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Tips for English teachers
Monday, 19 November 2018 23:03

With the proliferation of video websites teachers are turning their eyes on this resource to bring some life and energy into the classroom. In this context taking cues from Antonia Clare's (you can watch her talking about her experience in writing Speak Out here: webinar on the same topic the blog entry presents some thoughts on using video in the classroom.


With the rapid growth and spread of the internet, English teachers have unprecedented access to large amount of alternate resources in order to make their classes lively and interesting. Authentic video is one such resource. They are called authentic primarily because their production was never aimed at any classroom as such. The materials for classroom use are always adapted to suit the level of the learners. However, the texts that we come across in real life generally do not undergo such adaptation. As a result, they are considered to be 'real' or 'authentic'.


In this blog post five reasons for using authentic video in the classroom learned from Antonia Clare's webinar are shared.

1. Presents real language in context
As mentioned in the introduction, the language that we often encounter in the course books might not be always the 'real' language that learners hear around them. Authentic video, in a way, presents meaningful, real language in context thereby bridging the gap between the real world and the classroom. Because of the visual cues learners would find the language easy to follow and the contexts easy to identify with

2. Facilitates language comprehension (and acquisition)
The language input in the video, as told above, has a context as well as visual aid which would facilitate learners' comprehension. Moreover, through subtitles teachers can help the weaker students. This would reinforce the language heard. The principle here is the language comprehended leads to language acquisition.

3. Brings the real world into the classroom
The reality presented in the course book need not be always the immediate reality of the students. This sometimes can lead the students to feel alienated from the course books. However, the variety in the authentic videos available online can plug in this to an extent, especially when teachers handpick videos that suit the learners' environment.

4. Motivating
The course books often can be dull for the students. However, the announcement to watch a video can bring in some life and most of the learners would respond positively to the visuals. Furthermore, the learners would be interested to know how the video would progress especially if they haven't watched it before.

5. Inspires creativity
The video can be exploited in various forms in order to facilitate learners' taste and interest and also the learning objectives. Often the textbooks would not have any pictures or if there are any would be limited in number which can dampen the spirit of the learners. However, when authentic videos are used, the visuals there can reinvigorate the classroom and spark conversation - a major end in the language classrooms.