videos in class

Post-match interviews – a lesson using Premier Skills English

This is for all the football fans! Here’s a lesson I revised last year using resources from the brilliant Premier Skills English.

You may have seen a previous post I did on using sports commentaries in class. It focused on using the instantaneous present simple, which is popular among commentators. When I listen to managers being interviewed I often hear past incidents described using a mixture between present simple, past simple AND present perfect! Even the continuous is used… it’s so confusing!

 ‘He committed himself to the tackle, Cazorla sees that and dinks it over him and he’s ended up getting a card’.

‘He’s come on and played really well. He got the goal he deserved’.

‘When he played Zamora in you’re thinking ‘this is it’, but he’s hit the post and, well, we drop two points’. (more…)

Lesson idea: introducing inventions

Lessons that involve designing a new invention or product have cropped up at 5 of the 6 summer schools I’ve worked at. I came across this video the other day that gives me a new lead-in to the topic…

After 44 seconds the video starts to reveal a series of interesting inventions to help with routine/household tasks. The inventions include a plate smashing machine, an automatic thumbs up/down hand, and a bed separator! (more…)

Lesson idea: introducing dreams and ambitions

You really must check out these two sites: All at C and Vocabulary in Chunks. I’ve started to use a lot more videos in class and these have some great resources on them!

Sometimes I come across resources, especially videos, that make me think ‘this would be really useful for introducing a lesson on [INSERT TOPIC HERE]’. I often forget about them if the topic doesn’t come up in the textbook soon. I’m going to start storing these videos in my ‘lesson ideas’ section, so I can come back to them when needed! I hope you find some of them useful too! When I get enough videos I’ll put them all into one post.

First up, here’s one I found yesterday. It’s about a radio-controlled car who creates their own little adventure:


Lesson idea: activities for short videos

I use a lot of videos in class these days. There’s no shortage of inspiration for film lessons online, and a bit in print too. We received a funnybonescopy of Film in Action last June, which Martin Sketchley reviewed here. This book (plus the accompanying website, Film English) has great resources and ideas for using videos in class. There are some other brilliant sites to bookmark – notably and Vocabulary in Chunks, which choose some great clips to build lessons around! The best resource I’ve ever come across for using movies in class was Shrek in the ESL Classroom by Brian Boyd (of Grammarman fame). When I create my own video resources I often find myself delving into this booklet.

Anyway, here’s something I made recently. It’s based on a classic kids cartoon called Funnybones (which were great books too). I used it with my 10 year olds during Halloween and it went down well.

This post is less about the actual video, and more about showing some example activities to use with short film clips. I hope it gives you some ideas for making your own lessons using videos, especially with YLs.

Here’s the clip:


Lesson idea: Introducing travel

The old ones are the best! Here’s a video of a guy travelling around the world and dancing. You’ve probably seen it. I’ve used it quite a few times to generate interest in the topic of travel/geography. Actually, I think it was the first ever video I used in class. There’s the clip along with some observation questions! There are plenty of other tasks you could do with this – I’ve also got students to write down as many places as they can remember seeing, then organise these by continent. Also, I’ve given students a list of travel related vocabulary before (monument, desert, town, village, beach, etc) and got them to add a tally mark to each word every time they see it. As always, share any interesting activities you try out in the comments, I’m always looking for new ideas. Enjoy!


Lesson idea: James Bond observation challenge

I don’t know about you, but I was quite disappointed with the latest Bond movie. I’m a big Bond fan, but I wish we could go back to the pun-filled days of Connery/Moore.

Anyway, here’s a fun observation challenge based on a clip from Tomorrow Never Dies. You could let the students watch the video first, then give them the questions and see what they remember. A nice end of the week activity. Enjoy!