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ESL forum > Teaching material > Working with videos!!    

Working with videos!!


Working with videos!!
Hello everybody,
I just been given a television in the classroom, and I really have not many ideas about what to use it on. In my other job I have computer and projector but with acces to the Internet so it is easier, I usually youtube videos or download from websites ( the ones I know).
I need fun and interesting ideas which really push the envelope and also because I notice my students feel bored in my class and that makes me desperate. Maybe it is because Im through some personal problems and also because I �m working from 10am to 10pm. I guess I am tired.
What �s more, one of my students told me today:
  � � Miss Melissa, Hmmm your classes are a little boring lately, we are doing the same things, read , work on the board, and work with the dictionary, why dont  you bring games or videos or something??"
Wow, you are teachers so you must understand what I felt in that moment. I came crying on my ride home, I felt the worst teacher in the world and I �ve even questioned if I �m really for the teaching job, if Im good at this or should do something else. But then again, I know it is just the things on my mind and too much work. Nevertheless, I want to improve myself and keep doing what I like: Teaching.
Honeslty,I am run out of  ideas on what to do with them lately. They have a pre-intermediate level and evaluating myself I think sometimes I take them for granted since they are good students.
I wish you could help me with some cool games, websites , names of books and Im interested on exploding the video a lot. Also, I �m thinking on doing a project with the computing teacher . If you have any ideas, I �ll be more than thankful.
Thanks so much,
Miss Melissa. Hug

22 May 2009      

United States

Miss Melissa
I �ll get back to you with some ideas later - as I �m sure others here will help too.
I �d just like to comment that no person can keep going from 10 to 10 at night.
That is totally unacceptable.  Another thing is that you are the teacher not an entertainer.
Don �t ask your students if they are entertained - you �re not a circus clown.

I was thinking you could let them write a play, sketches, make a newspaper, see films on your tv and write questions for discussion.  Borrow a video camera and have them make short films in groups of 3 and then show them to the class afterwards.

I �m sure you �ll get many ideas from other members.

You might be more inspired if you didn �t work such long hours.

22 May 2009     

Russian Federation

Hi, Melissa.
Using songs is a great way to motivate your students and add fun to your classes.
Besides it �s a good way to practise vocabulary, grammar and language patterns.

I sometimes use songs in my classes.  Students like that :)

You can check downloadable exercises to songs  here  http://www.travelbtm.com/apps/videos/channels/show/419378-english-songs-with-activities



22 May 2009     


Dearest Melissa,
first of all, many of us have been through a similar thing. My students didn �t tell me anything, but there are times when they are just not too happy with whatever you have to offer.
Please, please, cheer up, tell yourself: "I am the best teacher in the world!" Write it in really big bright letters and put it somewhere you can see every morning before going to face that crowd of hungry learners.
I have a TV, too, albeit a small one, but still - how about showing them a movie and getting them a worksheet to work with? Which means, they �ll be watching, listening hard for particular words and expressions and filling grids/tables meanwhile, describing people, actions etc, whatever you choose for them to do.
I have a good worksheet for "Jaws", you might check it out to get an idea.
Then, you can play one scene only, the one that has important vocabulary or activity. For example, I once played "Bilbo �s Party" scene from The Lord of The Rings, Part 1. I got each one of them a separate task: one was observing people, the other one scenery and weather, the other clothes, the other conversations ect. Then they watched again and again (it really is a very enjoyable scene) and then I got them to work together to recreate the whole piece. Each one �s informaion was vital so they all took active part.
I nwill PM you later with some activity ideas, have to eat something now and go to work. ;)
Have a lovely day, Great Teacher!
Whatever doesn �t kill us makes us stronger.

22 May 2009     

Mariethe House

Dear Melissa: I think you need a break! It �s easy to say but taking a day off sometimes helps incredibly!

Well if you can �t , try not to take things personnally! I have had wonderful lessons with no special material at all ,I have had very good lesons using the computer or films or whatever....
I have had lessons which I thought were absolute c....... and the kids said we loved it! I have had so many different sorts of lessons in my long career!!! My conclusion is : no matter what you use, the blackboard or  the interactive board or whatever sophisticated material, what counts is your CONFIDENCE! If you feel confident, you will get the kids � interest with a piece of chalk  and the blackboard and most of all with your lively and lovely personality. But if you are tired,sad or a little depressed  you loose your confidence and get oversensitive and no matter what you try the kids will feel it and your classes will suffer!
So, please, what Lana said is very important: You are a good teacher! If you weren �t, you wouldn �t be asking yourself so many questions!!
I wish you to sort your personal problems out ..... You have all my far away support! Cheer up little girl. There will be better times! And lots of teachers here to help you!
Love from Marieth�Hug

22 May 2009     

Kate (kkcat)
Russian Federation

Dear Melissa, first of all, cheer up!!! Big smileSmile It �s not late to make things better!!! Also let that situation be a kind of experience for you. From that moment on you will improve your classes and it �s good, not bad that a student told you about it.  So, now time to act. First of all, begin your class with some warm-up activities. Always ask them about their day, I �m sure they will tell something interesting and the atmosphere will become more relaxed. Then before introducing a new topic,  think of some questions you could discuss with them to get them involved. You can finish a lesson with some game, for example: "chain story", or bring in some discussion cards , when they choose a card and answer the Qs on it. I �ve seen lots of useful speaking cards on esl printales, just search! As for the movie idea, I �m 100% for it. You can organize a movie day twice a month or once  a month. I do it at my shcool and Ss love it. The main thing is to choose a good movie. If you need advice on what movie to watch - just send me a message. Watching movie means: discussing a lot of things connected with the movie, then you could prepare a WS about the movie. Write out words from the movie for your Ss to learn.
Good luck dear Melissa and again don �t be upset, because this situation will make you STRONGER! Thumbs Up
PS I agree with the previous post:  teachers who don´t care never think about improving their teaching.  The fact that you questioned yourself tells only that you have chosen the right thing to do in life and you are a good teacher who is willing to develop!

22 May 2009     


Hi Mellissa,

First of all,We have to admit the ups and downs in everything.We aren �t always perfect;but we try our best ways to be as successful as we can.Your students � words,your post,your contributions in this website and the feeling you have today prove that you are a great teacher.A teacher who cares.A teacher who can make and feel the difference.A teacher who loves and is loved.You don �t need a projector or some free time.All what you need is self confidence and nothing but self confidence.
Besides this self confidence,you can use warm ups,role plays,games,songs,debates....
Remember the number of days you worked without a projector.Remember the number of  days you worked from 10 to 10; and yet your lessons were a success.Say to yourself "Even without that little piece of chalk,but with some good ideas my lessons will be catching.IT �S BECAUSE I �M GREAT" Say it loud.Say it high.Let all the world hear it.
I hope you �ll come back to us stronger than before.
Have a nice weekend.

22 May 2009     


Hi Meliisa, Cheer up! First of all the fact that you take your students comment that much to heart means you care so you muct be a good teacher!!! Second, I can �t stress this enough, even though it is tempting, we are not there only to entertain!!! It is not a popularity contest!! My students would want to only play games and do songs etc, but sometimes you also need to just work.
Anyway, I do have a really golden tip for you (and anyone else) My teenage son showed me this program; �DVDvideosoft �  You can download it for free from the web (just google the word) and it ALLOWS YOU TO DOWNLOAD EVERY YOUTUBE VIDEO EITHER AS A MUSIC OR EVEN AS A VIDEO FILE TO YOUR COMPUTER for free!!. This means you no longer need an internet connection to show youtubes in class (I don´t even have a tv so your situation is great...) and it also means that you can find any song you might want to use in class. Just download it, burn to disc and take to school....
For me it has been great since now the songs we use in class are no longer limited to what I happen to have on disc at home (My taste was not always the same as my students´ :)

22 May 2009     

class centre

Dear Melissa! Cheer up! Like Libertybell has said they are not at the circus. They have to be able to work at school. Of course, it �s the teacher �s task to teach them how to  work. The system itself should be educative and consistent in building their character and skills.  I use SCHOOL OF TOMORROW system and each time see evidence of its being absolutely wise about how to train sts to work, think, want to continue etc. if your system is an ordinary state aproved one, you should give more personality to their tasks and exercises. Sts like to do something about themselves, to act, to perform, to guess... I �m sure you will get loads of good advice and they will help you a lot. Just take into account - sts should be personally involved in the learning process. Our state schools do not see sts, do not even know that someone is shy and someone is bold. They just give material and want sts to write tests as well as possible. But they do not teach how to learn! Once I understood it I have  had no problems with sts � interest in learning in my class.
Good luck!

22 May 2009     


Oh...girl...I know the feeling but it has to be with so long days. You get tired and everything begins to collapse around you.
You will get much help here, but all you need is some rest or a way to deal with so much work so that you can feel better.
It is your health I am concerned with.

Maybe you find something interesting here:



Role-plays, plays, projects, workshops, games, everything will help and you have a lot of material on the net if you do not have enough time to create your own.

And...bear in mind you are not a robot and need your time to relax and recharge "batteries" Smile 

Cheer up!
PM if you need something!

Reeeeeeeelax, pleeeease and enjoy!!!!

22 May 2009     


Hi, Melissa, I may seem a little prosaic but I can imagine your feelings and, since the first thing you need is a rest, a simple idea is playing a film they like,  "Twilight" or similar, with subtitles if they need them. It �ll give you two peaceful sessions, and then there are hundreds of activities about this film that you can use later. Just on this site, you also have online exercises that use the film to practise some points of grammar. And on this forum I saw a link of a site for teachers that want to use twilight!
Take care and remember about your health!Thumbs Up

22 May 2009     

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