Great video resources for self-study

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Aside from audio tools, videos are great options for learning English on-the-go. If you have limited time or if you are on a break from formal English class this summer, videos can supplement your English language learning needs.

Why use videos?

  1. They are entertaining – if you are a bit tired of reading text or listening to lectures, watching movies and short clips can be a more entertaining choice. It will not feel like you are studying when you are enjoying the visuals, effects, and the storyline.
  2. They provide visual context– Comprehension is enhanced when you see real situations where the conversations take place. You will see facial expressions, hear the pronunciation and intonation, and the environment in which the language is used.
  3. Develops all four language skills – Using subtitles or captioning will help you practice reading and listening skills. If you need writing or speaking practice, some of the suggested websites below feature study guides, quizzes, and exercises that you can explore after watching some film clips or movies.
  4. Easily available – These online video resources are available online 24/7. You can also download the clips and study resources for use at a later time offline.
  5. Variety – There are news clips, instructional videos, music videos, animated films, movies and many others. You’ll never get bored! You can also choose videos based on your interest, amount of time available, or language level.

Movie guides

These are detailed guides for movie lovers and learners. It provides a summary of the plot, description of the characters, and definition of difficult words. Some also have guide questions to help you understand the movie better. The list of available guides also function as a movie suggestion list. You just need to buy or rent the movie.
English Learner Movie Guides (ESL Notes) – free for download in pdf, word or html formats.
EFL Movie Study Guides
Into Film (you need to register to be able to download the free film guides)

Film/Video English learning sites

Ello – Ello has thousands of short video and audio clips, with 2,500 lessons that are free. Some lessons can be accessed only by subscription. The clips are arranged by level. They feature speakers from all over the world talking about a variety of topics. Video clips are accompanied by a transcript and a quiz.

English Central – Free registration gives you access to videos and courses as well as exercises and quizzes for up to two videos a month. For reports and feedback, subscription is required. Cost starts at about US$15 a month. English Central contains more than 10,000 videos for various levels. Learners watch, learn vocabulary from the video, speak and record dialogue, and answer a quiz. Subscribers avail of one-on-one conversations with a tutor. If you want to see the videos without the study guides or activities to get an idea of what you will learn, you can view them at English Central You Tube Channel.

engVid – This site is a treasure trove of video lessons most of which are free. Learn English vocabulary, grammar, structure, pronunciation, even culture, and many more from its more than 1,000 lessons delivered by native-speaker teachers. These are arranged by levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and help improve your speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills.

FluentU– Works like English Central with a collection of actual music videos, TV shows, news, even cartoons. It has vocabulary tests and quizzes that work like games. You can register for free and use it for a trial period of 15 days. You will have a choice to continue subscription for a fee.

Learn English Feel Good – The site has short film clips, comedy/animation, and movie trailers for free access. The clips have short quizzes that you can answer to check comprehension. Aside from videos, it also has free grammar, vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation exercises, and downloadable worksheets on a variety of topics.

Video and audio resources for learning English – and how to use them, Better@English;
How can film help you teach or learn English? Kieran Donaghy, British Council; Learn English through movies and film: A complete guide, Fluent U. Accessed June 9, 2017.

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