October 6


What Are The Two Different Ways I Can Learn English With YouTube?

Five years ago YouTube was a place of cat videos and Justin Bieber songs...

Now, it is the largest educational website in the world!

It's a resource that most people have access to and should defiantly be used when studying English.


Students think they are studying effectively, when in reality their activities are not as effective as they think.

What I'm going to do today is give you two activities that can be used with YouTube that made to practice different parts of English effectively.

For other activities you can use to study English with YouTube, check out our articles on...

Activity One: An Activity To Improve Your Fluency.

This activity improves your:

1. Pronunciation: You will be speaking out loud and focusing on your Minimal Pairs.

2. Fluency: How long it takes you to reply when using English.

3. Vocabulary: This is a great way to practice different topics and new vocabulary for those topics.

4. Vocabulary Mapping: This is when you understand what you cannot express a topic and will help when getting to advanced levels.

Who Is This Activity For?

This activity is for All Levels!

The only difference between beginner and advanced students is the types of videos you will be watching.

We created an a guide for the different types of videos we recommend for each level.

Check that out here.

Step By Step Instructions: Improve Your Fluency

This activity will take around one hour, but we will break this activity down into sections of ten minutes.

In this article, we will be using this video as an example to make things easier to follow. 

For more video recommendations based on your level check us out here.

Like How We Teach And Want To Study With Us?

All our students get free transcripts to improve their listening speed when they study. 

The First Ten Minutes:

Every one minute, stop the video and say two sentences about what you see (if you want to check what you are saying is correct you will need to write it down and use a grammar checker like Grammarly for free).

Example: "The old lady is wearing a yellow dress and sunglasses ." "The old woman has a army helmet on her head is is talking into a radio".

Explain: Use Full Sentences, and you cannot say the same thing twice, this forces you to use all the English that you know in different ways.

Tip: You will probably run out of things to say very quickly with this activity... That's a good thing!

It also forces you to look at the video and think...

"Oh, I don't know the word for that"!

Then you can look up the new word using a Dictionary or a Thesaurus and make the sentence around the new vocabulary you just picked up.

This is one of the most effective ways we can learn new vocabulary (How We learn)

The Second Ten Minutes Is A Little Different:

"This time it is every 30 seconds of video, then say one sentence about what you see".

This is getting quicker and is more of a challenge, building the fluency.

Example:"Children are marching onto the bus chanting".

You cannot say the same thing twice.

Are You Finding This Too Easy?

You can do one of two things.

Change the video to a more challenging topic, or increase the number of sentences that you need to say after the time is up.

You can do this activity with any video, but each video will force you to practice different vocabulary.

Like this video and want more like it, with the transcripts included, check out our study guides here.

The Third 10 Minutes Is The Most Challenging Part Of The Activity!

This is every one minute, you need to say one sentence about what you Hear!

Don't repeat what you hear, summarize the conversations.

Example: "The driver is saying goodbye to the bus because the bus will be destroyed the next day"!

Explain: You don't have to understand 100% of everything that they are saying, you just have to summarize the conversations.

Tip: You can use English subtitles here, but you can read a lot faster than you can listen and this part of the activity is focusing on your listening.

Don't  use this activity with TED Talks.

You're describing a lot of what you see with this activity, TED Talks they don't move and stay in one location.

Check out the Second Activity for more information on ​how to use resources like TED Talks​​​

Repeat this activity twice, and this will take the full hour!

Like How We Teach And Want To Study With Us?

All our students get free transcripts to improve their listening speed when they study. 

Activity Two: This Activity Will Be Focused On Summarizing The Content Of The Video!

This activity is more popular because you can use Subtitles more effectively with this activity.

The second activity is focusing on...

  • Pronunciation.
  • Active listening.
  • Understanding the context of the movie.

"What Types Of Videos Work Best With This Activity"? 

This activity is for videos focusing on conversation, so unlike the first activity, we don't need them to be physically doing a lot.

We have created a list of recommended videos for each students level here

Step by Step: Part One!

You will be watching the video twice.

The first time you will be slowing the video down to 0.75 and using subtitles if they are available for the video.

Stop the video every five minutes and summarize what has happened in the conversations in the first five minutes.

Also write down the unknown words.

Tip: What helps, when you are writing about the unknown words is if you write about the context around the word, you don't know.

I would recommend some kind of note-taking strategy here.

Check out this example below for how to use the context to guess the meaning of new words. 

Example: Unknown phrase is "ditch the cops"

These would be the notes taken around the unknown word the help with the memory process (How We Learn)

  1. (We know that the two men are talking about his escape from the police and that "ditch the cops" was used to describe how he escaped.)

Do not look up the meaning of the unknown words right now, this will come later.


Summarize the first five minutes of the videos conversation. 

Don't look up the new words 

Part Two: Looking Up The New Words!

Once you have finished watching the video the first time, look up the new words.

Don't use google translate, there will be a lot of words that google translate gives you are not accurate.

You will need to write your own definition for the word + two examples.

The reason we write down our own example rather than copying from the dictionary is by writing your own definition will help you remember the words. 

See below for an example



Look up any new words that you don't know, but don't copy the definition in the dictionary. Write your own definition.

Step Three: Listening Again!

Listen to the video again, however, this time at a normal speed and no subtitles.

The first time you are trying to understand new vocabulary and the topic of the video, the second time you are practicing listening to the word.

Every five minutes I want you to stop the video and summarize what you have just heard, but record yourself when you are doing it.


This will allow you to focus on your pronunciation at the same time.

Many students like to try and repeat the sounds that they are hearing when they do this, then using the recording to check a few days later to see if it is correct.

Tip: When you are summarizing speaking, use your notes from the first time you listened to the video and compare the notes from the first time to the summary of the second time watching the video.

  • Do you understand more or less than the first time? Does having the context of the word help? Or do you understand less now...

If you understand less the second time, then it is probably poor listening skills, not the vocabulary that is causing problems.


Step three is where you are working on your listening.

Every five minutes I want you to stop the video and summarize what you have just heard, but record yourself when you are doing it. 

Resources That Help For This Activity:

If you are having a hard time taking notes in English use these two resources to help out.

The 2000 most common words in English: You need these words for every conversation, and most of these are connecting words that are used for grammar.

Grammarly: It's Free, and it's one of the most accurate ways to check if what you are writing is correct.

If you can get your writing corrected daily and get any bad grammar habits fixed, then this will help in the long run.


For beginner and upper beginner students, consulting a list of the most frequently used words in English will help with Youtube activities. 

Use Grammarly to get active feedback on your work.


YouTube is one of the most essential resources that you will be using to study English.

But don't get trapped into false confidence, thinking that you are studying effectively.

All studying needs to be active learning in some way shape or form to really learn something new.

The first activity is focusing on building your fluency, while the second activity is focusing on your listening comprehension.

Both of these are vital skills that ideally should be practiced at least once or twice a week, depending on what level you are.

If you like the sound of these activities and want more detailed examples for studying with YouTube...

Book A FREE 30 Minute Trial Class

Students who choose to study with us will get transcripts free transcripts to improve their listening speed.  


Improve Listening, Improve Speaking

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