In this post, I am sharing my 10 favourite YouTube channels where I look for videos to use in my lessons or to recommend to my students. The channels listed below are suitable for teenage and adult learners, levels intermediate and higher.
Why do I use videos with my students?
I use videos for a number of reasons. It is one of my favourite ways to introduce the topic of the lesson, provide the context for discussion, and present relevant vocabulary or grammar. What is more, videos provide great material for listening and speaking activities. Finally, they are a great way to introduce some humour into the lesson.
What I also often do is ask my students to watch a certain video at home and either treat is as homework (comes with some exercises) or as a way for them to prepare for the next lesson where the video’s content and language will be relevant (comes with a set of instructions and points to pay attention to).
My criteria for choosing videos
I try to select videos that will interest my students. For group classes, I try to avoid topics which might be too polarising or politically charged whereas for my 1-1 lessons I might choose something slightly more controversial if I know it will appeal to the learner.
I always aim at choosing videos that will offer some interesting language and it is always paramount to the topic. In practice, it means that even the most fascinating clip won’t make it to my lesson plan if the language is too sloppy or colloquial (unless colloquial expressions are what we are working on).
This often poses the biggest challenge. I usually look for videos that are shorter than 7 minutes (classroom) or 15 (self-study).
It is important for me to find videos that come with well-synced subs or are accompanied by text on the screen.
My 10 favourite YouTube channels to use in class or recommend to my students
The School of Life answers a number of important life questions with a series of visually attractive and informative videos.
Stories is one of my all-time favourite YouTube channels. The videos have perfect length and they are narrated in a number of different accents.
Ditch the Label is an anti-bullying charity and their YouTube channel is full of videos that carry a powerful message. It works great with teenage students.
60 Second Docs is where you go looking for videos that are short and sweet. The vast range of topics, variety of accents and authentic language all make it a great source of classroom content.
Omeleto is where you can find beautifully filmed touching stories that are likely to spark discussions and encourage self-reflection in your students.
Jubilee offers a selection of human-centric stories that are bound to make your students think and challenge their assumptions.
Business / Technology / Politics
Attn: offers commentary on a number of political and social issues
Now This is a collection of short videos on topics ranging from global warming to modern cinema. The fast-paced narration makes it suitable for more advanced learners.
Business Insider is the right place to look for everything business and technology related.