Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Free Online Videos for the ESL and ELL Classrooms

Do you like to use online videos in your ESL classroom? Here are a few websites that showcase videos that can supplement your ESL instruction (some of which I've blogged about before):

TED.com showcases "ideas worth spreading." The goal of TED is to "foster the spread of great ideas" on a variety of topics, including education. TED talks have teaching application in the classroom. (See Teaching with TED and click on a topic or talk on the right sidebar.) In addition, administrators have used applicable TED videos for in-service training meetings with teachers and staff to inspire, educate, and instill vision. (See my previous blog post on using TED videos in the classroom here.)

bigthink.com shares short video clips of experts in a variety of fields sharing "ideas" by responding to a question posed to them. Some of the video clips have transcripts provided, as well. You can peruse by topics, or you can conduct a keyword search for a topic or person of interest. Also, viewers can post responses and reactions to the experts' views. (See my previous blog post on bigthink.com here.) 

"6 Milliards d'Autres," or "6 Billion Others," documents 5,000 interviews filmed in 75 different countries in which individuals were asked the same questions about life. As the website states, this project is "a perspective on humanity" that reveals "what separates us and what unites us." (Click on the "6bO Testimonies" button at the bottom left of the screen, and then click "Portraits" from the drop-down menu. You can then click on any picture tile in the mosaic to view that individual's portrait. You can also search by topic, location, etc.) (See my previous blog post on ideas for using this website in the classroom here.)

One in 8 Million shares the stories of individuals in New York City through still shots and voice narration. As the website describes, this series showcases "ordinary people telling extraordinary stories -- of passions and problems, relationships and routines, vocations and obsessions."

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides video-based education via the internet. Salman Khan has personally narrated over 2,400 lessons on topics ranging from algebra and computer science to biology and economics. His mission: to provide education that is free for all. (See my previous blog post on Khan Academy here.)

Documentary Heaven provides access to over 1,600 documentaries found on the Internet. Topics include education, history, and nature, to name a few.


  1. Thanks for this list of video resources; I passed it along to my EL teachers!

  2. Sarah, I'm glad you found this post useful! Thanks for the comment! :)