What’s a good way of having ESL students get used to hearing authentic English? Using songs in the ESL classroom! And what better website than YouTube for that? When doing individual work, I find that students really appreciate hearing some of their favourite songs. I personally use this incentive to have them work in silence. What they don’t realize is that I am not only doing this for myself, but for them as well because, with the use of songs in the classroom, their ears are slowing getting used to hearing native English singers, and not only American ones, but British ones, Australians, etc. What an amazing way to introduce the cultural aspect of the MELS program in the classroom!
Now another way of using YouTube in the classroom is to prepare fill-in-the-blanks worksheets. Though this kind of activity is a little out-dated, I find that it’s a good filler for the last couple of minutes of a class. Also, as mentioned here, using music in the classroom is beneficial, because it improves concentration and memory, amongst other things. In addition, I read on this site that having students listen to authentic texts through the use of YouTube really help students’ listening skills improve.
I find that YouTube also comes handy during oral presentation periods. Instead of having students waste time on learning their text by heart and being stressed about presenting their presentation live, have them spend time videotaping their presentation. Not only is it less stressful, but students will also appreciate much more the task because they will get to 1-use technology and 2-enhance their technological skills. Now because a USB device can be lost so easily, putting the video on YouTube is, in my opinion, a good way of not losing the said video.