TEFL Methodology: Video Techniques



Video materials may be AUTHENTIC or NON-AUTHENTIC.


Authentic video materials

Non-authentic video materials


rather unrealistic


can be boring


date easily





mainly for higher levels

adapted to level

no prepared exercises or worksheets

come with workbooks


cued with minutes / seconds


practice specific structures / vocabulary


Some video techniques:


1. What Ss see / hear:

  • picture without sound - structured tasks (sequence of events, paraphrases)
  • picture without sound (describing e.g. appearance, mood)
  • sound without picture (small piece of dialogue and sound effects)





2. How you play the recording:

  • uninterrupted viewing
  • interrupted viewing
  • freeze-frame (Ss guess what is going to happen next)
  • jig-saw viewing






3. Subtitles

  • target language subtitles
  • native language subtitles
  • no subtitles





Language Areas to be taught with the use of Video Techniques (and example activities):


1. Grammar

  • tenses (e.g. what is he doing / going to do / has just done?)
  • retell the sequence
  • prepositions





2. Vocabulary

  • descriptions



3. Listening

  • general comprehension
  • specific information




4. Speaking

  • discussion (before / during / after watching; opinion / filming / acting / plot)
  • prediction




5. Writing

  • summary
  • critic’s review
  • journalist’s report





Tips on using Video Techniques:


  • be fully conversant with the recording
  • check the recording beforehand
  • check the dvd player
  • before the lesson: prepare the recording, check the volume and tone and the angle from different parts of the classroom
  • create your own worksheets
  • focus Ss’ attention on what you want them to work with
  • introduce the context
  • don’t play too long without stopping
  • be sensitive and realistic to what Ss memorize




Bartram, M. and Walton, R. 1991. Correction. Mistake Management. Language Teaching Publications: 1991.

Brumfit, C. 1994. Communicative Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Byrne, D. 1990. Teaching Oral Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Byrne, D. 1990b. Teaching Writing  Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching.  Harlow:  Longman.

Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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