DOWNLOAD:  Using YouTube
 Using YouTube

A. What is YouTube?

In this section you can find out about what YouTube looks like and how people use it. If you decide to use it in class, it may be helpful to know some basics.

Wikipedia says: “YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos, and view them in MPEG-4 format." (

In other words, it is a website where you can find all sorts of videos which people have made of themselves, others, of TV shows, etc. and have put on the web for everyone to see.

The easiest way to experience the variety of videos is to visit the website yourself. Just click on the following link:

. If you need a guide through some of the basic features, go to section C: A guide through some basic features of YouTube.

B. Why would I want to use YouTube in my classroom?

1. Because you can use it in face-to-face and online teaching and learning environments.
For instance, you can find a video you like and show it to your class using your computer and an LCD projector or a DVD player and a TV.
2. Because it is a relatively simple way of bringing authentic audiovisual material into the classroom.
It is just a matter of finding an appropriate video, making one yourself, or having your students make one.
3. Because the authenticity of the material and communicative situations presented on YouTube videos allow to work on both language and culture.
For instance, you may find a video of a real-life situation in the target culture (e.g. a video of someone riding in a London taxi cab and talking to the driver).
4. Because it appeals to the students – usually it’s part of their world.
For instance, your students may already be sharing or watching videos using YouTube – you just have to capitalize on that!
5. Because it gives you more possibilities – it appeals to different learner types (audio, visual, learning by doing).
6. Because it allows students and teachers to bring material to the class – shared responsibility.
7. Because it facilitates a task-based approach to learning: allows student to learn the language while creating documents and audiovisual material that they can put on YouTube.

Just like with any other classroom material, you need to keep the pedagogical considerations in mind (e.g. learning objectives, authenticity, speech rate, etc.). To explore these in more detail visit section D: Pedagogical criteria: issues to consider when selecting a YouTube video suitable for your L2 class.

This initiative is carried out within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission, entitled INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES AND ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING