Popular Movies – Teach English Online Using Scenes From YouTube


Websites like YouTube have given us the capability of quickly and easily embedding videos into our own sites, blogs and through links. A great way to make teaching English online more creative, is to use this resource with students of any level as an online teaching tool. There are lots of different ways to deliver an online lesson using video including the one I will discuss below.

Step 1 Using YouTube

1.Select an English speaking movie and search for a short scene of approximately 2 – 8 minutes (elementary level learners can usually cope with around 2 minutes of dialogue and advanced learners can cope with 8 minutes or more).
2. Watch the movie and either transcribe the scene by listening and writing down the dialogue or simply google the movie to see if you can locate the script and find the correct scene that you are wishing to use
3. Copy the URL or embedding code from the scene and paste into your blog, lesson plan or website

Step 2 Preparing the Lesson

1. On the transcript, underline key words and phrases as you will use these for the vocabulary part of the lesson

2. Make notes on the main idea, useful and key phrases and develop who, what, where, why, when, how questions.
3. Develop a question that requires the student to give their opinion about the movie. They should be able to say I liked the movie because….. or I disliked the movie because……. My favourite part was when…, My least favourite part was when….

Step 3 Delivering the lesson

Introduction – let the student know that you are going to watch a short scene from a popular movie to learn natural spoken English, and to improve listening and understanding. Ask the student if they know anything about the movie by giving them the title and the genre. Introduce the key words and phrases you have selected and ask the student to say them. Discuss the meanings.

1. Ask the student to go to the video you have selected by clicking on the link you have supplied
2. Ask the student to turn the sound down and watch the movie scene in silence
3. Ask the student what they think the main idea is in the scene. Ask them your 5 W and H questions.
4. Now ask the student to turn up the sound, but only listen to the dialogue and minimise the screen so they cannot see the images (this will be the difficult part for most learners as the speed is usually much faster than they are used to and the language may be quite colloquial and conversational.
5. Now ask them to re-watch the scene with images and dialogue.
6. Ask them the 5 W and H questions again.
7. Get them to practice saying the useful phrases.
8. Ask them the opinion question.
9. Get them to discuss their favourite movie with you.

Encourage the student to watch the entire movie (subtitled in their own language for lower level learners) or the scene you used in their own time as homework. They can do this each day until you have another lesson with them.