Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Video (killed the radio star)

Video killed the radio star! That is true to me and to most of my students. Most students of today prefer audio-visual than just audio. Video can be a useful tool in the classroom. Audio-visual material at the start of a lesson can be an engaging and beneficial tool. I have seen it used in our tutes at university, I have seen it used by teachers in school, I have seen it used in the course and I have used it myself. Sites like YouTube and Teacher Tube are good short video sites that can be harnessed as learning tools for your students. The important tip when using videos is not to have them go for too long. They need to be played for only a short time as to keep the students engaged and interested in the topic. While watching television and video is often seen as a passive viewing experience, there are ways to turn it into a platform for student interaction.

Here are some general teaching strategies that enhance the use of video materials in your classroom by targeting specific skill sets.

With picture and audio on:

  • Use the pause control to stop a scene and have students predict what will happen next.

  • Use the pause control to stop after a particular line of dialogue and have students predict the next line.

With audio off:

  • Have students predict the situation and characterizations based on viewing an entire scene without the sound.

  • Have students predict lines of dialogue after viewing an entire scene without the sound.

  • Have students predict individual lines of dialogue by using the pause button to stop the scene.

With picture off:

  • Have students predict the situation and characterizations by listening to the soundtrack without watching the picture.

  • Viewing Comprehension

  • You can check students' understanding of the situation and characters in the following ways:

Before watching:

  • Give students specific things to look and listen for before they watch a scene.

While watching:

  • Freeze-frame the scene by using the pause button and check students' understanding.

  • While watching or after watching:

  • Have students answer comprehension questions you devise.

After watching:

  • Give students cloze scripts and have them fill in missing words in dialog lines.

  • Listening Practice

  • Have students focus on the dialogue contained in a scene by listening for particular vocabulary words, structures, or functional expressions.

TV Dictation:

  • Have students write dialogue lines as they view them, using the pause control to stop the scene after each line,

Cloze Scripts:

  • As students view a scene, have them fill in missing words in a cloze script you have created.

  • Speaking Practice

Role Plays:

  • Have students role play a scene, practicing the lines of dialogue for correct intonation and emphasis.

On-Location Interviews:

  • Have students circulate around the classroom and interview each other using questions contained in the video segment. Students can then report to the class about their interviews.

Information Gap:

  • Have half the class see a segment without audio and the other half hear it without the picture. Students from each half of the class then pair up, talk about the situation and characters, and act out the scene.

Strip Dialogue Scenes:

  • Write dialogue lines on separate strips of paper, distribute them randomly, and have students recreate the scene by putting the lines together.


  • Have students discuss the scene, plot and characters' actions, thoughts, and feelings.

  • Have students think about what the characters in the scene are thinking but not saying. Students can create these interior monologues, present them to the class, and discuss any varying opinions about characters' inner thoughts during the scene.

  • Have students tell which characters they identify with and explain why.

(Pearson Longman, 2009)

Picture - Teacher Tube C/O Andrew Leggett


  1. Phil I like your statement video killed the radio, technology world has come along way from radio, now look at how vast and rapidly technology is being update daily. It astonishes me the technology we can, as LM, can utilise in the learning environment to engage students. Pernsky (2005) quotes, “So hi there, I’m the tuned-out kid in the back row with the headphones. Are you going to engage me today or enrage me? The choice is yours.” This quote appears to be a simple achievement with the vast technology tools LM’s could utilise in the learning environment for example digital video camera. If you - LM can reach out to one or two students with one tool of technology who where not engage in the learning environment before hand, I think for the LM this is a great achievement. I think this is a great tool for students to present their work instead of a written assignment, Prensky claims LM are not going to capture students’ attention the old way – old-style teaching.

  2. Video is an engaging tool. Take my English presentation today. We recorded it to give it give a point of view on how our students could do the same. We though it would be easy but turned out time consuming with rehearsing and editing. So, if you plan on designing a lesson where the child do a video presentation be aware of the time limits you may have. In saying that the end product is worth it. You get out what you put in!!!

  3. Hi Phil
    I like the way you really broke down activities that could be used with video in the classroom. I like the variety of activities you have provided and you're not just handing out a basic question and answer sheet for students to fill in.