Video lessons are an engaging and fun way to teach vocabulary, grammar, listening and culture to various age groups and levels.
However, sometimes you just want to use an interesting video as a filler or a discussion material without any preparation. Sometimes there is no time for printing the lessons plans. No time for searching for an appropriate video. Just hit the play button and catch a breath. Trust me, I understand.
Here is a list of 10 ESL Netflix shows to watch with your students. These are appropriate for the classroom, educational and suitable for discussion about the usual topics as food, travel, health, etc.
1. Secrets of Great British Castles
This TV show has six episodes that last from 40 to 60 minutes. It explores the history of the most famous British castles.
2. Ugly Delicious
You can find more TV shows on Netflix featuring David Chan, but I chose Ugly Delicious because it cover s lot of different cuisines and foods and therefore a more diverse vocabulary.
3. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
The episodes in the first season of this show are named after various terrain. Mountain. Forest. Coast. Underground. The second season focuses on countries including Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, Norway so the views are spectacular and the vocabulary interesting and useful.
4. Greatest Events of WWII in Colour
Even if you don’t teach history, you should understand the importance of documentaries about WWII. Especially now, when young people lack critical thinking, spread fake news and believe in alternate history.
This show cover a wide range of topics from music to animal intelligence. Be careful though, there are a couple of episodes in the first season that are probably not appropriate for school( Orgasm, Weed) so have a look at the episodes and make sure you choose a topic that is appropriate for your students.
6. The Mind Explained
The show has six episodes: Memory, Dreams, Anxiety, Mindfulness, Psychedelics. Each twenty-minute episode explains the mysteries of our brains in an engaging, fun way, with plenty of real-life examples, graphics, and experts. You can even download a worksheet for one of the episodes – Anxiety, here.
7. You vs. Wild
My students really like this show. It is interactive and the students make decisions in order to help Bear Grylls survive. They love making Bear eat bugs or raw eggs and jump from cliffs. Highly entertaining.
8. 3Below: Tales of Arcadia
This animated show follows friendly aliens and teenage heroes that fight against the forces of evil.
9. Next in Fashion
Great for teaching clothes&fashion vocabulary, this reality show competition has 10 episodes in which eighteen designers compete in rounds to create unforgettable designs.
10. Our Planet
This award winning show narrated by David Attenborough is amazing. I won’t say more, just watch it, with or without students.
Other ESL video resources:
TED Talks: What Makes Something Go Viral
TED Talks: How to Grow new Brain Cells
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