Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Free Resource: YouTube

Today’s tip involves a free resource for anyone who has access to the internet at home, work or the library. Many of you have heard of YouTube website, which, in the current parlance, “hosts” videos for free. Some users post vacation video, others make personal or political commentary.

A company called Real-English.com has video lessons on a variety of subjects posted there, too. Here is one that features interviewers with big, furry microphones asking people in the London streets one question, “What are you doing?” The answers are in present progressive, such as, “I’m cleaning the street,” or “I’m putting my card in the ATM to get some money.” Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGzsTYWprNA

Now, some of the accents may be odd, but if you watch with your learner you can make the speakers’ everyday statements into topics of discussion. And, even if you check it out and don’t find that video interesting, real-English has many more mini-lessons. Here’s one that’s very well oriented toward beginners: the cardinal numbers from one to one hundred http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHa-vEoO3fM being read by someone with a nice voice.

To find more videos by this company, go to the www.youtube.com website and search for “real-english”. You can see the search field atthe top of the screen capture image above.

You can see that the search for “real-english” turned up 177 videos—quite a haul! And remember, even if you cannot show the video directly to your learner during lessons, you as a tutor might learn some ways to teach new concepts by watching them. Sometimes it just helps to watch someone else doing it.

And here’s a parting thought for you, in the form of a question: Why not try making your own ESL video? If you have a reasonably capable digital video camera, perhaps we can collaborate and share ideas with this technology. Are you trying anything you’d like to share with your learners through the YouTube? Think it over. And for now I have embedded one of the videos below in the Blog of Literacy. It is a technical first for this blog and this blogger, but as ordinary as Cheerios to anyone under 25.

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