Using Video
Resources Compiled by Kristi Reyes, Noncredit ESL Instructor, MiraCosta College

Online video is free, often able to be downloaded, and at your fingertips.  Why not bring the outsite world into your classroom?

Advantages for Students:

  • Authentic language input:  reduce speech, normal rates, contractions, reductions, idioms, various accents
  • Opportunities to build fluency
  • Visual support for language learning

Advantages for Instructors:

  • Numerous free, easy-to-find lesson content
  • Basis of or supplement to thematic, integrated-skills lessons or project-based larning
  • Break from the routine
  • Engaging, high-interest materials



Handout for a segment of the MSNBC program "The Today Show" on Dr. Q, a former migrant field worker (above)


Where to find free videos online: (Handout for download)

Please note:  Any of these sites may contain *adult* content.


Annenberg Media Teacher Resources (searchable video titles, including professional development)

BBC Video Nation

Calaxy K12HSN

Discovery Channel

History Channel Videos

iCue (NBC News Archives – U.S. History, English Language and Composition, U.S. Government and Politics – with interactive activities and quizzes)  (academic, educational documentaries - download free for 3 days)


School Tube


Vidipedia Video Encyclopedia (with videos you can edit)

YouTube EDU

World Regional Geography Videos (world regional geography videos)



60 Minutes and other CBS news programs

ABC News



IBC Today


Los Angeles Times Video


The Onion News Network

The Today Show

USA Today Video


BigThink (record opinions and agree/disagree with others)
Daily Motion

clipblast search engine- streaming videos from across the Web)


dotSUB (transcribed, translated videos)
Freevlog (set up a video blog)
Google Video
Internet Archive


metacafe (videos downloadable with metacafe pro)

OneWorldTV YouTube Channel

VideoSurf (video search engine- streaming videos from across the Web)



Wordia (user-submitted video dictionary)
Yahoo! Video
ZippyVideos (live webcam broadcasts)


California Career Videos (streaming)

Career Explorer

Career One Stop (downloadable)

Career Voyages (downloadable with captions)

Education Portal (streaming)

PBS Streaming Futures interviews (career advice from famous people)

TV, Movies, Film

Apple itunes Movies (download to computer or video ipod)

Hulu (TV)

Internet Archive Moving Images

Library of Congress Motion Picture and Television Reading Room

Turner Classic Movies



Common Craft





VideoJug (downloadable)


California Distance Learning Project Adult Learning Activities

Daily English Show

English Club

English for All

English Media Lab

ESL Video (use or make your own quizzes on video from online sources)

langoLAB (language learning with video transcriptions)

Learn English Feel Good

Real English


Yappr Language Learning Portal



College Humor

Funny or Die



Stupid Videos



OTAN Streaming Video List (subscription and free video services)


Online Video Industry Index:


How to save videos you find online:

Option 1:  Copy and Paste the URL link into a Word document or email message.  In the URL address area, select the address, copy [Ctrl] + [C].  Open a document or email message, and paste [Ctrl] + [V].  To show the clip, simply click on the link in your email message or open the document and press the control key [Ctrl] and click at the same time.  Disadvantage:  The web is constantly changing.  A video clip you find today may not on the web tomorrow.


Option 2:  A few websites have a download button.  You can click that button and choose where on your computer you want the video downloaded and saved to.  Disadvantage:  Few video hosting sites have this option.


Option 3:  Many websites have a “Share” button (not only for emailing) that allow you to get the html code for embedding the video on your own website or blog.  Disadvantage:  Same as for Option #1.


Option 4:  There are a few websites that allow you to enter the URL of a video clip and choose the type of video file you want to convert it to: 

·         Javimoya (download online videos from a variety of video sharing sites – converts to .flv -- .flv player needed; can also record live streaming video) -- similar is KeepVid

·         Save2PC (converts to .flv, .avi, .mpeg)

·         Zamzar (will email you the converted video clip, which you can download; see video hosting sites it supports at Note:  especially useful for converting one type of video file to another (for example, .avi to .wmv)

· (downloads YouTube videos directly to your computer)

·         YouTube Catcher (downloads YouTube videos directly to your computer but requires free download of the Flv Player to view)


Option 5:  YouTube Downloader is a free downloadable software that lets you enter a URL for an online video and downloads and converts it.  According to the site, YouTube Downloader can download videos from these and several other sites:  YouTube, Google Video, Myspace TV, Yahoo,, DailyMotion.

Handout for hyperlinking, inserting, and embedding video into a PowerPoint 2007 slideshow


Lesson Plans, Online Exercises, and Resources:


Using Authentic Video in the Language Classoom  by Jane Sherman, Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers, is an excellent source of numerous ideas for integrating video.


Article “Using Video to Develop Writing Fluency in Low-Proficiency ESL Students”


TESOL EVO Video Sessions


Internet TESL Journal more links and recommended text for integrating video



Dave’s ESL Café Idea Book on using video:


Karin’s ESL Partyland (lesson plans and materials for six movies and Scavenger Internet Hunt about Movies


The Internet TESL Journal’s lesson plans on movies/videos (scroll down to video) and


English Notes:  The English Learner Movie Guides  (guides, not lesson plans – character descriptions, plot summaries, vocabulary/idioms, and discussion questions for many movies)


ESL Galaxy movie materials


Links to movie- and movie trailer-based materials, online listening and viewing exercises, quizzes, and more:


Ideas for role playing and other lesson activities using video:


See ESL Flow’s Teaching with Movies page for links on reading and writing movie reviews:


Read, Write, Think: (See links for online tools to make Plot Diagrams, Drama Map, Story Map, Time Lines, Venn Diagrams)


See example online activities at,,


Commercial Services: Tech Learning article “No Fuss Video”


Annotate YouTube Video  Add text commentary to online videos.

Nanocrowd Movie Search Engine


Teach with Movies Index