Part I: Building listening skills: Getting the best out of videos and youtube

Building listening skills:  Getting the best out of videos and youtube
Using videos and video clips are one of the many ways to not only break up the lesson into manageable chunks but help rejuvenate the class or have another perspective presented to students.

If only it were as easy as merely turning it on. For many language learners, building their listening, memory recall and note-taking skills are pertinent especially at the academic level.

There are several factors to take into account before pressing ‘play’.

1) Narrator’s accent & speed of delivery. Subtitling.

2) New vocabulary terms and concepts that might be introduced

3) Duration of video & number of times it will be repeated
4) Objective(s) of showing the video

5) Task(s) required of students to complete whilst watching the video

It is advantageous that language learners are exposed to a variety of accents and different speeds of delivery. It is important to think about how we can support their learning and access to the information in the video.
Before watching a video. (Best to have some foregrounding before watching the video.)
1) Glossary: Provide a list of new vocabulary words + definitions that will appear in the video
2) Sequencing: Students are to sequence a series of pictures of a process/concept, etc that the video is about
3) Predicting: Write the title of the video on the board. Have students predict what it might be about.
4) Matching: pictures to vocabulary, vocabulary to definitions, etc.
5) Puzzles, word searches, word association games: to revisit vocabulary and access prior knowledge
6) Gap fill: test students understanding of subject-specific vocabulary and concepts
7) Talk: 3-min talk about what they know about topic x  (K-W-L: what I know, want to know, have learnt)


This is by no means an exhaustive list but merely a drop in the well of strategies. Do write and share any pre-viewing activities you have trialled and tested, and think that teachers might benefit from. I look forward to hearing from you.


About mrsmissoveness

I'm Heading the EAL dept and Teaching ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom (TESMC) trainer on Jeju island, South Korea. I'm enjoying the IT revolution in the classroom and discovering new IT tools to support my lessons. Reading is at the top of my list: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go" Dr Seuss, I can read with my eyes shut. Learning Korean is my biggest challenge at this point in time. However, a word a day is my target.

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