Cool Clips

Video links you can use for your English classes

A listing of videos for a variety of levels and themes, all with some suggestions on how you might use them in class

Welcome to this section of Max’s English Corner, where different links to interesting videos are presented for you to use in your English classes.  More will be added on a regular basis (twice a month) and will cover a range of themes and genres with the idea that there will be some that might appeal to you and be useful for your current groups of students.  Each video is accompanied with a suggestion on how to present it in class and possible discussion themes to follow its viewing.  Below is a little more detailed introduction and following it is the listing of the video links, which is meant to be part of an ongoing inventory as more are added over time.  And if you are interested in getting some ideas on how to approach using video in class or some activities you could use, check out this article:  Using Video In Class 

An Introduction to Cool Clips

INTRODUCTION TO COOL CLIPS

These videos can be interpreted and used in many ways.  For example, the classification by level is done based partly on the level of difficulty of the language used (grammar, vocabulary, speed and intelligibility of speaking, how easily the visual context supports the spoken content, etc) and partly on the suggested activity.  Most videos can be used for any level, depending on the task given to the students, so if you have something in mind that could work for your students, even if it’s a level different to the one suggested, then by all means set it up in the way that suits you.

We often categorize vocabulary by level and words like lip-synching or a mike stand would not be considered as part of the minimum core of lexicon to be taught at a low level and consequently not normally appear in the respective course books.  This classification system is useful and its good intentions include strengthening that appropriate set of frequently used vocabulary by recycling it in various situations and ways.  However, when a person meets and interacts with other people who have a different level in the real world, all sorts of grammatical structures, expressions and other vocabulary come up in their conversations, including words out of the familiar context associated with that level for some of the participants.

As a teacher you can decide which words, if any, should be pre-taught, or perhaps explored after the viewing so the students can extract the meaning from the context provided.  It mostly depends on your objectives and how you intend on approaching the activities you wish the students to engage in.  You may find there are some grammatical structures that might be useful to look at, either explicitly drawing attention to them, or having them play a more implicit role in the activities you choose.  You may prefer to focus on other areas such as having the students work on their listening skills, becoming more accustomed to completing certain kinds of tasks, or using the video primarily as a stimulus for developing some specific speaking skills like responding to what others say, development of arguments, or clarifying meaning.

The suggested video tasks and discussion themes are just that, suggestions.  Feel free to use the video in other ways, including for levels other than the recommended use.  Just as there are a variety of genres and themes (cartoons, sports news, interviews, excerpts from documentaries, cute animals, magic, technology, social issues, etc), there are also a variety of ways to approach the videos and you can have a look at how different videos are treated differently.

If you would like to read an article highlighting different factors to consider when planning your video class, and listing a number of different tasks and activities you could employ, check this one out.

THE VIDEOS

An ongoing inventory of different videos you can use for your English classes

Funny Rabbit Sings “Down the Rabbit Hole”

summary of section

A rabbit appears, jumps up on a pile of things to finally stand on a stool and then appears to sing like a rock star

People Having Fun with Sign Placements

summary of section

People disrespecting (having fun with) signs

Tim Hawkins – Inappropriate Wedding Songs

summary of section

A singer/guitarist was asked by his friend to play a song while the bride is walking down the aisle.  The musician thinks of several songs that would be inappropriate.

TC Bank – Dream Rangers

summary of section

Five old men decide to go for a 13-day bike ride to feel some freedom and how special life can be.
NOTE:  This video is based in Taiwan, so the language is not in English except for the subtitles.

Teachers React: 5 Bets you will Always Win

summary of section

5 different puzzles using toothpicks, coins, glasses or paper clips that can stump you.  (Solutions are in the video.)

Years and Years- This is your fault

summary of section

An older woman brings to light why we are to blame for many of the problems we have as a society.

Mary’s Room: A philosophical thought experiment – Eleanor Nelsen

summary of section

A thought-provoking look into whether or not conscious experience falls within physical description & measurement

10 Awesome Balloon Tricks

summary of section

3 tricks that can get your students involved

The World’s Worst Translator – Alternatino

summary of section

A young man has his first assignment as a translator.  He is eager to do well, but makes many mistakes.  The two people he is translating for are two criminals who want to negotiate a business transaction.

summary of section

more coming soon

summary of section

More coming soon

summary of section

more coming soon

If you are interested in some ideas on how to approach using video in your classes, or looking at a list of some activities you can use, you may want to check out this article.  It’s divided into 3 sections and below you can find a brief summary describing the contents and direction of each section.  The article is found on ARTICLES ON MEC in the black footer, or you can click on the image or orange header to take you there directly.

ADVICE

Advice to consider when using videos (and to a great extent, listening or reading) in the class.  This is focusing more on how to approach the activities accompanying the video.

ACTIVITIES

This is a listing of different types of activities you can do, some which are popular with teachers and others that are less commonly used, but are interesting additional possibilities of what could be done.

LESSON PLANS & LINKS

Here you can access ideas, lesson plans and accompanying materials for a variety of suggested links to videos.  This is an ongoing inventory with recommended videos and ideas to use with more being added on a regular basis

This is just the beginning and expect more videos to be added, with more variety of themes and approaches.

Have a good one!

Warm wishes,
Max Maximchuk