Segmenting YouTube Videos for Better Comprehension Opportunities

I like my students to have opportunities to view content videos delivered in English that are NOT designed for English language learners, in which the speakers sometimes speak too fast and use unfamiliar vocabulary. In other words, they speak like many college instructors or business people whom my students will need to be able to understand sometime soon. So, to break down the information and make it more easily understandable for them, my goal was to edit YouTube videos on my Mac into various segments, chunking the information and interspersing reflection and discussion questions to assess, “sooner than later,” my students’ understanding of the material presented. This was easy to do in a face-to-face (f2f) class simply by stopping the video, but I wanted to be able to assign the videos to students who were not present in f2f classes whether they were studying online or maybe just absent on the day of the presentation.  So, this is what I learned to do so easily, and you can do it, too. Here’s how:

First, open on the web which converts the YouTube video to various formats. (I chose the MP4 format because, from what I understood, it was the most useful on different platforms.) Paste the URL of the video you want to segment into, and press Continue.

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Decide what quality and file size you want your video segments to be, or use the default settings. Click Download and Start.

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Wait for the message that the conversion has been successfully completed.

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When it tells you it is successfully completed, click Download on this new screen.

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Once the movie is downloaded, click on it, and it opens up in Quicktime Player. Click the Edit command, decide where you want your video segments to start and stop, and click Trim.

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So, now you have your first segment. Upload this segment to your YouTube account by clicking on Creator Studio and then upload, and then wait for it to be processed. (Since the segments are generally quite small, this won’t take very long.) Repeat these steps as often as needed to segment the video the way you wish.

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Now  you can upload your new YouTube video segments to your presentation. I used Google Slides for my presentations because it is easy to upload YouTubes to my Google Sites and my blog here on WordPress.

In my presentations, I add a vocabulary slide or two to discuss before watching any of the video segments, and I generally leave two slides after each video segment, one for a question or reflection and the next for a response. You  decide what works best in your presentation for you and your students. At the end of the presentation, consider adding a brief re-check via Google Forms or Socrative for students to do individually or in pairs as one final comprehension check to finish up the lesson.

Enjoy! I think your students will appreciate this as mine do. It gives us ample time for discussion and assessment of comprehension between segments.

For related information:



Listening Exercise: American Authors’, “Best Day of My Life”

Check your answers!

A Listening Activity: Celine Dion & Ne-Yo Sing, “Incredible”

Enjoy this!  Be sure to sing along!

Practice Your English with Bruno Mars’ Hit Song, “Just the Way You Are”

If I Ruled the World – A Listening Activity for Learning Conditionals

My high-intermediate/advanced students have told me how much they enjoy learning grammar and vocabulary with music, so I decided to develop another fill-in-the-blank listening activity for them, this time stressing the conditional tense verbs in the song, “If I Ruled the World” sung by Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, and written by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel.   I believe that this song will become a favorite of many of my students who have come from war zones since it offers such calm and peace-loving ideas.  This activity is another activity using Google Doc Forms.  I hope you like it!

Due to limited space on this blog, there are scroll bars for you to use as read through and complete the lyrics. You may prefer to go directly to the form by clicking on this link:   If I Ruled The World.

Flubaroo – Grading Made Easy

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1st collector for YouTube – Flubaroo – Grading Made Easy
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Flubaroo makes grading assessments on Google Forms incredibly easy, and it’s free for the downloading!   Watch the tutorial, and then go in to Google Forms and make your own two or three question assessment just to try it with your students… to get a feel for it.  Once you’ve experimented with it a bit, your mind will start  flooding with ideas for other possible ways to use these tools.  Thank you to Google and to Flubaroo for so generously sharing these tools with us.  You are making teaching so much more fun these days!

A great movie trailer for Halloween, “The Others,” with comprehension quiz on Google Doc Forms!

Enjoy the trailer of  “The Others,” starring Nicole Kidman in this eerie film just perfect for the Halloween season!  When you finish, answer the questions by clicking on the Comprehension Quiz link below the video.  Now, sit back comfortably, and let’s begin!

To check your understanding of the video, click on the Comprehension Quiz.  Good luck and happy Halloween!

A Note to Teachers about Google Forms:
When a student takes the quiz, the answers are put automatically on
a spreadsheet in the teacher's Google Docs file.  Students can be
provided with a link to that spreadsheet to see how his/her answers
compare to other participants' instead of receiving feedback in the
form of graphs.  If necessary, the quiz can be edited through Google
Docs.  By asking for a student's email address on the quiz, the
teacher can also give personal, individual feedback which is
preferable for responses to essay questions if/when a student's
language development is an issue.

Google Forms cannot yet be embedded in which is why
a link to the quiz is provided.

For more information:
Google Docs Forms in WordPress.mp4

Google Docs Forms Tutorial