Why is using YouTube in the classroom beneficial for learners/teachers of EFL?
Diary submitted by Rhiona B. Madrid
Thanks to the ever-growing use and popularity of the internet and video clip sites like YouTube, EFL teachers have become equipped with a new tool and their own online library to help improve listening skills, meanwhile offering genuine examples of everyday English that is used outside of the classroom to students. Therefore, this diary will reflect on the benefits of using YouTube in the EFL classroom.
Using YouTube in the classroom can be helpful for teachers and fun for students. Students are often more engaged with visually stimulating activities and are more likely to concentrate when watching videos rather than the teacher giving a lecture to the class.
Students enjoy spending their classroom time watching YouTube videos which also helps to improve their listening comprehension and pronunciation skills as they mimic the people speaking in the videos, and teachers are able to spend more time focusing on the students instead of trying to explain complex topics. In relation to my own experiences with using YouTube as an educational method in the classroom I believe that it can be used to develop each one of the language skills; Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading.
Firstly, I would have the students decide on a topic that interests them to ensure the video will be engaging and will catch their attention. Before the lesson it is best to research and look for educational short videos that are age and level appropriate.
It is best to show the video a few times, to ensure everyone understands it with complex vocabulary to be written on the board for students to take notes. Quiz sheets, which have been prepared previously, can be handed out after the video has been played and students can work in pairs or groups to answer the questions based on the video.
To practise speaking, the video can be played but muted with the students narrating the story. After the class the teacher can ask the students to prepare a piece of writing based on the video for homework, for example students could be asked to summarise the main points of the video in 150 words.
Motivation is one of the most important factors in determining successful teaching and learning of English. Film and TV, especially among younger learners, is an important part of everyday life and bringing them into the classroom can increase motivation and make the learning process more fun. Watching TV shows and documentaries exposes students to ‘real-life’ English, natural flow of speech and everyday expressions. It provides them with a visual context, like gestures and facial expressions, which can support the overall understanding of the language. YouTube is just as beneficial for teachers as it provides them with variety and a range of different teaching resources. Watching a short film, for example, can help follow up a debate, a class discussion, role-plays and summarising.
Overall, YouTube is a very good resource for teachers and can help provide a diverse and fun learning experience for students.
- Chhabra, P (2012). Use of E-learning tools in teaching English. Retrieved from http://www.researchmanuscripts.com/isociety2012/9.pdf
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