Session 4

Welcome to The Teachers’ Room. The show all about teaching practice. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up an armchair and relax. Learn something new, remember something fundamental or just have a giggle.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

The Teachers' Room

Using video

Dan and Sian talk about using video in the ELT classroom

Watch the video and complete the activity


Did you like that? Why not try these?

TTR 22 Teaser TTR 20 Teaser Lingohack: 28 June: Image with headlines/Getty


Using video
It couldn’t be easier to get video into the classroom these days, so why not take advantage of the wide variety of interesting contexts and easily-available authentic language?

Trailers are perfect for short focussed activities. They can be used as a source for a wide range of fluency tasks. Get your students to watch and then say whether or not they’d like to see the move, talk about the relationships between the characters, try to predict the ending and order the scenes. In addition, trailers are great for teaching and reviewing narrative tenses (The main character was walking through the supermarket when…) and relative clauses (I saw a man who fall in love…).

Sound on, picture off
Video is a combination of sound and image. Cover the image and play the video. Then have students listen and attempt to guess the genre, the context and what is happening. It’s great for teaching vocabulary related to the sound effects, as well as verbs of the senses (I can hear a bird singing) and modal verbs of deduction (It must be in a forest because…). In addition it makes a great lead in to generate interest for a further task.
You can also turn off the sound and have students watch – writing the dialogue for the scene. Then have them ‘dub’ with their own scripts.

Back to the screen
Have students sit in pairs, one facing the screen, one facing away. The student who can see must describe the video to their partner, who listens and remembers as much as possible. It’s a great way to practise the present continuous tense (A man is walking into a shop), plus it creates an information gap for a speaking activity immediately after.

To do

Try our quiz to see if you've picked up our tips.

The Teachers' Room Quiz

4 Questions

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Get involved

Well, those were just a few ideas that we here at BBC Learning English had, but we know that you teachers out there have lots of fantastic ideas too, and we’d like you to share them with us and everybody else.

If you have a great tip or technique about using video, or anything else, please email us at Your email could be posted here on this page, or may even be mentioned in our show.

We are also looking for video tips to include in the programme. You could be rewarded with a T-shirt for your efforts.

End of Session 4

Next up is Learners' Questions. What will this week's Learner Question be? Whatever it is, Dan's here with the answer! Join us in Session 5 to find out.

Session Vocabulary

  • Using video

    • Trailers
    • Sound on, picture off (and vice versa)
    • Back to the screen