Saturday, June 18, 2011

Videos in the EFL class. (Session 7)

My First Movie Maker Video

Videos in the TEFL Classroom
I have always believed that one of the most motivating resources for the language classes are videos.  The experience of watching a video (a film, a music video,  a documentary) always awakes a lot of mixed feelings in  those who see  and listen to them . 
 Videos are often created with  varied purposes  and one of those purposes  is expressing and communicating  ideas, feelings, messages   that may not  be clearly expressed  with just words .
The actractive aspect of videos, in my opinion,  is  that they can trigger imagination.  I just imagine that our mind functions like a video camera, and our memories are recording of our experiences.
Research (Canning-Wilson, 2000) has revealed    that  students like learning language through the use of videos.  Those studies suggest that learners really enjoy  action, entertainment films .  So why not taking advantages of them for our classes?.
But videos should not be used in the classroom just for the sake of amusing our students. They should be implemented with a  pedagogical purpose of course.  And we teachers must be clear about setting our objectives before using  them  .  There are some questions that language  teachers should answer before using videos in the classroom. For instance,  How the language learner will benefit from watching videos, or how students and teachers can develop language skills based on videos (Canning-Wilson, 2000).
Once we are clear about the purpose of using a video which may be  the hardest part , we should then  devote ourselves to the design of the video material to fulfill our teaching goals. Videos are great tools to mainly teach and test listening skills. But the other skills  are not kept out of the benefits of them.    I have indeed seen and used videos to teach English micro-skills such as grammar, vocabulary and even intonation.
The various  times I have used  videos in my English classes , They have been borrowed  from the internet. YOUTUBE, I think , is a great source of videos. Many of them show really authentic situations.  What I have done so far  is downloding them to my computer with  RealPlayer program and keeping them in a video bank for future uses.   Some partners at work  also use videos a lot and we sometimes  interchange them.
Now I am really happy because  creating my own videos using the Window Movie Maker program is now an option.  This program is so friendly and easy to use that  I am just thinking of the possibility of having my current students create their own presentation videos before this semester ends.   Hopefully, that will  be a very meaningful  English learning  experience for them.
References: See reference page


  1. Hello Cesar. Very insightful comments indeed. And I agree with you, setting our objectives and the purposes of our classes are prior, “how” comes next. I think that students will be caught by making videos as people learn by doing.Nice video! Congrats.

  2. Hi Cesar I totaly agree with you.Nevertheless I think we need to learn and explore this tool more in order to be able to use it apropiately with our students.
    I enjoyed a lot your movie.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Maite Sangroniz

  3. Thank you Maite. Let me tell you something, I liked this tool so much that I already scheduled a class on how to use it with my English 1 students at UMC.
    I still continue to explore it, and not only this but podcass, I am fascinated with it.

  4. Hey Cesar! I had the oportunity to watch your video sample in class and it was excellent. I can see also that you have given yourself time to di everything.. Congrats!