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Where to find inspiring videos for your lessons?

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 grammarWhat 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

  • The topic

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.

  • The language

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).

  • The duration

This often poses the biggest challenge. I usually look for videos that are shorter than 7 minutes (classroom) or 15 (self-study).

  • Subtitles

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 YouTub channels to use in class or recommend to my students

Social Issues

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 grat source of classroom content.

Inspirational

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

Big Think has a great take on a number of scientific issues plus a great video series where Bill Nye answers questions from viewers

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.

 

If there are any more YouTube channels you feel should be recommended, please leave a comment!

13 Comments

  1. WOW ! Thank you for these channels, I haven’t seen any of them. Fantastic ! 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting and leaving the link, Kamila. Tube Quizard is great, isn’t it!

      • It’s fantastic and my students love it so much. I love it too, for its user-friendliness.

    • WOW you guys just changed my LIFE!! I am new to online teaching and I find it challenging to find awesome interactive materials. Thank you so much for sharing!
      Gosia your materials are awesome!

      • Fantastic, Hanette! Glad to be of help. How’syour online teaching going? If you’re interested in some lesson plans designed with online teaching in mind, sign up for the Lesson Plans Digger newsletter 🙂

    • So glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to comment

  2. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I love your style. You are very inspiring and helpful. Keep up the good work!

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