MOTIVATING STUDENTS IN ENGLISH CLASS
WITH THE HELP OF ENGLISH SHORT CLIPS
7- 09 - 1982
: 100/1c Hà Huy Giáp,
Biên Hòa, T.
6. E-mail: email@example.com
ng THPT c
II. RESEARCH QUESTION
IV. LITERATURE REVIEW, FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION
As a teacher of Luong The Vinh High School for the Gifted and having taught different
classes for the past few years, I
the majority of the students of
the school just focus on their major subjects. This means only students of English classes
really have strong motivation to study English while those in other classes such as Math,
subject. There are many reasons accounting for this, but one of them can be narrowed
down to the fact that
From my own
observation, the students get fed up with the amount of excessive grammar in each unit.
Furthermore, although there have been revisions and updating, the lessons in their course
books, somehow, lack authenticity, or in other words, fail to stimulate them. Having
identified the problem, I have tried showing some English clips in my classes. The result
is quite promising- the students did show more enthusiasm and excitement in engaging in
II. RESEARCH QUESTION
This mini paper aims to clarify the following identified issue among students of Luong
The Vinh High School for The Gifted:
- The possibility of using English clips in the classroom as an effective way to
motivate students in English class.
Step 1. Define the theme/main topic of each lesson in the course book.
Step 2. Search for appropriate clips.
I mean the teacher should search for a clip that has a similar content
with the topic of the lesson. In addition, the language used in the clip should not be too
important thing to be taken into consideration when
searching for a clip to show in class is that the teacher is expected to make sure there is
Step 3. Show clips
Once the teacher has found the appropriate clip to show in front of the class, he or she
should decide the right time to do this- whether before the lesson as a warm-up activity,
in the middle of the lesson as a listening task, or as a sum-up activity at the end of each
unit. This depends as whether the teacher wants to use the clip as a catchy introduction to
a new lesson, as a part clarifying an important point in a lesson, or as a wrap-up for a
In addition, since
pressure for both teachers and students, it should be up to the teacher in charge to decide
when and how to include video clips in her/his teaching.
Here is an example of one of the lessons I teach using clips as visual aids:
UNIT 4: SPECIAL EDUCATION
Before showing the clip to the class, the teacher writes a few questions on the board:
1. What is special about this dancer?
2. How old was he when he started tap dancing?
3. How old was he when he figured a problem with a part of his body?
4. What was actually the problem?
5. How many surgeries did he have totally?
6. What do we learn from this dancer?
After showing the clip for the first time, the teacher write some key new words on the
board to help the students understand the clip better.
- tumor (n)
- amputate (v)
- chemo (n) = chemotherapy
After the students have understood the clip and are able to answer all the given questions,
the teacher can lead in the topic of the unit which is teaching children with special needs:
IV. LITERATURE REVIEW, FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION
The recent years have witnessed a shift in English teaching approaches. To be more
specific, it has been clearly stated by the Ministry of Education that English teachers
should now pay more attention to communicative skills when teaching English as a
compulsory subject in schools. For the past few years speaking and listening skills have
been put into official assessment scale for 10 th graders nationwide. At Luong The Vinh
High School, 10 graders and 11 graders have oral final exams together with paper-based
exams which include listening tasks. Therefore, I believe it is high time English teachers
put more emphasis on bringing more listening and speaking tasks into the classroom. One
of the most possible and effective ways, in my own opinion, is to introduce English clips
to our students.
the advantages of using English clips as teaching material in the
have been produced for purposes other than to teach language" (Nunan 1988, p. 99). As
for me, I usually download short clips from some talk shows hosted by famous people
such as Ellen DeGeneres, or sometimes short inspirational clips for some advertising
campaigns. The point is these clips, since not made for the purpose of teaching, are
, and are therefore,
in terms of real life and meaningful
communication (Rogers, 1988). When it comes to the benefits of using authentic materials
in the classroom, according to Philip, Shettlesworth, and Clarke (as cited in Richards,
hey [authentic materials] have a
2001), there are a few that are
positive effect on learner motivation, provide authentic cultural information and exposure
to real language, relate more closely to learners ' needs, and support a more creative
approach to tea
use in my classroom, as authentic materials, are really helpful in my teaching.
I have been showing several clips for my students in different classes and their feedbacks
are, to a certain extent, positive. The students all agree that with the audio and visual
effects, these clips can instantly grab their attention. In addition, to make sure that
students are engaged in the activity, I try to choose clips of interviews with celebrities or
about popular issues everyone knows of (see attached clips for reference). One good point
about this new material is that although the students
always understand all the words
and phrases, they still can have a general idea of what the whole clip is about. And this is
of no doubt very close to the well-known communicative approach. As a result, all of the
students show great enthusiasm and engagement. Even for those who admit that they
understand the whole content of a clip express their eagerness for more clips. Besides that,
Brown, 2000). When students sit in
the classroom, ready for a new lesson or task with positive attitudes, they are likely to
experience success, or at least, to produce better performance of their language ability.
So as to illustrate the points I made above,
lt of a survey I
conducted among 100 random students I was teaching last year. The questionnaire
consisted of 8 different questions asking for their opinions about the importance of
Speaking and Listening skills as well as about the English clips I showed to them.
Agree nor (4)
Listening are not as
important as Grammar
difficult to improve.
3. I wish that I could
4. I wish that the teacher
speaking and listening
tasks in class.
clips shown in class are
too difficult for me to
6. I enjoy watching
English speaking clips.
improving my listening
and speaking skills.
8. Other than improving
speaking and listening
skills, English clips give
a lot of useful and
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that teachers are likely to experience difficulties of using
English clips as teaching materials. In terms of outside factors, first and foremost, not all
classrooms are equipped with suitable devices for showing clips. As the case of my
school, we have to register the media room in advance whenever we need to use the
projector. This could be a problem if other teachers also need the media room for their
classes on the same date as we choose. Also, the fact that students have to move around
from their own class to the media room and then back to their classroom for the next
subject may take some time off their time for the lesson.
Secondly, as I earlier mentioned, it may be time-consuming for the teacher to choose a
suitable clip to show to the students. Searching for a clip that suits the content of a unit in
the course book, or one with enough entertaining factors but without exceeding the limit
eresting message but still within st
a lot of time. Given that a teacher has already a great deal of work to do and
a number of different classes to teach, this may be an unreasonable request to make. That
is not to say even when the teacher is willing to go all the way to find the best clips for his
or her students, he or she has another obstacle to deal with: the restricted time for each
that standardized English tests still put a lot of emphasis on
grammar and structures, meaning that the teacher has to make sure the students master all
grammar points with enough exercises to practice. This leaves little time for activities to
improve speaking and listening skills.
In terms of subjective difficulties, although in the same class, students have various levels
of English competence. This is definitely something to take into consideration when
should be thoughtful and flexible enough when it comes to using it as a teaching aid. On
saying this, I mean the teacher may need to pause a clip several times to help with some
vocabulary, or to make questions to make sure that all students understand what is going
on. Definitely, a good teacher should never leave any student feeling lost in this additional
Being well aware of this, teachers all over the world have been trying to put more effort in
choosing suitable approaches and teaching styles to help their students achieve the best
results out of school. Each and every approach and technique has their own effects and
choices for his or her students. Using English short clips in classroom as a way to
worth a try.
Brown, H. D. 2000. Principles of language learning and teaching. 4th ed. White Plains,
NY: Addison Wesley Longman.
Nunan D. (1988). The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Richard, J.C. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Scarcella, R. (1990) Teaching language minority students in the multicultural classroom:
Prentice Hall Regents