Getting the best out of using video in EFL classrooms

Writing subtitles

Bombay TV

This site is a lot of fun and learners can make their own dialogue and pairs can come up to the front and read it out while the clip is playing.

Dot sub

This site can be used for translation or comprehension exercises.

Fun videos

Top 10 George W Bush moments

This was used in a lesson about giving advice and used the topic of leadership. The learners brainstormed adjectives to describe the perfect leader. Then they watched the video and noted down his mistakes and discussed their favourite faux pas. This was followed up by them giving advice to the president.

Creature comforts

A great resource for learners. Interviewers travelled around the UK and interviewed the public on a range of topics. The audio was then used with animated animals. It is very entertaining but challenging as there are a wide range of accents. It is great as it contains authentic, natural language that can be used for comprehension activities. It can be used with B1+ learners if an easy task is set.

Trigger happy TV

There is little or no dialogue here but great as a prediction activity leading to creative writing.


Stop sign:

gorilla 1.23-1.34/ 2.07-2.30


Following instructions/ getting tips

These video sites have a range of resources and a lot of ‘How to..’ videos. These can be used with certain topics such as food/ recipes or teaching how to write clear instructions. They can also be used to give tips for business English students, such as how to act in an interview.


How to make hummus:


Videos with lesson plans


British council websites with a range of video resources and lesson ideas. This can be used for independent study or in the lesson.

Real English

This is perfect authentic language for A1/2 learners. People were interviewed on the street and asked basic questions such as ‘What is your star sign?’

English Central

Numerous videos selected that can be used in the classroom.!/index

ESL video

These videos can be used for self-study or in the classroom.


As ESL video can be used at home or in the classroom.

Film English

You can subscribe to get updates when new lesson plans are uploaded.


Links to videos and lesson ideas.

The English blog

Current affairs videos – The writer produces transcripts.

Video dictionary


Video lexis definitions. This could be easily followed up by your learners creating their own video definitions.

For younger learners

BBC Learning zone


An introduction to India

 LearnEnglish Teens 

Authentic videos

National geographic

Wide range of videos that could be used for comprehension or discussion

Top documentary films

As above – very impressive resource


An inconvenient truth

Lead-in to discussion on the environment

Fast food nation

Lead-in to discussion on diet/ food industry

Simple English videos

Movie trailers with transcripts


This kind of video can be a great lead-in for a discussion/ debate.

One example:


Car accidentLearners act as witnesses and discuss or write down what happened.

Criminal mischief

The start of this clip could be used for witness/ descriptions. There is an interview with one of the children. This clip could also lead to a discussion about the behaviours of the children.

Bank robbery

Sometimes difficult to find this kind of video that is suitable for classroom use (without swearing/ extreme violence)

Also a acted version:

Ideas of how to use these kinds of clips:

Interesting facts

Can be used for comprehension (give learners a list of numbers and they have to make notes about the facts related to the numbers) or to answer a quiz.

I dream of Turkey 

These promos can be useful warmers for lessons related to travel.

More tips for using videos

Jamie Keddie- Video telling

This shows Jamie Keddie executing a video lesson with his learners.

Ideas for using video content on LearnEnglish kids

Ideas for videoing your learners

10 ideas for classroom video projects

This shows example videos

Ideas for out-of-class video

Creating video diaries

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2 Responses to Getting the best out of using video in EFL classrooms

  1. Pingback: Getting the best out of using video in EFL classrooms | BEBC blog

  2. Pingback: How to Use Video in the ESL Classroom - ESL Activities: Saving YOU Time, Guaranteed

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