Using video in the classroom is a great way to engage learners in the material, either from a topic perspective or with a particular language point. Young learners in particular seem to love the moving image and it can be a great way of providing a change of focus or as a visually supported alternative to a standard listening activity.
These sites all do a great job of making film the focus. Here they are in no particular order:
Kieran Donaghy’s award winning site takes short, authentic films and develops lesson plans around them. Full lesson plans and any additional materials are provided. Searchable by theme or by level, you can usually find something to work into your lesson. The videos tend to be quirky and thought provoking and are usually good for discussion in a wider context. My favourite: The Adventures of a Cardboard box – because the sheer imagination of the kid in the video is fantastic and it’s great for any age of class.
Not all of the lessons on Jamie Keddie’s site involve videos, but most do! All the lessons on the site have plans and materials attached to them and are available for download. Lessons are tagged by level and language point and there’s a great range of topics to work with. These are also interesting and thought provoking videos that can stimulate some good classroom discussion. Worth investigating. My Favourite: Business Cards – because of the kinetic typography video! Which I love as a great way of using words as visuals!
This is a lot more than just a video site. A community based site with lots of resources to share in pretty much every area, the video section is a great place to dip into for short videos (most are under the ten minute mark) related to specific language points (e.g. question tags) or topics (e.g. Kenyan marathon runners). This site does require registration, but it is free to do so. There’s also videos for your own development – short snippets of Chomsky and the like, or people trying to explain Chomsky and the like!
My favourite: too many to choose from! There is a free pdf download of “Using Video in the classroom” which has some nice recipes that you can use with any video.
13/03/15 – Update: I’ve been told that EFL Classroom 2.0 is now behind a paywall and that attempts to access it for free via facebook logins etc were unsuccessful. I must have joined a very long time ago, because I didn’t know that it now charged for access. My review was based on the idea that it was a free to access but registration required site and I’m not comfortable with recommending people pay for a service without making a much more detailed examination of what you might get for the money. It may be that my informant just had a couple of issues with login details or wait times etc – so try it and see if it works for free for you!
Vicki Hollett’s site does exactly what it says – it provides a range of short videos that focus in on simple aspects of English, like “lend or borrow” or “have something done”. These are instructional in that as well as providing a context for the language and demonstrating use of the language, there is also explanation and clarification. There are interactive transcripts, but you do need to find a way to incorporate them into your lesson, they aren’t a lesson in themselves. That said, they are a really nice alternative to a traditional language presentation from a coursebook. My favourite: Cook, Cooker or Chef? – because it’s something my students always get wrong and now I just give them the URL for homework!
This blog has fantastic range of videos aimed at intermediate levels and above. Teachers of Cambridge English: First and Cambridge English: Advanced classes will find a lot to work with, including some videos that are aimed directly at these exams. The procedures are clear and straightforward to work with and any materials you need to give out are available as pdf downloads. My favourite: Look up – because I love using poetry with students (and do so far too infrequently) and because it neatly encapsulates my relationship with social media! The video link on the blog has gone awry, but a quick search of You Tube for “Look Up – Gary Turk” finds alternatives you can use.