Using video as one of the effective ways to improve the teaching process


In the age of immense visual stimulation, language education has remained remarkably text-bound and can appear dull to students compared to their world outside the classroom. Video, in particular, is an invaluable educational tool that teachers often neglect to use or misuse. It is not common for teachers to simply play a movie in the class without challenging students or getting them involved.

The most important thing is that you make your video lessons meaningful, fun  and interesting for your students. If possible, lessons should integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing. We should also add culture as the fifth skill.

So, what are the benefits of using video?

Lewis Langsford, an English language teaching materials writer and developer and a teacher trainer defines 6 reasons to use video in the ELT classroom:

1. Video speaks to generation V

Skype was released in 2003 and YouTube followed in 2005. The iPad was unveiled in 2010. Internet usage has increased from16% of the world population in 2005 to about 40% today (nearly 80% in developed countries). For generation V, video is not just a passive form of entertainment. It’s also the mode of delivery for interactive communication and for information asses on a daily basis. Our students are accustomed to using video, and we teachers can use that to our advantage.

2. Video brings the outside world into the classroom.

We now have more access than ever to video. Newscasts, adverts, comedies, documentaries, and even academic lectures are available via the internet. Most of what is out there wasn’t originally produced as a teaching material, which means, it serves an authentic real-world communicative purpose. Film exposes students to natural expression and natural flow of speech. If they are not living in English- speaking environment, perhaps only films and television can provide learners with this real-life language input.  Some materials were later adapted as ELT materials to be pedagogically sound through grading.

3. Video engages learners.

Films are an integral part of students’ lives, so it makes perfect sense to bring them into the language classroom. Film, as a motivator, also makes the language learning process more entertaining and enjoyable. The teacher creates the lesson around it, giving learners support that helps them develop language. In that case we use video to capture and hold learners’ attention, while, at the same time, teaching them.

4. Video is a great source of information.

Film and video (documentaries in particular) can be excellent source of information for caring out research activities for projects. It works at lower levels too.

5. Video provides stimulus for classroom activities.

Academic skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, giving an opinion are often linked with reading, as a source of input. Video is also an information “text” that can provide students with ideas and concepts. Video can provide a good reference point for critical thinking.

6. Video provides a good model for learner output.

Having seen the model on video, learners can then produce their own version of the original using cameras.

Renaud Davies in his article “Teaching with video (TEFL.net)” points that Video also helps to raise learners pragmatic awareness. Gestures, facial expressions and other non-verbal forms of communication can be useful, especially for visual learners. Images may help understanding and learning concepts that are difficult to explain verbally.

Now, let’s take a look at the following three step guide to creating video lesson.

Step one: Pre-viewing Tasks

  • Reading (summary, article about the video, etc.)
  • Class discussion (brainstorming)
  • Vocabulary and dictionary consultation
  • Silent pre-viewing of video
  • Pre-viewing questions


Step two: While-viewing Tasks

  • Chart completion
  • Note-taking
  • True / False questions
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Guessing what will happen next


Step three: Post- Viewing Tasks

  • Writing a summary
  • Discussing
  • Debating
  • Reviewing unknown vocabulary, grammar and expressions
  • Quiz

And now, let’s take a look at some typical video tasks.

Video Dictogloss

as the method of dictation can easily be adapted to video. Students watch the scene a few times and write the main words and short phrases that a particular character says. Then they write the script for the scene. Other variant is when the students watch video without the sound and in groups create the dialogue for characters. Then they perform their dialogues and finally, watch video with the sound.

Watch and Observe

is an excellent way to use video with low level students because they only have to focus on a minimum of spoken dialogue. They watch video with little or no dialogue and use previously practiced vocabulary to describe what is happening.

Observe and Guess

The teacher pauses the video and students must guess what they think will happen next.

Split viewing

It is great for advanced students. Some students only listen to the video, others only watch without audio. The two groups got together and write a summary of what video clip was about. Finally, they watch video with sound together to compare it to their summary.

Jigsaw video

This activity involves splitting video up into different parts and assigning a group of students to each part. Each group will watch a different part and then all will work together to piece the entire video story together.

Using video we should remember about time limit which is very important. Video should take not more than 5min. (1st form), 7 min. (2nd form), 10min.(3rd form) 10-15min. (5th -9th forms), or it should be split into separate parts.

Not using video we are missing a real opportunity. But we should remember, that video, as any other stimulus brought into the classroom needs the teacher’s expert touch to turn into a great lesson.


1. Cambridge  conversations. Lewis Langsford “six reasons to use video in the ELT classroom” March 27. 2014(http//www.cambridge.org/elt/blog/2014/03six-reasons-use-video-elt-classroom/)

2.Renaud Davies “Teaching with video”(http://www.tefl.net/elt/articles/teacher/teaching with video/)

3. British Council. Voices Magazine. Kieran Donaghy “How can film help you teach or learn English?”(http://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine)

4. One stop English. Mark McKinnon “Teaching technologies: Teaching English using video”(http://www.onestopenglish.com/methodology/methodology/tea…hing-technologies-teaching-english-using-video/146527.article)

5. Використання автентичних відеоматеріалів для формування комунікативної та соціокультурної компетенції на уроках англійської мови. О.В.Богданова (http://naub.oa.edu.ua/2014/vykorystannya-avtentychnyh-video…ji-ta-sotsiokulturnoji-kompetentsiji-na-urokah-anhlijskoi-movy/)

6. Куліченко Н.М. Використання відеоматеріалів на уроках англійської мови (htt://klasnaocinka.com.ua/uk/article/vicoristannya-videomaterialiv-na-urokakh-angliisco.html)