Jun 022011

I love video. I think it’s a treasure chest for teaching English. With video we can provide context more quickly than we can with just audio and bring the outside world into the classroom. And another benefit is it can bring movement to highlight rhythm and other stuff that can make language memorable and enjoyable.

Here’s a (rythmy) video for elementary and pre-intermediate students that I made with my son. (Thanks Tom – love that c-walk!) It’s designed to review the days of the week and common lexical phrases for making arrangements and appointments. It ties in well with Business Objectives unit 8 or other similar lessons. You can set it as homework, or play it in class if you think  your students might enjoy a sing-along.

It should be simple to use. They just watch the first video a few times so they get to know the the tune. Then video two is the karaoke version and they sing along. I’m thinking I might need to add a video three with just a few word prompts, so they can test themselves.

Please thumbs up if you or your students like it, or even better, leave me a comment and tell me what didn’t work as well. I’m still experimenting and learning how to do this stuff and all advice and suggestions are really welcome.

The music in this video comes from: http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/08/24/how-to-finding-music-for-youtube-videos/

Some other professional English video lessons you might like:

Troubleshooting – technical English – Lucy and the typewriter

Customer service – United Airlines

A handy dictation

Another totally unrelated thing: I’m giving some online webinars for Pearson next week. They are free to join – you just need to register and have an internet connection.  You can register here. Hope to see you there! 

 Posted by at 6:37 am

  14 Responses to “Another business English sing-along”

  1. Hi Vicki,

    Just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page if you’d like to check for comments.

    Please feel free to post there when you have anything you would like to share.



  2. Hi Vicki,

    I really like the way you highlight how to tie in the video with Business Objectives and even though I am not teaching English for Management/Business right now, will certainly use these videos – they’re great for intonation practice with lower levels.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Ann, thanks so much for posting the link and also the kind invitation to share more at the Teaching English site. I’d be honoured.

    Anna Cristina – so glad you like at please check back for more.

  4. love it!

    the rhythm aspect is really well done, and so much better than some other music-y videos I’ve seen that turn out a bit patronising.

    the *only* thing I would change (and I’m only mentioning this because you asked for suggestions!) is the lighting – I feel like it’s maybe not the most flattering for your son. his expression is great, though! a camera natural!

    can’t wait to use this!

  5. Thank you so much stu. So glad you like it and that’s really helpful feedback about the lighting. I was playing about with the colour in the editing programme and dropped the saturation down. I think I got carried away a bit and I should shift it back up a notch.

    We’ve shot a couple of other pieces that I haven’t editted yet, but I’ll make sure the next one is very bright. The face shots were taken in Philly in front of a green screen with big work lights beaming on him so I should have no problem there. The c-walk was shot in a rather dark room in Dubai, but I should be able to make adjustments to add more colour and keep it bright.

    Thank you again! It’s really inspiring to get feedback. If anyone uses it with their students, please tell me how it went, and also, whether you’d like a third ‘test yourself’ version.

  6. […] Check out this ELT song, “When Are You Arriving?” on Vicki Hollet’s website. […]

  7. […] out the business English song “When Are You Arriving?” on Vicki Hollett’s website. This is great if you have a Whiteboard linked to the […]

  8. This is really great, Vicki! Love!

  9. […] Vicki Hollett recently made a lovely jazz chant video that includes karaoke, for the language of mak…. […]

  10. Hi Vicki, just wanted to give you feedback after I used it with 7 management assistants:
    Though we had drilled telephone phrases rhythmically, and they were tuned into mouthing longish phrases, they found it very difficult to repeat these lines because they follow directly on each other. The information needs to be there before you repeat it. How about making it a call and response – a spoken line followed by an equally long pause, all accompanied by the rhythm?

  11. PS: That said, they did use “Yes, Friday works” and “When would suit you” in their rolwplays after watching three times.

  12. Oh this is very helpful, Anne. I need to show larger chunks of text in the karaoke version, so they can read ahead. I wondered if that might be a problem.

    You’ve given me an idea – I’ll put up more text at once but highlight the words when they need to say them in a different colour. I know how to do it in Adobe Premiere but there might be a quicker way to do it in Adone After Effects. I’ll have a go!

    Thank you!

  13. what is your facebook or twitter?

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