READ / San Diego Presentation

Using Internet Video with ESL and Literacy Students

Kristi Reyes

MiraCosta College

kreyes @



Download here (permission to reproduce for classroom/instructional use; permission not granted for publication. thx!):  READSDUsingVideoKreyes.doc

Videos shown in presentation:

Demonstration 1:

Using short action clips with or without sound to practice grammar

}  “Drill and kill” dialogs not always committed to long-term memory

}  Opportunity to use target language structure and to produce language spontaneously


Students can learn commands (TPR) or tell a partner or write what

  • is happening (present continuous)
  • happened (past continuous and simple past)
  • has just happened (present perfect)
  • will happen next (future)


An example good for TPR:  Frozen in Grand Central Station (also available at



  1. List or label vocabulary in clip.
  2. Order / unscramble words or phrases from a sentence that describes the action.  Example:  slipped on He walking and boat he fell was the when.
  3. Use prompts to describe the action.  Example:  He walk boat / he slip and fall -> He was walking on the boat when he slipped and fell.
  4. Tell a partner about the action.
  5. Write a sentence to describe the action.

Demonstration 2: 

Using longer clips (with or without sound) for eliciting longer utterances (spoken and written)


Love in the Plaza video clip


Demonstration 3: 

Using video clips with audio (dialogs, narratives, news reports, commercials) for fluency development and writing practice.  Students can

  • read the dialog or a scene synopsis
  • in pairs (or whole class) write the dialog or scene summary from memory
  • order sentence strips of a scene summary or dialog
  • watch muted clip and write dialogs, in pairs perform the dialogs, and watch the clip with sound to find out who was closest to the original
  • complete a synopsis with blanks (cloze) or write a scene summary
  • fill in deleted words from the script and use the script to practice pronunciation (intonation, stress)
  • provide oral or written alternate endings or character descriptions

Tipping Video

Video exercise on ESL Video

Demonstration 4:

Use a documentary clip, longer video, or series of related videos as part of a thematic unit or class project.  Students can

·         predict content from the title or an opening scene

·         order words, sentences, or events from the video

·         practice listening for main ideas and details by answering comprehension questions, taking notes on an incomplete outline, or by filling out a time line, plot map, or Venn diagram

·         conduct surveys about issues in the video or write discussion questions to ask in groups

·         brainstorm possible solutions to a problem in the video and report the best solution and reasons to the class

·         write personal responses, critiques/reviews, or letters

·         make a poster, slide show, digital story, PowerPoint presentation, or use Web 2.0 online tools for projects

Mother-Daughter Nonverbal Communication Clip

Fortune Cookie Prophesy Clip

The Millionaire Burger Flipper Clip

Dick and Rick Hoyt Clip

Dr. Q Clip

Esteban Toledo Clip

Videos for practice:

Short Videos with No Audio (4, ea. < 1 min)

Balboa Park (3 min)

Beach Safety Tips (3 min 40 sec)

Borrowing Money in Plain English

Cell Phone Etiquette (1min 30 sec)

Cell Phone Karma

CNN News Report:  Child Obesity

Coming to California Stories

Electing a U.S. President in Plain English

Etiquette:  How to set a table

General Rules for College Success (3 min)

Good Listeners:  Active Listening (1 min 17 sec)

History of Thanksgiving History Channel

How to Build a Sand Castle

How to write a foolproof college application essay (humorous -- 1 min 57 secs)

Many Job-Related How-to Videos (resume, interview, etc.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have a dream"

More Americans Outsourcing Own Jobs Overseas (2 1/2 min)

Nat Geo Global Warming 101

Robot Gardeners Tend Tomatoes (<1 min)

San Diego Zoo (2 min 43 seconds)

Surviving a Big Wave Wipe-Out  (2 min 51 sec)

Top 5 Laziest Inventions (1 min 55 sec)

What Glasses Say about You

Why do we snore?(3 min. 47 seconds)

Why Don't We do it in our sleeves (best sneezing method)

Your Child and Bullying Interview