Short video clips are great writing prompts. They stimulate imagination, provide context for new vocabulary and nudge students to try and explain complex ideas.
Over the years I have collected a few links to great ideas. Here are five of those videos. I often use these clips in the writing class. They also work well in a conversation class, especially in pair work activities.
Video Clips for the ESL class
1. The Black Hole (2:22)
There’s no dialogue but the moral of the story is easy to understand. Great ending.
2. The Gift (4:35)
This artful and unusual sci-fi story will probably leave you wanting a better ending, but that could be the starting point for students to inject their own imagination. Some Russian dialogue with English subtitles.
3. Alma (4:54)
There are lots of dolls in this wonderful animation so you know something creepy will happen. Great video with a simple story.
4. Electropolis (4:30)
No dialogue. Nice animation with a simple story so it is a good choice for low level students. The video seems a little long. Stop the clip at 4:30.
5. The Moment (2:08)
A very short video with an impressive story. Best suited for advanced students because the dialogue is the story driver.
About the author: Rob Whyte is a professor, writer, and on-line wizard. Originally from Canada, he teaches English composition and conversation at a private university in Busan, Korea. Check out his Monster Pack: a Colossal Collection of Resources For Busy English Teachers or his website. This article was also published here.