Teachers are the very first ones who never stop learning! Finding new sources of inspiration to innovate your teaching methods, however, is not always easy. With this article, we would like to offer you some tips and tricks to enrich one’s professional background. We’ve selected five best videos for language teachers that will provide several interesting ideas, from how to motivate your students to how to help them become fluent in speaking a foreign language.
The work of the language teacher has undergone profound transformations in recent years. There’s more research and knowledge available on different language teaching methods and we have identified some critical development areas in the way we have traditionally taught languages in the formal educational sector.
At the same time, the application of technology and digital resources in the world of education has opened up new possibilities and a potentially infinite treasure trove of content in language teaching. But in our fast-paced modern society, it can become challenging to find the time, or motivation, to stay up-to-date on recent trends.
The traditional method of the frontal lesson and teaching methods centered on the study of grammar and literature seems outdated. Nowadays, many of those who approach the study of a foreign language wish to acquire the ability to use the second language in everyday, real-life contexts, whether in a business or educational setting.
Keeping up with evolving teaching techniques and changing the needs of learners is not easy. Sometimes, however, it is possible to find helpful inspiration or information on the Internet. That is why we wanted to highlight these top 5 inspirational videos for language teachers.
Differentiating instruction, or how to reach out to every student in the class
In this EducationWeek video, experienced language teachers offer insights into the kinds of language learning activities that can be implemented for each student, depending on his or her educational needs and background.
The central concept of the video is that of differentiation of didactic activities. Since students do not all have the same level of preparation or way of learning, why expect the same type of activity to work for each of them?
The interesting point of the video is that neither teachers nor students should be intimidated by the idea of trying something new.
Differentiating and taking risks might just be the concepts that best define innovative language teaching methodologies.
Tips from the teachers for the teachers
Talking to your peers can be a great way to discover innovative solutions to long-standing problems. BBC Learning English has been working for years to facilitate the exchange of experiences among language teachers. In this video, it does so with a series of interviews with participants at the 2017 edition (old but still extremely relevant today!) of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) meeting.
Among the tips, we liked best: “don’t try to rush your students’ answers!” Also, have a look at the original way IATEFL’s Marjorie Rosenberg explains past tense to her students (starting at 03.25 in the video).
Language is all around you
This video is now ten years old, but we believe that the advice given by teacher Maria del Carme is timeless in making students understand the meaning of studying languages (in this case, English).
From minute 0.30 onwards, a helpful exercise is described to show students that language learning happens not so much and not only through manuals but above all by looking at the world around us.
Songs, TV series, slogans: it is also in these creations that language is substantiated. Keeping this concept in mind can be a good way to encourage students to learn a foreign language.
Teaching English without teaching English
No, this is not nonsense but rather the teaching method adopted by Roberto Guzman. Probably most teachers have come across students suffering from what Mr. Guzman calls the “Porky Pig syndrome”, that is, students who are prepared from a theoretical point of view but when it comes to using the language in everyday conversation start to stutter like the Looney Tunes character. The solution to this problem? Well, teaching English without teaching English.
Moving language around the classroom
Another video where experienced EFL teachers illustrate techniques and solutions to create comprehensive language learning paths.
Beyond the individual tips provided by the teachers in the video, what’s interesting is the image of language teaching as an immersive and dynamic process that not only involves all the cognitive faculties of the students but also makes the most of all the components of the learning environment to be truly effective.
If you’re a language teacher who’s looking for inspiration to try out new language teaching methods, then check out Sanako’s Youtube Channel for instructional videos to some of the most advanced, evidence-based approaches to language teaching and the key concepts behind them.
This blog post was last updated 22 June, 2023.