Vocabulary Videos

How to Use them in Your ESL Class


Vocabulary VideosIf you have the facilities, vocabulary videos can be a great teaching aid in your classroom.

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There are many ways of teaching vocabulary to your ESL students, but it is always good to vary your methods. This will keep the lessons interesting.

Also, if you vary teaching methods, then your lessons will appeal to students with different learning styles.

Videos should never be a substitute for a teacher.

A good teacher can adapt his or her teaching to an individual student's needs, and often knows almost intuitively what the students understand, when to repeat something, or when extra explanation is needed.

So what can videos add to a lesson?

If you search the internet, even on sites such as YouTube, you will find many videos that other teachers have uploaded for people to use. These can have many benefits, including:
  • A different accent for students to hear.

  • A different teaching style.

  • A change of focus during the lesson.

  • Expertise on a subject the teacher is unfamiliar with.

  • Visual and audio explanations of words that can't be provided in the classroom.
Students, especially younger ones, also love the fact they are watching video or TV during a lesson.

If they realize they can watch vocabulary lessons on the internet, this will also encourage them to watch more at home in their own time, if they have internet access.

Making vocabulary videos – another approach to teaching

Many students love doing project work.

One project that would be fun as well as educational is making vocabulary videos.

These could then be used in the class, or they could be posted on the internet for other students to access. 

The work for this could take place over several lessons.

You could start by having a vocabulary lesson, or directing students to try to write their own vocabulary lists around a particular theme or subject.

They could then decide how to present their vocabulary.

The discussions around this topic are just as useful for their development as the actual vocabulary lists are.

Some ideas they may have are:
  • Using pictures to illustrate words.

  • Taking photographs and editing them together.

  • Writing a poem or script for a role play using the key vocabulary. 

  • Explaining techniques that helped them remember the words.

Vocabulary videos to teach idioms

Idioms and idiomatic expressions are one area of English that students often find difficult.

There are some excellent, very short, idiom videos on the internet that are great fillers for short breaks in a lesson.

These usually show idioms based around one word or set of words. For example, idioms relating to the color blue, or idioms relating to fruit.

These are often humorous and make good breaks between activities. It is very useful for students to see these explained with props in a way that a teacher can't usually do in the classroom.

So if you are looking for another way to bring variety into your classroom, take a look online and try to find some vocabulary videos you can use.

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