Video Projects to Teach Oral Skills
Kristi Reyes, MiraCosta College Noncredit ESL

Project 1:  "Speaking with the Stars"

Who:  adult students in multi-level ESL and level 5 noncredit ESL class, MiraCosta College,Oceanside, CA

Instructors:  Eli Clarke, Kristi Reyes, and librarian/videographer Richard Ma


Students in my class chose scenes from TV programs or movies, viewed, and transcribed scripts.  Transcriptions were corrected with actual scripts.  Eli used the popular ESL video series Crossroads Cafe for the source of the project with here class.  Transcripts of the scenes are readily available, as are teaching materials, such as the textbooks and free online materials

Scene from Crossroads Cafe

Another excellent, free source of videos -- complete with transcripts and online exercises for 20 video episodes -- that could be used for this type of project is English for All.

After signing release forms, students were filmed at the beginning of a nine-week term reciting scripts and later viewed themselves, comparing their videos with the original scene.  Over the course of the term, students rehearsed the script, viewed again the original scenes, received one-on-one coaching and feedback on pacing, voicing, stress, intonation, and other aspects of their pronunciation. At the end of the term, students were again filmed.  A rubric was used to evaluate the pre- and post-oral performances as an assessment tool.

Movie clips:

 “Mi Corazon” scene from Beverly Hills Chihuahua

 “G’day, mate” scene from Dumb and Dumber

 “Chucho and father fight” scene from Mi Famila * Warning:  strong language

 “I’ll be back” from Terminator

 “Crash Landing” scene from Lara Croft Tomb Raider

 “Empty Seat” scene from Spider Man 2

 “There’s a Hero in all of Us” scene from Spider Man

 “Take Care of our Kids” scene from War of the Worlds

 “Yu” scene from Rush Hour 3

Movie Scene Scripts / Transcripts (Word document to download)

Recommended Web sources:

For scenes and transcripts


English Trailers



Yahoo Movies

See Using Movies to Teach English for resources (finding movie scripts and more)

For video sharing and commenting


Boostcast (make your own videosharing site)

A Blog, Wiki, TeacherTube, or other online videosharing sites could be used

For videorecording with a teleprompter (free online teleprompters)




Students' videos online at

Eli's Class Blog

Level 5 Class Blog




Project 2:  Effective Job Interviews

Who:  adult students in multi-level Vocational ESL class, MiraCosta College,Oceanside, CA

Instructors:  Ruth Gay, Kristi Reyes



Similarly, students rehearsed a job interview script (modified from ExpressWays:  English for Communication, by Molinksy and Bliss, Prentice Hall Regents),  taking the roles of interviewer and applicant, and pre- / post-videos documented student progress, while a rubric was used to evaluate oral performance and provide feedback.

Revised script:  JobInterviewScript.docx

Web sources used:

VESL Blog and Blackboard -- for uploading, sharing, and commenting on video

Vidoes with sample job interviews and tips: Job Seekers videos and samples of job interviews with critiques of candidates.

Videos about the importance of making a good first impression: 

Videos and information about Understanding the Interview, Mastering the Interview, and Strategic Interview Responses.  Click on the link and then click “Launch” to see a video:

Careers Cyberguide:  Interviews


The Importance of First Impressions: