5 tips for choosing & using video in ELT by ITN Productions

In May 2018 we held our 4th annual Innovate ELT conference. As always, we were excited to see a such a wide range of voices from different areas of the industry – including learners, teachers, managers, EdTech developers, publishers, writers and more. When so many perspectives get together, conversations turn into ideas and ideas spark real innovations.

The theme of “Fun?! Delight and Struggle in ELT” explored whether fun is a positive thing for learners. We also talked about why students need to encounter struggle and meet challenges when they are learning – and what this means for their motivation and engagement.

The pre-conference training event with ITN Productions

Our pre-conference event offered attendees the chance to take part in two four-hour training sessions. The first workshop “Making Effective Use of Video in ELT” was led by ITN Productions in collaboration with our team at ELTjam and the second “Exploring Group Dynamics” was led by Duncan Foord and Anna Stubbs from OxfordTEFL.

The ITN Productions workshop started off by looking at how video has been used in language education in the past and then went into the video production process and what makes effective use of video in education.

In the second half of the the session we looked at tools and resources for teachers and content creators. We then finished with some practical ideas for creating activities and lesson plans using video which teachers could start using in their classes immediately.

Watch the video below and learn about the 5 tips for using video in ELT

To summarise, the five key questions you need to ask when choosing a video are:

1. What impact does it have on the learners?

It’s important to think about our pedagogical aims and how the video will be received by your class. We also need to think about how videos move our students towards a learning objective, as well as how the learners are likely to interact and engage with the content.

2. Is it appropriate for your class?  

We also have to be very careful about selecting videos that are well-targeted to classes and individual students. Ideally, a video should be between 3 and 5 minutes in length, it should be age and culture appropriate, and it should also match our learners’ interests.

3. Is it a good video?

This is something every teacher will have to judge for themselves, but for the most part, videos should stand up as an interesting film in their own right, so ask yourself – would I watch this if it wasn’t an specifically built for ELT?

4. Can I use it?

Teachers and publishers also need to consider whether they have the rights to use the videos they plan to show and are not infringing any copyright laws, legally or morally (i.e. ask!)

5. Am I experimenting?

Finally, it’s important to keep things fresh, to experiment and try new things. Think about how to use different styles of videos in different ways, with new types of activities and varied objectives.

If you would like to know more about using videos in class, or even producing your own educational video content and activities, contact ITN Education for more information: dan.mills@ITNproductions.com

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