Using Video in The Classroom – Why and How?

There are many benefits of using video in the classroom. some of them are:

  • Students enjoy language learning with videos.
  • Using videos makes language learning a happy experience and creates an attractive enjoyable learning environment.
  • Using videos provides students with a good opportunity to study body language and learn more about feelings.
  • By watching videos students can learn by absorption and imitation.
  • Videos communicate meaning better than other media.
  • Videos present language in context in ways that students can see who’s (or what’s!) speaking, where the speakers are, what they’re doing, etc. All these visual clues can help comprehension.
  • Using videos represents a positive exploitation of technology and match with the positive attitude of students towards television and videos compared to using books.

The possible purposes of using video in the classroom:

Once the decision has been made to use a video in class, thought should be given to what purpose the video is being used for. There are some roles that the video can take in the classroom. Below are four possible roles for video in the classroom.

  • Developing listening skills: Listening for global understanding and listening for details.
  • Providing information: Providing content relevant to students’ needs and interests.
  • Presenting or reinforcing language: Grammar, vocabulary, functions.
  • Stimulating language production: As a basis for discussion, a model for learners to follow, a visual aid, … etc.

However, using a video in the classroom may include more than one of these roles. students may watch a video to find out information about, for example, a famous person. The same lesson may also include work on developing listening skills to enable students to extract the relevant information. It could then be used to develop vocabulary on the topic of ‘lives’.

Criteria for selecting a good video:

When selecting a video for use in the classroom, the following points should be kept in mind.

  • The video should be so interesting that a young native speaker wants to watch it.
  • The ideal video clip tells a complete story or section of a story so that students will get the enjoyment when watching the whole video.
  • The length of the video shouldn’t be too long, perhaps between 30 seconds and 10 minutes depending on the learning objective.
  • The content should be suitable for being viewed in the classroom in all cultures.

Moreover, It is better to use videos which have been adapted from books or come with ready-made materials that can be used for language teaching.

However, if the video will be used for presenting language or for comprehension tasks, the following further factors should be considered when selecting it.

  • The scenes should be very visual. The more visual a video is, the easier it is to understand – as long as the pictures illustrate what is being said.
  • The pictures and sound should be clear.
  • The language spoken in the video should not be difficult for students to comprehend. Grammatical structures, language functions, and colloquial expressions presented in the video should be suitable for students learning level and age.
  • The linguistic content should be linked to the language in the curriculum or the coursebook, thus providing a way to integrate video work into the course as a whole.
  • The language level of the video should be appropriate for the level of the class without the teacher having to explain too much.
  • It is good if there is a lot of repletion of the key language in the video.

What types of videos can you use?

There are a lot of types of videos you can use in the classroom. The following are some:

  • Animation/cartoons.
    Educational programmes.
  • TV documentaries made for children about science/nature etc.,
  • TV advertisements suitable for children.
  • Music for children.
  • Simple drama.

P.S. If you want to know the stages of using a video in the classroom, go to printables.

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