Recently I have been using short video clips from the internet in my lessons. Nothing too long, just two to three minutes of real life listening practice which helps students to get used to a variety of speaking styles and subjects. As you can imagine the possibilities are endless as far as teaching opportunities are concerned, but here is one idea that can be applied quickly and with very little preparation.
The videos should be short (60 - 120 seconds), visually varied (not just talking heads) and ideally about subjects the students have knowledge of.
1 Explain to students that they are going to see a short news story but without sound. Their job is to make guesses about what is happening. If the class is upper intermediate and above the students do this individually, otherwise they work in groups.
2 The individuals/groups work with others to compare their guesses.
3 Now tell them that they are going to be reporters and find out more about the story for their local newspaper. To do so they have to ask five questions with these words;
4 Students write down questions, you might want to help out at this point as this is a problem area for many learners.
5 Now play the video again this time with sound and students write down their answers. If the answer wasn't covered then get the students to think of their own.
6 Now explain to the them that they are going to write the headline and first paragraph to the story. You might want to do yourself as an example.
Follow up exercises
- Write the rest of the story.
- Students video an interview with each other pretending to be those involved.
- Find their own stories to show the class next lesson.
- Follow up the story from other sources on the internet.