I distinctly remember the first time a teacher used a video clip in class. It was a college econ course, and the clip was from Big Bang Theory. She used it to echo a point about the relationship between supply and demand.

And it was perfect.

It re-focused everyone's attention back on the learning point at hand. It explained a crucial economics concept in a humorous way. And it remained a great reference point for the professor to refer back to throughout the rest of the course. 

Luckily, you don't have to be a college professor to use great video resources in the classroom! They can be incredibly useful in the ESL Classroom, especially if your students have short attention spans and you're looking to cater to different learning styles. If you're looking to add something new to your lesson plans or free and fun resources, look no further: Here's several great videos to incorporate into your foreign language class.


Get ‘em excited (topical):

1.       Sports lessons: Any ‘Dude Perfect’ video  

These are great because they're high energy and fun! They regularly show a panda mascot in their videos, and are all-American, wholesome sporty guys. The video above is basketball trick shots, but you can find all different kinds of sports. 

2.       Discussion prompts: Pixar shorts.

Usually these short stories have few-to-no words. They work great for lessons on mood, how to tell a story, or for teaching fun vocabulary. I linked my favorite short "For The Birds" above. Another fun one with great vocab is "Lifted" (it's about aliens!) 

3.       Robots: Dance-legend Nonstop

Marquese Scott, is an amazing dancer, with movements that would have you convinced he's actually not human. Here's another video of his, where he dances on the actual Great Wall of China!

4.       Table Manners: 

Here's an ancient Disney video from the vault; it's classy and cute. For older kids, this clip from Edward Scissorhands is hilarious. 


Music and dancing (interactive):

5.       Music; lyric videos, like this Justin Beiber’s “Sorry” lyric video .

Students can read along in an interesting way as they hear the words too.

6.       Music; new song- like Clean Bandit's "Rather Be"

This song was great for my high schoolers for a few reasons: Even though it's an upbeat song, the lyrics didn't move too quickly. I was able to teach them some fun idioms, like "it's a shot in the dark" and "there's no place I'd rather be". 

7.      Interactive songs:  No more monkeys jumping on the bed

From Kindergarten to an English Corner with professional adults, this song is fun. Have your students make finger puppets to play along with the song. There's many like this, like Old McDonald, If You're Happy And You Know It, and The Wheels On The Bus. They work surprisingly well for most age groups, especially if you add another element like use hand motions, draw pictures, or easy costumes. 


Holiday lessons:

8.       Halloween: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ music video

Here's a version with Lyrics too! It's also fun to teach your students the dance at the chorus. 

9.   Christmas: H&M’s train short.

This 3:50 video brings tears to my. Eyes. Every. Time. It's so sweet, and the nostalgia is STRONG. 

10.   Thanksgiving: Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (and Christmas).

Watch this video for 7 easy, traditional Thanksgiving dishes get prepared.

11.   Valentine’s Day/Weddings: The Cupid Shuffle (and dance)

One of my favorite memories was watching my classes of high school students do the Cupid Shuffle with me. I incorporated it into a lesson about Wedding Traditions in America, and it was one of their favorite units. Believe it or not, this is the official music video:


These are great ways to get your students invested and engaged in your English classroom! What videos have you used in class? Leave more in the comments below!