It’s not that long ago that we had to roll in a TV on a trolley to show video to students. Having access to YouTube has transformed my teaching over the last few years. Rather than the educational videos of yesteryear, we can now show authentic language which really engages students and lets them listen to a range of voices. In the current climate, when there will be no school trips for a while, it is also nice to have a glimpse of different countries!
There is some great content on YouTube which is produced specifically for language learners. I am a fan of the Easy Languages channel. My GCSE class watched a great video on Easy German about refugees. The content was current (filmed last year) and the German/English subtitles made it accessible to all students. Similarly, I have found a useful video about Halloween in France which I will be able to use with a Year 8 group because of the subtitles. In this video, it is clear that Halloween is not really a big thing in France, so it will help my class understand that not everyone does things in the same way.
Another excellent source of videos which can be used in a classroom are on the Coffee Break languages channel. These videos typically focus on one question which is asked to a range of people. Their responses are shown twice, the second time with subtitles. They are great for exposing the students to repetition of the same phrase. There is the added bonus that all the videos seem to have been filmed on a lovely sunny day, brightening up my classroom!
I have also found that even the shortest snippet of video can engage students. In Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint, it is easy to format a video so that only the required 20 seconds of the video plays. My Year 8 class enjoyed a 20 second clip of Emma Watson speaking French. It doesn’t matter if students can’t understand every word. Similarly, you can play a video of a vlogger discussing food or apps or whatever to get students to guess the theme of the lesson.