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How to Use Videos in Online ESL Lessons

How to Use Videos in Online ESL Lessons | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Watching videos is an effective way to switch between different activities or time fill. Modern students are more likely to watch videos or look at images than to do worksheets or read. Videos are also excellent sources of audio-lingual information that develops listening and speaking skills.

However, to use videos during the online ESL lessons, it is essential to follow several rules that our TEFL expert shares in this article.

Goals and Exercises

Before watching videos, think carefully about the exercises you’ll give to your student and the purpose of this activity.

Why use video-listening activities?

  • Train the lesson vocabulary
  • Learn how can the lesson grammar points be used
  • Drill grammar constructions
  • Work on pronunciation skills

When planning online ESL lessons, understand your student’s needs, and set up appropriate goals to make sure the video activity will be useful.

Also Read: "The Way to Effective Learning: Online or Onsite?"

Student’s Level

young adults in the esl classroom

Consider your student’s level when picking a video for your online ESL lessons. It’s better to choose either adopted materials or specialized ESL videos if you work with young learners. Teaching older students, make sure you don’t use incomprehensible videos with challenging vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. If you prefer authentic materials, carefully select those materials that will be clear and correspond to the ESL learner’s level.

Video Length

Again, it’s essential to consider your students’ level and age. If there’s a young learner, they lose concentration fast due to the attention span. An adult that has just started their ESL journey may be frustrated to watch longer videos because they don’t understand any words. So, I recommend choosing shorter videos between 2-5 minutes.

Exercise Ideas

boy studying online

Just watching a video in your online ESL lessons is pointless. What’s more important is to do some exercises based on video content. Anyway, you’ll spend time, and your student won’t benefit from it.

Also Read: Young Learners: 5 Creative/artistic Activities to Do During COVID-19

What activities to prepare?

  • After watching the video, ask the student what did he get from the video? What was the plot, main characters, problems, etc.?
  • Ask more specific questions to develop their previous answer.
  • Put different pictures related and unrelated to the video and ask the student to mark those things he saw in the video.
  • Ask the student to put pictures/sentences in the correct order. Prepare related pictures/statements in advance.
  • True/False: prepare different statements related/unrelated to the video, ask the student to read them (or read them yourself) and decide if they’re right or wrong. You can use actions (e.g., clap if true, stamp if false).
  • Match pictures. For example, characters speak about their favorite things. Ask your student to match characters with their favorite objects.
  • Play a dialogue. With older students, you can play conversation from the video using the target vocabulary.

Also Read: Top Tips for Learning the Local Lingo When Teaching English Abroad

Video Resources for Online ESL Lessons

boy watching videos on PC

You can find lots of videos on the following YouTube channels:

For younger students:

  • Super Simple songs
  • The singing Walrus
  • English Singing
  • Fun kids English

Vocabulary lessons:

  • Magic Box
  • Dream English Kids
  • Maple leaf learning

For teenagers and adults:

  • British Council Teens
  • British Council Learn English

Another great resource that can help you look for videos by keywords is YouGlish. It is especially useful for teaching listening skills as you can sort by accents.

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