Videos for the ESL Writing Class

Learn English Writing with Videos

Short video clips are great writing prompts. They stimulate imagination, provide context for new vocabulary and nudge students to try and explain complex ideas.

Over the years I have collected a few links to great ideas. Here are five of those videos. I often use these clips in the writing class. They also work well in a conversation class, especially in pair work activities.

Video Clips for the ESL class

1. The Black Hole (2:22)

There’s no dialogue but the moral of the story is easy to understand. Great ending.

THE BLACK HOLE from Philip Sansom on Vimeo.


2. The Gift (4:35)

This artful and unusual sci-fi story will probably leave you wanting a better ending, but that could be the starting point for students to inject their own imagination. Some Russian dialogue with English subtitles.

The Gift from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.


3. Alma (4:54)

There are lots of dolls in this wonderful animation so you know something creepy will happen. Great video with a simple story.

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.


4. Electropolis (4:30)

No dialogue. Nice animation with a simple story so it is a good choice for low level students. The video seems a little long. Stop the clip at 4:30.

Electropolis from Kevin McCullough on Vimeo.


5. The Moment (2:08)

A very short video with an impressive story. Best suited for advanced students because the dialogue is the story driver.

The Moment from Karis Oh on Vimeo.

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ESL Listening: God of War 3 English Lesson

Some TV commercials for video games have good vocabulary and stories. But do my ESL English students really listen? Or do they just get excited by the video images?

Let’s find out. Here is a TV commercial for God of War 3. The English vocabulary is great. The story is mythical.

God of War 3 (UK) from Cutting Edge Commercial on Vimeo.

God of War 3


betray, start, revenge


  1. In the story, what did the God’s do to you?
  2. What three things can you start to do?
  3. What game company makes this game?


Sesame Street Pizza and Juice

This is a Sesame Street video with Bert and Ernie. This ESL video lesson teaches a lot about sharing with great use of MORE THAN and LESS THAN.


  1. Delicious glass of ..
  2. Delicious piece of …
  3. Ready to eat?
  4. Plate of pizza
  5. Do you mind if I eat? Yes I do mind.
  6. More …… than ….
  7. Easy to fix.


Watch and listen to the video and then answer these comprehension questions.

  1. What food and drink do they have?
  2. What are the food’s ingredients?
  3. What is the problem?
  4. How does the one Muppet solve the problem?