ESL Teachers Ask: Where Can I Find ESL Videos I Can Use in Class?

ESL Teachers Ask
Where Can I Find ESL Videos I Can Use in Class?

Claudia Pesce
by Claudia Pesce 49,761 views

Where can I find videos for ESL learners I can use in class? I mean the kind that is specifically developed for students, not original American or British series, TV shows or movies.” *

ESL students have no shortage of original videos to watch.

From Hollywood blockbusters to hilarious sitcoms, national geographic documentaries to reality TV, they have an astounding variety to choose from. But it’s difficult to use authentic sources in class, particularly if your students are beginners. Also, original videos tend to be long. Needless to say, they don’t come with worksheets, and it takes a great deal of preparation to get them ready for class. There are, however, videos that are created with this particular audience in mind – your ESL students. They’re short and often target specific language points. Where can you find these video gems? Here’s where.

Where to Find ESL Videos You Can Use in Class:

  1. 1

    You may already know this, if you’re not new to the site, but for those who are newcomers to our wonderful world of free, printable, and shareable resources, there is an entire section devoted to movie and TV video worksheets you can simply download and start using. Most come with either the video embedded onto the page or the link you can copy and paste to any browser. There are countless videos made for ESL learners, but if you choose to use original movies and TV, the worksheets are a huge timesaver.

  2. 2


    YouTube is a world all on its own, with endless channels you can navigate, good content you can use, but also complete rubbish that is nothing more than a waste of time. However, there are plenty of channels that are specifically targeted to ESL learners and offer great, quality video content you can use any day, any time. Here are some of my personal favorites:

    • Fluency MC - Jason R. Levine, more commonly known as Fluency MC, is an ESL teacher who has rapped his way into the hearts of teachers and students across the globe, preaching the benefits of the 3Rs: relax, repeat, and remember. His songs are catchy and fun, and help ESL students remember bits of language through collocations.
    • Rachel’s English – If you want videos that will help your students improve their American English pronunciation look no further than Rachel’s English. In her videos, Rachel clearly shows how to position the teeth, tongue and lips to make the right sounds. Her YouTube channel is an invaluable resource for those with pronunciation barriers to surmount.
    • Cambridge English TV – This YouTube channel has a great variety of videos you can use in class with your students or recommend for them to watch at home, from varieties of English to language that comes in handy in job interviews.
    • DJC Kids – One of the best YouTube channels for teachers of young ESL learners, it features alphabets songs and videos that teach anything from shapes and colors, to animals and foods.
  3. 3

    British Council

    Among all of the wonderful resources British Council offers for ESL students and teachers, there is an entire Listen & Watch section for students that includes How to videos, a Word on the Street section that covers uses of English in everyday life, and Overcooked, a section that features typical UK food. And that is only for adult learners! There are more videos for kids and an entire Video Zone devoted to teens.

  4. 4

    Voice of America

    VOA might seem like your average news site, but it is actually developed for ESL learners. The Learning English TV section features news reports with speakers who speak slowly and clearly. The short English in a Minute videos teach idioms and phrases that are useful for students learning American English. News Words teaches words that typically appear in news reports – a great resource for students who need to expand their vocabulary. Finally, TALK2US is a Skype call-in show, and the videos are recorded with the participation of the audience.

  5. 5

    There are countless videos to sort through in this website, but chances are you’ll find the one you need. It is basically a collection of videos that are found in different sites, including YouTube and VOA. Just check out the list of categories on the right. From Business English to slang, and even writing, there are lots of videos that are absolutely worth showing to your class. (Bear in mind that some links don’t work as the originals might have been removed from YouTube.)

  6. 6

    You can tell Ello was a created by an English teacher. The video section has over 700 videos you can choose from, featuring speakers with a wide range of pronunciations who answer questions tailored to different levels. There is a study guide for each video, as well as quiz so students can check their comprehension.

So, if you feel overwhelmed by the amount of preparation it takes to adapt original TV series and movies to your lessons, try any of the video sources listed above.

From simple kiddie videos with alphabet songs to advanced news reports, these ESL videos, combined with the right teaching strategies, guarantee ESL listening success for your class.

* This question was sent in from a real ESL teacher, just like you! If you need any advice on a particular topic, share your question in the comments below. Or tweet your question to @busyteacher_org with the hashtag #ESLTeachersAsk. Your question might get picked and featured in an article!

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