Interactive ESL Videos

What are interactive videos?

Video is a media format that usually isn’t so interactive as the only thing you can do is to rewind, pause or fast forward a video. Not much of an interaction. But when we add the annotation to a video to enrich its content, then it starts being really interactive.

There is a multitude of things we can actually do: add open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, fill-in tasks, insert text boxes, add links, extra sound, and commentary or a reflective pause. The possibilities are endless. Let us introduce you to the world of interactive videos

What are the purposes of video as a learning tool?

  • Active viewing – active involvement
  • Vocabulary– vocabulary development and review.
  • Grammar – grammar presentations and review
  • Pronunciation – activates focusing on sounds, stress and intonation.
  • Listening / Speaking skills – viewing comprehension, listening, oral composition, speaking and discussion.
  • Reading/ Writing skills – reading, note-taking and written composition.
  • Cross-cultural concerns – cultural awareness and cross-cultural comparison. has many features including hundreds of video lessons covering global news reports. Users can assign video lessons as homework. Sensations English is full of interactive videos and articles for you to use in your classes.

Here we break down some of the key benefits of using video with your students, giving you some top ideas for your next class.

 1.Videos engage students of all ages and abilities

Video has a huge advantage over reading texts, writing activities and listening exercises in that it’s instantly engaging. Students young and old are attracted to videos and many even see them as a treat when used in class. Whether a video is authentic or made specifically for an ESL audience, it has been designed to catch and keep your students’ attention.

As all teachers know, this is a key part of a successful class. Once the students are interested in the content, they will be ready to learn and be receptive to the activities you have planned.

  2. Videos motivate with authentic content

One of the biggest advantages of using video in class is its ability to motivate students. Knowing that they can understand a real person speaking English is a milestone for many students.

What’s more, it shows the language points your students are learning in action, giving them even more reason to pay attention. Video also demonstrates that English is not just a subject at school; it’s a skill that has applications in the real world. And that can spark students’ imaginations!

Make sure to highlight your students’ success in understanding video content and ask them to reflect on how easy or difficult video activities are for them. It will help you plan subsequent classes and focus on student progress.

3. Videos provide context to help to understand

Unlike reading texts and listening activities, video provides strong visual cues. These help learners understand what’s happening – even when the language is hard to follow.

In some cases, you can even play videos without sound at first and have students guess what’s happening. This works in a similar way to a reading prediction activity – and helps prepare students.

Documentaries often also provide text overlays that share additional information with the audience. This, in turn, helps with a general understanding of authentic content which is key to students’ language development.

4. Videos expose students to a variety of languages and cultures

Video offers unlimited opportunities to expose your students to different accents and dialects of English. When students travel, meet new people or start working they are likely to speak with people from all over the world – and that will probably be in English.

It is therefore a good idea to use video to expose students to a range of English accents. This will help them become aware that there is more than one variety of English and will help them get used to hearing English spoken in different ways.

What’s more, globally, there are many more people who speak English as a second language than there are native speakers. So, it’s a good idea to expose your students to a variety of non-native speakers in videos too.

5. Videos introduce the culture and new ideas

Videos can bring the outside world to students, introducing different cultures, new places and ideas. They provide a great way to integrate new content and language learning at the same time – giving students the opportunity to learn about a whole range of subjects and ideas, at the same time as learning English.

ELT Experts – Sensations English

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