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3 Awesome Videos to Inspire Your Learners




How many of you use YouTube videos in class? I don’t know about you, but I find YouTube to be a fantastic resource. There is practically a video for any lesson you plan to teach or message you want to get across. I have been using YouTube videos for years and recently I have started to compile lists of videos into categories. Once this is complete, I will blog about what I have and hopefully a few people will add to the list.



I really love to show videos to my learners, but I really don’t enjoy looking for them. I often find myself losing a few hours of my day as I go in search for the video with just the right content, message, language, and length. It can be such a waste of time. One way to find a gem of a video is through social media. I am member of several teaching groups and the teaching community is pretty awesome when it comes to sharing materials. 



In this blog post, I will share three videos that I use for inspiring my learners. They all have a slightly different message, but the general idea is to encourage and stimulate the class. I have found they work really well with young adults, but I have no experience sharing these with other age groups. I would be interested to hear your experiences. I hope you find them useful!



Video 1 – Video that will change your life. I have no words left.

When I saw the title of this video, I was rather skeptical. There are thousands of videos out there that promise to dramatically improve someone’s life and more often than not they fail dramatically. I have to admit that this one is different though. I have used this in many classes and it has been a big hit in all of them. It has sparked some great discussions and I am pretty sure it has made many of my learners think how they behave in class towards others. The idea behind the video is pretty simple, but rather than describe it, I’ll let you take a look for yourself. 


How I have used this in class

I am always trying to encourage my learners to use each other as a resource. Last semester, I had students make small groups and go out of the class and make a video with a similar message. They then came back and shared their videos with other groups. We then discussed how they felt making the video and how they would feel if it happened in real life. Finally, I had them discuss ways they could do small things to help each other out with their English studies.



Video 2 – What’s Your Biggest Regret?

This is my favorite video for inspiring learners to go out and pursue their dreams. It is a really simple video where people write their biggest regrets on a public chalk board. It ends with a really positive message. This video has also gone down really well in every class that I have used it in.


How I have used this in class

This is great if you are talking about goals and dreams for the future. I used this in one class as a warm up to a future self-activity. The class watched the video and then answered some questions about where they could be in five years’ time. We finished with a class reunion set five years in the future where everyone had pursued and realized their goals and dreams.



Video 3 – Unsung hero- Thai

This is actually a Thai life insurance commercial, but it has a really nice message behind it. It is a simple message of one guy who does things for others without thinking about himself. There are English subtitles on this one, but you don’t need the words to understand the message.


How I have used this in class

I usually use this video at the start of the semester when I am trying to improve group cohesion. Students work in groups and discuss ways they can help each other out throughout the semester. It has worked really well for me.


What do you think of these videos? Do you have any videos that you use in class to inspire or motivate your learners? Please comment if you do! Thanks!


Neil Millington

Neil Millington

Neil Millington has taught English as a foreign language in Japan for over 12 years. He has taught a wide range of age levels from pre-kindergarten students to adults. He is currently teaching at the tertiary level. He earned his BA at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and his MA in TESOL at Lancaster University, England. Currently, Neil is working on his PhD in language learning motivation also at Lancaster University. Neil is also the co-founder of, an English reading website with hundreds of free lessons for teachers and learners.
Neil Millington

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