- ideas for elt


ELI Clips Session


This is a session I prepared as an inhouse one for my colleagues. Here are the links, a bit of background and related worksheets. The worksheets aren't perfect but are representative of the day to day material I prepare and use for my own classes. In addition to the links, I've included the clips as files so that teachers can download them, save them and thus not be dependent on a smooth internet connection for their lesson. If the owners of any of the clips (or Youtube) object to this then they are welcome to get in touch and I will remove their file.




This one's great for practsing the time. You can stop the clip each time the clock hits the hour or half hour or you can let it run and the students call out the times themselves.


Naughty Panda


For lower levels I use the scripted call out sheet. I play the clip first and we watch as normal. Then we see the clip again and this time when I call out "One", the students read line one from the handout. There is a gapped version of the call out lines as well.

Scripted call out for Panda


Bob and the penguins


When I use this clip for lower levels I follow it up by putting says hello, throws, eats on the board on separate lines. Then as a class, we flesh out the three sentences (Bob says hello to the pengiuns, one pengiun throws something at Bob, Bob eats a pengiun).

With teens, I show them the clip then ask them to do a straight write-up of it in 5 connected sentences. I correct the paragraphs and they read their completed paragraphs to a partner.




The Universal X-Factor Paragrah Generator worksheet is fairly self-explanatory here. It works for any X-Factor clip. There are questions that students fill in while listening (best to stop the clip just before the singer starts for a couple of minutes to give them time to complete the initial impressions part) then there is a structured write-up sesction.



Dumb ways to Die


The first part is a fairly traditional song style worksheet. The next part involves students adapting the text from imperatives to past simple and changing the deixis from you to he or she. So what is in the song as: Set fire to your hair on the worksheet becomes He set fire to his hair.


Once they have completed the worksheet (there are two so nobody needs to have the same as the person sitting next to them) then students can ask a partner: How did he/she die? pointing at the pictures on their partner's handout. Even more fun is to freeze one of the final frames on the clip, where all the characters are singing the chorus on screen at the same time, and number them with board pen/stylus on the IWB/projector, Then students can ask each other: How did number __ die? I've done this with both teens and adults.

With advanced or proficiency classes, there is a scenario for a report at the end of the worksheet, which also involves the students looking at a news clip with the creator  who talks about how this is actually a public safety film for Metro Trains.


Peter Jones Top 10 Rules


This is a nice one for adult classes. I ask students to write down 1 to 5 on their paper, leaving a good space between each number. Then I tell them they are going to hear 5 rules. They need to write down the name of each rule (i.e. My first rule is _____.), like a heading. That's the listening for gist, as it were, and we only look at the first half of the clip. After that I play the clip again but keep replaying each phrase a number of times - just as I would for a classic dictation. It's intensive but it really works those word segmentation skills. Then students  compare and we hear the whole piece again, before comparing with the transcript. For homework, I ask students to transcribe rules 6-10. If they bring me their version, I will give them my transcription. Transcriptions like this have proved extremely popular with some of my adult students over the years.

Rules transcript




To provide a bit of political/ideological balance to the clip above, here's philospher Slavoj Zizek talking about Love. Again, good for class or homework transcription. The instructions are very easy: "I'm going to play you a clip and I want you to write down everything he says".



Derek Sivers


With this short TED clip we practise time pressured delivery. First we watch the clip. Then we watch it again, with the students following the paper based transcript. Then the students read the clip to a partner - partner A reads the first half and partner B the second. Then we turn the sound off on the clip and play it again. Partner A's kick off and read from the transcript at the same pace as the visuals on the screen. Halfway through Partner B's take over. So the students are all working in pairs but all using the clip as a pragmatic frame of reference, starting together and trying to keep up with Derek's slides and gestures. Finally, if the students are familiar enough with the text, we try it without the help of the paper based transcript. 

A few years ago I approached Derek to ask permission to use the clip, text and his picture in a write-up of this activity and, as he was game, published an article on it in English Teaching Professional Issue 71, which can be ordeered as a back issue, I believe.

Transcript for talk                


Lewis Pugh


Probably my favourite TED talk. I show the students, telling them that later they will be writing a paragraph summarising the clip/what Lewis did, so they need to take brief notes as they listen. They write up the paragraph in class, which I correct and then, like all my students' writings, they do a rewrite and possibly a second rewrite - and each time I give them a higher mark for it.

For higher levels, such as advanced or profieciency, I provide a scenario: Imagine that you have decided to invite a speaker to your school/workplace to talk about the importance of global warming. Watch Lewis Pugh's talk and then write up a brief report/proposal. In it, outline the content of the talk, its suitability for your institution and include any alterations or extra material you might ask Lewis to include in a talk to best tailor it to your own context. 


Ted speaker’s worst nightmare


This is another clip that I use with intermediate students (teens and adults). Again, I ask them to provide a short write up after watching the clip.


Gangnam Style

I haven't been able to upload this clip yet, so you'll have to rely directly on Youtube itself. Even though the video is in Korean, the jigsaw synopsis is in English. So I prepare it as a cut up jigsaw which students do as they watch the piece. After viewing a couple of times, they can check they have the right order using the handout and then complete the gap fill on the background to the song. The follow-up is for them to do a similar (but shortened) synopsis and/or write up of one of their favourite music videos.





The deal is that if any of my students email me a set of song lyrics gapped and ready for class use, then we do them. This was produced by an upper-intermediate teen. After listening then we show the clip on screen (which has the lyrics - these lyric videos are fantastic because students can speed check their own answers). Finally, I ask students to turn over their papers and write 3 sentences, beginning with: If tomorrow was my last day I... . It gives them a useful opportunity to practise writing conditionals.

Worksheet (Thankyou Martuky#4).