Videos are visual-audio tools that can bring pleasure and fun into our traditional EFL classroom. Reading an article by Canning-Wilson, I discovered a lot of uses and effects of videos that I never recognized before. Here is a list of what videos can do for foreign language learners:
- The use of video and sound conditions is important for the story perception. The visual cues are important, since they either facilitated or distracted from understanding.
- Visual organizers based on videos help learners improve comprehension and aid in the retention of information.
- Videos offer contextual support and/or help learners visualize words as well as meanings.
- Visuals can be used to enhance the meaning of the message trying to be conveyed by the speakers through the use of paralinguistic cues.
- The use of visuals in videos can help learners to predict information and infer ideas.
- Videos can stimulate and motivate student interest.
- Videos can help enhance clarity and give meaning to an auditory text.
- Videos can act as a stimulus or catalyst to help integrate materials or aspects of the language.
- Videos can give students realistic models to imitate for role-play; can increase awareness of other cultures by teaching appropriateness and suitability; can offer a visual reinforcement of the target language and can lower anxiety when practicing the skill of listening.
YouTube is a great website where you can find a variety of videos that can be used with your students. You can upload and download whatever is suitable for their levels, interest and motivation. However, sometimes you need some sort of interaction between students and the video. This will help students to be focused and practice some skills while watching. One of the interesting websites that allow users to interact with videos is ESLvideo.com. Browsing this rich resource, you will find a variety of ready-made quizzes based on videos. There are a lot of them based on your students' levels. You can also create your own quizzes to match your objectives. Here are some ideas using this website with my students:
- I can use The Power of Words quiz as a pre-speaking activity. Students will watch the video, then think about a personal story where the words changed their entire lives.
- Students can complete the quiz The life of Charles Dickens as a post-activity after reading about Charles Dickens. They will improve their skill to listen for specific information and listen to the correct pronunciation of new words.
- Using this website, I created my first quiz titled Tell me Why? Students will listen to the song and complete the quiz. It helps them to build new vocabulary. Then, they respond to the post-question in groups. They will talk about the ways they can help each other.
- Students can create their own quizzes and send them to the class wiki to practice listening with a focus on specific information or grammatical items.
If you have any suggestions using this website with your students, it will be more welcome to share them with us here.