eurodestination (YouTube Channel), “Visit Denmark”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video for the Nordic utopia that is Denmark. There is plenty of swooping cinematography featuring the best a Danish vacation has to offer.

The video seeks to answer the question What is a good holiday about? and would provide a nice introduction to the theme of vacations/travel if you are about to study this topic.

Language Focus and Level

The narration on this video moves at a deliberately leisured pace which, combined with the vocabulary help in the worksheet, could be suitable for pre-intermediate or intermediate level students.

There is a grammar section in the worksheet which focuses on the use of the gerund in the video.

Worksheet

capture Find the accompanying worksheet here: denmark

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

ODN (YouTube Channel), “Taxi Hotel”

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The Video

ODN visits New York City and a plucky entrepreneur converting vans and taxi cabs into affordable accommodation for the tourist on a budget. It is a short and enjoyable news story that everyone will have an opinion about.

Language Focus and Level

The grammar used in this video is pretty simple with some more advanced vocabulary included. You can use the video with good pre-intermediate and intermediate level students.

There is no grammar focus with this video but the worksheet below could be used as a quick class introduction to the topics of tourism, hotels, holidays or travel.

Worksheet

thumb   Download the worksheet here: taxi-hotel

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

Paths Less Pedaled (YouTube Channel), “What is Bicycle Travel?”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video to try and get more people into the joys of cycling.

Level and Language Focus

The language in the video alone is suitable for use in intermediate and upper intermediate classes. Using the worksheet below you could extend the video and supporting activities to good pre intermediate classes.

The main grammar focus of the video is the use of gerunds after prepositions.

Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Cycling.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Expedia (YouTube Channel), “San Francisco Vacation Travel Guide”

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The Video

Expedia is a leading online travel company offering informed videos for tourists featuring cities from all over the world. This video features the jewel of the US West Coast, San Francisco, with the narrator talking us through the scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities and world-class cuisine this popular Californian destination has to offer.

Level and Language Focus

As a video with a potentially large ESL audience, the narration is slow and very clear for English learners. Adapting activities to suit your class (the use of the script, subtitles etc.), you can use this video with classes of levels intermediate and upper intermediate.

The worksheet below concentrates on the grammar of quantifiers used throughout the video. Quantifiers are usually studied at most levels with increasing difficulty as the student progresses.

Worksheet

thumb Download the accompanying worksheet here:San Francisco WS (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video freely through YouTube.

National Geographic (YouTube Channel), “Steel Drums”

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The Video

National Geographic takes on an educational trip to Trinidad and Tobago to learn about arguably their most famous export, the steel drum. The video is short but sweet and would be a good introduction to a class centred on music, culture or travel.

Level and Language Focus

With slow, clear narration, you can use this video with pre intermediate or intermediate levels. There is some difficult vocabulary which can be cleared up by using the worksheet below.

This video is a nice introduction to set up class presentations. You could use the National Geographic YouTube channel and have your students find a video to summarise in the form of a presentation.

Worksheet

thumb ws.JPG Find the accompanying worksheet here: Steel Drums National Geographic (right click, save as…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Top Gear (BBC, UK), The Smallest Car in the World

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The Video

Jeremy Clarkson drives the Peel P50, the world’s smallest production car to work at the BBC, discovering some of the advantages and drawbacks of such a tiny vehicle.

Top Gear was the most widely watched factual television programme in the world and this clip has enough laughs to make it enjoyable for any general audience.

Level and Language Focus

The video is perfect for intermediate and upper intermediate levels with fairly simple language and clear narration.

The obvious topic for discussion is cars and transport. You can use the worksheet below to teach the grammar topic of comparatives and superlatives.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Top Gear Handout (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Mark Albion (Free Range Studios), What Is “The Good Life” Parable

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The Video

New York Times bestselling author Mark Albion’s 3-minute animated movie “The Good Life” produced with Free Range Studios (The Story of Stuff; The Meatrix) and based on Mark’s new book, More Than Money.

A young man takes a break after finishing business school in a small fishing village. He proposes a business proposition to an old fisherman who enjoys the slow pace of life and on doing so learns an important life lesson himself.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and the vocabulary is not too complicated therefore the video could be used in pre-intermediate and intermediate classes.

An obvious grammar point in this video is second conditional, which is used throughout. A discussion point to the video could be free time and work-life balance.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
The Good Life Parable (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Ric Elias (TED.com), 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed

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The Video

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

As you can imagine, the content of the video is quite weighty and the speaker asks some searching questions. If your class do not know each other too well then they may not want to share some of the more personal information that may arise in discussion of the topics raised.

Level and Language Focus

The language of the video is not too difficult and would be suitable for levels starting low intermediate to upper intermediate. If your student(s) have a good vocabulary base, the video could even be used with pre-intermediate if subtitles are used.

The worksheet below includes an activity involving hypothetical situations past and present, the main focus being the use of the verb wish and the associated grammar.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
TED Bucket List (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video on the TED.com website with the added benefit of subtitles (in an array of languages) and a full transcript.

You can also watch the video over at YouTube.

Banged Up Abroad (National Geographic UK), “Nepal”

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The Episode

City boy Piers retells the story of how he went from successful London banker to being incarcerated in a Nepalese prison after being found guilty of smuggling gold. A dramatic story which is easy to follow, the episode should inject some excitement into teen and adult classes.

Level and Language Focus

The video is good to play in class as it features direct-to-camera interviews and  reconstructions providing two different ways of listening to English. The narration is relatively slow and should be suitable for upper-intermediate level and above. The episode also features a selection of different English-native and non-native accents.

A grammar point related to the video would be second and third conditionals (see worksheet for more).

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.

Father Ted (Channel 4, UK) – Going to America (Series 3, Episode 8)

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The Episode

Three catholic priests live together on a remote Irish island. A flashy American priest turns up in their parish and promises the title character, Ted, a new life full of riches in the States. The comedy arises from the fact that Ted’s two fellow priests and excitable house keeper presume they are invited on the adventure and Ted forever searching for the right moment to break the unhappy news.

The episode is especially useful if you have any students who are about to emigrate or even just go on holiday. The language focuses around future plans, preparations and includes a scene in the airport.

Level and Language Focus

The comedy is set in Ireland, an accent that could prove interesting to students who have never been exposed to it. There is also the American character, handy for giving some variety in terms of accent.

Some of the dialogue is quite fast and so recommended for Upper Intermediate classes and above. If you sign up to the free 4OD service you have the option of English subtitles.

An obvious language extension would be future tenses (going to vs. will).

Worksheet

A worksheet dealing with the tricky vocabulary in this episode is available here: Father Ted Going to America Worksheet (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The episode can be viewed via the Channel Four 4OD service here (with optional subtitles).

It can also be found on YouTube and Daily Motion.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.