners, to help with comprehension. Over time, challenge students to watch without subtitles to improve listening skills.
c. Note-Taking: Have students jot down key points, new vocabulary, or interesting expressions they come across during the video.
d. Pausing and Discussing: Pause the video at key moments to discuss what has happened, elicit opinions, and address any questions or concerns.
After watching the video, engage students in activities that reinforce language learning:
a. Discussion: Lead discussions about the video’s content, asking open-ended questions that encourage critical thinking and the use of new vocabulary.
b. Vocabulary Building: Review and reinforce the vocabulary introduced during the pre-viewing activities. Provide context and examples for each word or phrase.
c. Role-Playing: Use the video as inspiration for role-playing exercises, allowing students to reenact scenes and practice their speaking and listening skills.
d. Writing Assignments: Assign writing tasks related to the video, such as summaries, essays, or creative stories. This helps students practice writing in English.
e. Follow-up Activities: Explore additional resources, such as articles, quizzes, or games, that relate to the video’s theme, extending the learning experience.
Assessment and Feedback
To gauge students’ progress and provide constructive feedback:
a. Quizzes: Create short quizzes or comprehension exercises based on the video content to test understanding.
b. Peer Evaluation: Encourage peer feedback and self-assessment by having students evaluate each other’s oral or written responses to the video.
c. Teacher Feedback: Provide individual feedback on assignments and monitor students’ progress throughout the video-based lessons.
Got all that? Try incorporating video into your lessons and see how it goes. You can always just use part of this lesson plan to begin with.
Using videos to teach English is a versatile and engaging approach that caters to various learning styles and proficiency levels.
By carefully selecting video content, incorporating pre and post-viewing activities, and fostering interactive discussions, educators and students alike can harness the power of videos to enhance their English language learning journey.
As technology continues to evolve, incorporating videos into your language learning toolkit can make the process more exciting, effective, and immersive. So, get involved and start watching!
- 13 Types of Essays: Examples and Quick Guide - December 6, 2023
- How To Write an Essay in English: 11 Tips To Write a Great Essay - November 28, 2023
- 19 Best Online Quiz Makers For 2024: Elevate Your Quizzes Today! - November 27, 2023