21 July 2008

Teaching Tips: You Tube

Today's Teaching Tip is about a resource everyone has heard of but maybe haven't explored its full teaching potential: the truly amazing 'You Tube'.

There are at least a couple of reasons to call You Tube 'truly amazing'.

One is that many many people use this site every day, probably including quite a few of your own students. So it is something they will already familiar with and also very positive about. It's a really popular, fun site.

The second reason is that it's a limitless source of original and sometimes incredible visual and audio English language content which cannot be found anywhere else.

The age, personality and needs of your students will determine exactly what sort of videos will be most suitable.

I've used music videos with adolescents, car adverts with the boss of the same car company, instructional videos on giving Powerpoint presentations with managers and very short (30 seconds to 2 minutes) humorous videos with practically everyone.

Here's an example of the latter which was very popular at my recend Best of BESIG talk:

I send out links to these sort of videos regularly in my teaching e-mails (subscribe here) along with a series of three questions which students have to answer when watching, which can be as easy or as difficult as you like, for example:

a) What colour is Some Grey Bloke? (easy)
b) What's the 'punch line'? (more difficult)
c) Is Some Grey Bloke a good joke-teller? (why/why not - discussion point)

I give the answers in the next e-mail along with a new video quiz.

Have fun using You Tube with your students and do send in your questions or suggestions by using the 'Comments' link below.