The benefits of using video in the classroom

May 11 / William Morrow

The way we transmit and consume information is constantly changing. What does this mean for our learners, and should we consider adapting how we present information in class?
In this blog post, William makes a case for using more video clips in our lessons.

As a new English language teacher, you may be wondering how to make your lessons more engaging and interactive.

One effective way to do this is by using video in the classroom. Video can bring language to life and provide a range of benefits for both you and your students. In today's digital age, where people are increasingly communicating through visual and digital media, shorter videos such as those found on social media platforms like TikTok are perhaps more relevant to our learners today. 
How People Communicate
Communication has undergone a significant shift in recent years.
Gone are the days of phone calls and long, formal letters. Today, people communicate more frequently and informally, often through short, snappy messages and visual media.
Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat have become the go-to communication channels for younger generations. These platforms are built around the idea of sharing and consuming short, bite-sized videos, making them highly engaging and easy to consume. 
The Relevance of Shorter Videos
As a teacher, it's important to recognize the changing nature of communication and adapt your teaching methods accordingly.

Shorter videos, such as those found on social media platforms like TikTok, are a highly relevant and engaging way to teach English language skills.

They provide an opportunity for students to engage with the language in a format that feels familiar and relevant to their everyday lives. 
The Benefits of Using Video in the Class
If you don't use video in the classroom, perhaps you don't feel comfortable with the format, or maybe you just don't see the value in it.
The following are some of the reasons why I feel it is worth giving it a go, there are numerous benefits to using video in the classroom. Here are just a few:

Authenticity: Videos offer an opportunity to expose students to authentic language in use, in a way that is difficult to replicate in the classroom.
Engagement: Videos are inherently engaging, and can be used to capture students' interest and attention, and motivate them to learn.
Visual support: Videos can provide visual support for language, helping students to understand new vocabulary and concepts more easily.
Flexibility: Videos can be used in a range of different activities, making them a versatile resource that can be used for a variety of different learning goals. 
What types of video are suitable ?
When it comes to selecting videos to use in the classroom, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:
Length: Videos should be short and focused, with a clear learning goal in mind.
Content: Videos should be age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and relevant to students' interests and experiences.
Language level: Videos should be appropriate for the language level of your students, and offer a suitable challenge without being overwhelming. 
What can teachers use videos for ?

There are many different activities that teachers can do videos in the classroom. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Comprehension tasks:
Students can watch a video and answer comprehension questions based on what they have seen and heard.
Vocabulary building: Teachers can use videos to introduce new vocabulary, and then create activities to reinforce and practice this vocabulary.
Discussion and debate: Videos can be used as a stimulus for discussion and debate, with students sharing their opinions and ideas on the topics raised in the video.
Creative projects: Students can use videos as inspiration for creative projects, such as writing scripts, creating storyboards, or making their own short films.
Continuing the 'story': Learners can watch a short video and decide what happened next / or what had happened previously.
Final thoughts
In conclusion, using video in the classroom is a valuable tool for any English language teacher.
By selecting appropriate videos and creating engaging activities, you can create a dynamic and interactive learning environment that will benefit your students and help them to achieve their language learning goals.

Additionally, recognizing that providing a balance of different types of text: The more 'traditional' types of text you might expect to see in a text book as well as the shorter, more informal videos like those found on TikTok can help to ensure that we are providing all of our learners with information that is presented in a way that they can relate to.

Want to plan your own video lesson?