Fortunately, I changed my view of how to work with videos in the ESL class. Teaching is not spending few hours trying to find a good pedagogical exercise to keep your students sat on their chairs!
I'm fond of using videos in my primary classes (from 8 year olds), especially the ones that gets the children attention for the ingenuity and its realistic relevance, and because they captivate their interest!
I use them as prompts for speaking. By watching these videos children will want to know and talk more about and, what’s more they will encourage them to feel a greater motivation to speak in English.
Here are a few videos you can use as prompts to start a conversation, a short dialogue or just to elicit short sentences about them.
And do not miss the paper at the end of the post. It is a very interesting experience of English language learning by 10 years children attending the last year of primary school and in particular an extra curricular project focused on oral skills.
Bridge (Ting Chian Tey) In this short funny animated film characters are only concerned with their own needs, forgetting the importance of understanding and respecting the rights of others.
The Butterfly Circus (2009) Short film of 21 minutes starring Nick Vujicic.
It uses the magic of cinema to show that the limitations of human beings are in their minds.
Doll Face (2005) It is ideal for teenagers who are constantly pressured to meet female stereotypes shown in the mass media.
Idiots. It is a criticism of consumerism and sedentary lifestyle caused by technology.
Monsterbox. It is an emotional and tender animation about friendship.
Changing Batteries. It is a sad story about an old woman that live alone with a robot.
Chicken or The Egg.Short offbeat cartoon about a pig who has an addiction to eating eggs. But when he falls for a chicken, you have to choose what comes first ... the chicken or the egg.
Empathise. Animated short about adopting an animal responsibly.
There are many more, of course! But I'll leave you to find them in the net!