20 great video sites for the EFL classroom

I was asked on my FB page where I find good videos for class. I stumble upon them now and then (like here, thanks Lana), but I also find these sources pretty useful. Hope this helps!

Joseph’s Machines

If you’re doing anything related to inventions, processes, technology, and so on, Joseph’s Machines is great inspiration. His videos are really engaging and there are tonnes of them so it’s good for follow up work outside class.


Business Insider

Tonnes of (fairly) short business/tech/economics related videos on this You Tube channel. Not all videos have presenters, they are sometimes just text/subtitles and images – good for speed reading/gist reading/completion tasks/ etc. I haven’t used the video below in class as not that relevant, but thought I’d share this one for your general interest!


Great Big Story

Jake from Fluentize (previously Veslio) introduced me to this one when I reviewed his site, which incidentally offers some great video lessons. Some of them centre around Great Big Story, which has a wide range of engaging content. You’ll find some particularly useful content for EDI on there – here are a couple of examples:


World Economic Forum

You can find some really useful vids on here, especially for dealing with social/environmental issues. A lot of the videos are quite long, but there is a range of shorter ‘Animated Explainers and Shorts’ which can be a good route in to various topics. They also have lots of the text only vids that I mentioned for Business Insider too.


BBC Learning English

Quite an obvious one here, but this does have some great videos. Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop goes down well with my students at the moment…

CBeebies Bedtime Stories

I’ve giving this an honorary mention for Pipkins, my old CELTA YL trainer (I don’t mean she is old…).  I haven’t used these bedtime stories in class, but she says they’re great so I’ll chuck it on the list. Here’s the Tom Hardy one she’s been going on about…


Pete Jones’ IELTS videos

I’ve put this directly under CBeebies for contrast. I’m surprised at the fairly modest amount of subscribers for these videos. Pete Jones offers some really good tips for the IELTS speaking exam, with commentaries on example speaking from candidates. Useful stuff. Worth sharing for self-study.


ISLCollective video lessons, Tube Quizard, LyricsTraining

I’ve lumped these all together as I use them for the same thing – suggested self-study. I’ve never used them in class other than to introduce them, but I’ve used them as homework tasks. That’s just me though, I’m sure they can be used in lessons if you want! I only just realized that LyricsTraining is an app too.

Film English, Lessonstream

These are good sites for lesson ideas around videos, rather than just the videos themselves. Neither are updated that often these days but you can still find inspiration there.

Vocab in chunks

A nice little ‘video aggregator’ of a blog which sources some good videos and picks out some nice phrases that appear in them, which make a nice core of a lesson. I’ll mention All.at.c here too, but not sure it’s being updated anymore.

National Geographic

Again – wildlife, environment, space etc. There’s NatGeo Wild too. There are some great videos on here which my YLs love. The videos from Nautilus expeditions are awesome (as Jamie Keddie at Lessonstream has used before):

Plus it has good videos to prompt debate about environmental and ethical issues, like this one:


TV adverts

These are always good inspiration and ideas around them pop up on the various teacher blogs I read. Here’s the latest advert I’ve enjoyed – how would you build a lesson around it? Share your ideas in the comments if you’ve time!



Science videos on YouTube, varying in length and great for particularly geeky classes. If you’ve ever used ‘The Last Word’ from New Scientist in class (which I love) then you’ll enjoy some of explanatory videos…. Great stimulus for students trying to make their own explanations up for life’s mysteries!


Video Zone – LearnEnglish Teens/Kids

The British Council have their own section for video resources on the LearnEnglish site. Each interesting clip comes with vocabulary and comprehension activities.

British Council Word on the Street

I know I harp on about this but I do think the videos from this section were underrated. Good for authentic English and helping learners explore British culture, which is in my job remit.

Daily Dose of Internet

This YouTube channel is full of interesting 3-minute long videos which splice together random internet clips. You have to be careful with this one for educational purposes due to the random nature of the clips it’s hard to guarantee that everything is appropriate. Still, it’s worth persevering with this because these videos can be great conversation starters and a nice lead in. You never know what will pop up in the video next…



I used to use Vimeo more but I stopped. The videos are usually high quality, very artistic and can be very engaging. However, you need a log in, which can be a faff. I find the search functions on the site not that great – I tend to waste a lot of time searching for appropriate content on here. However, I can’t not put it in this list as you might find it useful and it is worth exploring for sure.


My colleague Iris is giving a talk in a couple of weeks about the using Pixar videos in class. Should be interesting! Make sure you check it out.

I haven’t done much of that myself, but I do see the value in animated short movies for YLs. Here’s one I used last year, worth giving a go!

Last but not least… TED Talks. Why have I left it until last? Well, I really haven’t used it that often in class, it just doesn’t fit my set up. But I do subscribe to the podcast and can certainly see value in using this in class if my context allowed.

So, that was the long answer to ‘where do I find good videos?’ The short one is… look on Great Big Stories.

Where do you find your videos for class? Please comment and share any useful sites or channels. Cheers.

P.s. I have no idea if there are actually 20 ideas here, it was a clickbait title 😉

Categories: Lesson Ideas, videos

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12 replies

  1. Great selection, have used most of them 🙂 Tim is probably my favourite!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great selection. I’m going to check out World Economic Forum with a class I have in mind. In a moment of shameless self publicity, I have quite a few environment-focused langueage-learning video lessons on my blog http://www.eltsustainable.com I’d be glad to know what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant! Very useful. Thanks. I also like ELLLO and My English Voice, because it’s easy to also find a variety of ‘non-native speaker’ voices. And they’ve got ready made lesson plans too if you’re out of time, feeling uninspired, or simply a bit lazy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Super useful, thanks! I’m a big fan of Great Big Story. I’d also add livestreams (I blogged about some of them a while ago https://eltcation.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/watch-live/) and TED-Ed animations (work quite well with teens) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yDmGnA8Hw0&list=PLJicmE8fK0EiFRt1Hm5a_7SJFaikIFW30


  5. Hi!
    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be putting up a post about it on tomorrow’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for comments.




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