As a listening and speaking instructor, I often mention the value of authentic listening materials.
“Students find it motivating to discover that they can extract information from an ungraded passage” (Field, 1998).
I feel the same sense of accomplishment when I can read full sentences of Korean webtoons without using a translator. It doesn’t happen often, but the more I practice reading, the easier it becomes.
YouTube is a gold mine of authentic listening opportunities. They often come in the form of movie scenes, TV clips, weather reports, or news stories.
However, finding clips of an appropriate length can be a challenge. In my experience, clips of 30-seconds to one-minute seem to work well. Anything longer tends to overtax students’ cognitive resources.
And constantly clicking on the YouTube scroll bar to find the correct time to start and restart can be taxing on the teacher.
However, thanks to a popular Chrome add-on called Looper for Youtube, teachers can play selected short clips of longer videos to form the foundation of an engaging listening exercise.
1 – Install Looper For YouTube on Chrome
The extension logo should appear on the top right of your window.
2 – Choose a YouTube video you want to show in class
Because I’m such a cool teacher who buries his students in profanity and social justice soapboxing, I choose a clip of John Oliver talking about sugar.
11 minutes!? That’s way too long. Even for me. I have to listen to them at double-speed to keep my attention.
3 – Choose a section to loop.
I chose a section where John talks about nutrition labels. Nutrition labels are cool.
When you find a section you want to loop, click “Loop” on the bottom-right section of the YouTube video.
Choose the section of the video you want to loop. You can do this by dragging the bar at the bottom, or by manually typing in the times in the time slots above.
The video should now start at the loop’s start time and restart at the loop’s end-time.
4 – Copy or Save the URL for later
After creating the loop, notice that the URL changes to reflect the loop times.
This allows you to copy-paste the URL to a PowerPoint or to your internet bookmarks to load up later. Try it with the URL above. If you have the Looper For YouTube add-on, the video should immediately jump to the loop’s start-point and restart at the loop’s end-point.
I love using YouTube videos for listening opportunities. They offer endless possibilities for authentic materials that align with students’ interests or hobbies. With the Looper For YouTube add-on, you can play sections of enjoyable videos without overwhelming students with listening texts that are too long.
Best of luck and happy listening! :)\