Monday, 12 September 2011


Most of the ideas for this session were taken from an OUP pdf puclication called using video in the classroom.
I was sent this by a colleague some weeks ago, but I cannot find where it was published or who in fact was the author, please if you know can you tell me so I can give this the full referencing.
Anyway below find these excellent 10 ways of using video in the classroom by person unknown and poublished by OUP.

10 ways to use video clips in class

With today’s classroom equipment, it’s easier than it’s ever been to use video when we teach. TVs and DVD players are well established as class resources, but we can use other equipment such as data projectors and interactive whiteboards to play video clips too.

Projecting clips onto a whiteboard or using an interactive whiteboard is very similar to how you would use a television, but the great advantage is that you can write on it while the video plays! So don’t forget about these as options for your class.

In this article, I’ll give you 10 different activities for using with video in your lessons – but first, a question:

Why use video?

The obvious answer is that it’s enjoyable. Watching TV or a video/DVD

is familiar to most of your students, so you can probably expect them

to look forward to watching a clip in class.

However, there’s much more to it than simply enjoyment. Here are

some more reasons why video is a useful tool for the classroom:

Provides a different focus, which motivates students

Rich source of language

Lends itself to many activities

Reinforces language

Helps develop listening skills

Provides exposure to culture, cultural gestures and so on


Unlike listening to a CD, a video clip provides visual clues - students can see gestures accompanying speech, and this helps to understand meaning

Video clips set their own contexts both for a topic and (in terms of the classroom) for


Visual content provides a shared common knowledge – not all students will understand a

listening the same way, but everyone can see if the man’s coat is blue

Now let’s look at ten simple activities that you can use to exploit video clips in your lesson. I hope you find them useful, and I’d love to hear your feedback. Good luck!

Tip Tips

1. The Name Game

Aim: to practise and revise vocabulary

Play a DVD clip and pause it.

Ask students to shout out the things they can see on the screen.


If you wish to do it word by word, point to the things (i.e. words) you want to revise

This can become noisy, so an alternative is to ask students to write a list of what they see.

If you are using an IWB, you or the students can write the words on the paused video clip, labelling the clip like a picture.

2. Run and touch

Aim: to practise and revise vocabulary

You will need plenty of space for this activity!

Ask students to come to the front of the class

Put them in teams, ask each team to stand in a line.

Play the DVD and pause it.

Shout the name of something that appears on the screen.

Students at the front of each line have to come and touch the word. The first student to do it gets a point for their team. The students then go to the back of the line and the game repeats with the

next students from each team.

To give the students more control, get them to say the words they’ll run for.

3. Covered screen

Aim: to set the context of the lesson, or for language work such as models of deduction

If you are not using an IWB, you will need something to cover the screen (paper, card etc.)

Paused Picture

Find the piece of the DVD you wish to use and pause it. Don’t let students see it.

Use the spotlight feature in the IWB to spotlight an area that makes it hard to guess what the whole picture is.

Ask the students to guess what they are looking at. This is where the target language can be used, e.g. ‘It could be a restaurant.’

After the students have guessed, move the spotlight to another part of the picture and ask the students again.

Repeat until the students guess correctly, then reveal the picture.

For follow up, you can do ‘the name game’ activity above.


Use the screen shade feature in the IWB to cover the screen.

Tell the students you will play the DVD and they have to listen and guess where the DVD clip is set.

Play the DVD - screen shade hides the picture so the students can only hear

Stop the DVD and ask the students to think about where the DVD is set (or who are the people, how are they feeling, what the place is like and so on).

As with Paused Picture, you can ask students answer using the lesson’s target language.




Aim: to encourage speaking (or you can use it for a specific language aim)

Play the DVD and pause it before something ‘important’ happens.

Ask the students to discuss questions such has what they think is going to happen, what is the person about to do, how it will end and so on.

Play the DVD for the students to confirm their predictions.

If you are using an IWB then you can prepare the questions before the lesson and then display them on the board as a visual reference.


Aim: Similar to Prediction 1, but students see the beginning and end of the clip –

not the middle. This way they have to predict (speculate) what has happened.

Play the first part of the clip then stop it. Ask students to discuss what they’ve seen.

Fast forward the DVD (preferably so the students cannot see).

Play the end of the clip.

Ask the students to guess what happened in the middle – elicit some ideas.

Play the whole clip for students to confirm their predictions.

6. Make your own quiz

Aim: to practise questions

 Students watch a DVD clip.

After it has finished, ask them to write questions about the visual content of the clip,

e.g. what colour was the man’s sweater?

Students share their questions.

 Students try to answer the questions from memory, then by watching the clip again.


7. What are they thinking?

Aim: to test listening comprehension (students react to what the characters say)

Play the DVD and pause it when there are a few characters on the screen.

Ask the students to think about what the characters have said and what they might be thinking.

Write down their suggestions on the board.

Ask the class to discuss which are the best suggestions and why.

Draw ‘thought bubbles’ from the characters’ heads - ask students to write their ideas in the bubbles

If you play the clip without sound, you can draw speech bubbles instead of thought bubbles.

8. Body language

Aim: to show the importance of body language in communication

Choose a clip where there is a lot body language – an argument, for example.

Make sure the sound is switched off.

Play the clip and ask the students what they think is happening, what the characters are saying.

Remind them to look at the body language of the characters.

Students share their ideas.

Play the clip again with sound to see if anyone is correct


9. Overdubs

Aim: to practise understanding functional context

An overdub is when we ask students to replace the video dialogue with dialogue of their own. To do this you need to play the clip without the sound.

The students watch a clip and make notes on what they think is happening.

After the clip, students work together to decide on the dialogue (the size of the group depends on the number of characters in the clip).

When students are ready, the clip is replayed and the students ‘act out’ their dialogue.

Students decide which group has the best dialogue.

Play the clip again with audio so students can hear the original dialogue.

Check your IWB for a recording facility – students might be able to record their own dialogues

Try the internet to find a free voice-recording program

10. Subtitles

Aim: to test comprehension

You will need an IWB for this activity.

If you do not object to using L1 in the classroom, you can ask students to translate the dialogue in the clip, then write the translated dialogue as a subtitle.

As with overdubbing, your students can use subtitles to present an alternative dialogue.

There are a number of websites that can help you to add subtitles to video clips found on

the Internet.

Final tips for using video clips in class

Keep extracts reasonably short

Encourage active viewing through tasks

Prepare appropriate tasks for before, during, and after the clip

Play the clip before the lesson so you know how the technology works

Remember that video clips can have a cultural bias

Remember copyright – if you are using a clip from the Internet, it may be illegal to download it

1 comment:

  1. haha it was written by me for the OUP global ELT blog :-)