9 Best Spanish Videos for Spanish Class [with Lesson Ideas]
Now more than ever, there’s a lot of buzz around learning and teaching languages with videos.
Clearly, videos can add fun and flavor to the classroom, which boosts engagement and memory as well. Many videos are made by native Spanish speakers and can transport your students to a Spanish-speaking country. Still other videos are produced by Spanish students, teachers and native speakers in an effort to help others learn the language.
So, if you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to integrate videos into your Spanish lessons and how you can do it, keep on reading this post!
- How to Teach Spanish with Videos
- 1. “Los pronombes españoles” by Señor Ranke
- 2. “Saludos en español” by Tío Spanish
- 3. “ConjugationsBack” by BananaBusDaniel
- 4. “Cry Me a Verb” by Sr Mara
- 5. “Reflexive Verbs Made Easy With a Song” by Señor Jordan
- 6. “Cómo usar saludos y despedidas en español” by Spanish Learning Lab
- 7. “Cognates vs. False Cognates” by iUniversity Prep
- 8. “EEM4 Nueva edición – Unidades 1 y 2“ by SGEL ELE Español para extranjeros
- 9. “Conditional Tense Conjugation (w/ Ser, Estar & Ir)” by The Spanish Dude
- Lesson Ideas with Spanish Videos for High School Students
- Why In-class Videos Are More Than Just Fun
How to Teach Spanish with Videos
While there’s ample video content out there (many educational YouTube Spanish channels, for example), our challenge is to find the right videos for our students.
New research suggests that with the widespread advent of mobile technology, primarily devices such as iPhones and iPads, students’ attention spans are gradually waning.
That’s why you need to choose video content that’s likely to maintain your students’ attention from start to finish.
We’ve tracked down the shortest (1 to 6 minutes), most creative and engaging videos possible below. You can use these videos and their YouTube channels as a great jumping off point when adding video to your lessons.
Also, seek student feedback after viewing each video and observe their reactions to different kinds of videos, or ask them further questions about their interests during class. For instance, what kind of videos are students most interested in? Movie trailers? Documentary clips? Instructional videos by natives or by second-language learners? Commercials?
Use all of this information to keep your class interested and on track.
Now, let’s see that selection of Spanish videos for your lessons!
1. “Los pronombes españoles” by Señor Ranke
Let’s start with one that reviews something basic: pronouns.
Señor Ranke uses a common catchy song that many of us learned from elementary school music instructors—namely “Do Re Mi” from “The Sound of Music”—to teach the pronouns creatively, engagingly and concisely.
Once students learn the song, they’ll learn the pronouns for good and be able to sing out all the basic Spanish pronoun rules in less than 2 minutes! This enables them to use the song’s rhythm when struggling to recall pronouns in order to remember ones they may forget.
2. “Saludos en español” by Tío Spanish
This Spanish-flavored video gets straight to the point—running only 2.5 minutes long—yet it’s thorough, encompassing a broad gamut of greeting skills in no time! It also incorporates fingers as puppets wearing goofy, paper-made outfits and rhythmic background music.
The video’s playful approach and humorous voice encourage learning and assuage students’ anxiety around getting their feet wet practicing their conversational Spanish and greeting native speakers.
The lack of subtitles during certain explanations can incentivize students to pay better attention during the video. Depending on students’ skill levels, you can pause the video a few times to ensure comprehension.
3. “ConjugationsBack” by BananaBusDaniel
This is one of the few succinct videos out there that actually makes conjugation fun. Performed by Spanish students, it highlights key patterns to the beat of a popular song, “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake. It also rhymes beautifully, and it’s quite clear that it was created by enthusiastic students who are getting a kick out of Spanish assignments.
Your own students might enjoy seeing their peers having fun and dancing around while learning and teaching—and hopefully they’ll be encouraged to do the same!
4. “Cry Me a Verb” by Sr Mara
Similar to video #3, this video helps students get through the difficulties of conjugating Spanish verbs. It proves to be a stellar review of irregular, present tense, stem-changing verbs, as well as “go” verbs in the yo (I) form.
This one is based on a popular Justin Timberlake tune, “Cry Me a River.” It has a sarcastic feel to it that can pique students’ interests by empathizing with the difficulty of learning Spanish in the classroom.
At the 2:55 minute mark, there’s a great comedy bit about the oddness of ser (to be) and ir (to go) conjugations that students will surely laugh at!
5. “Reflexive Verbs Made Easy With a Song” by Señor Jordan
This video has the potential to quell students’ confusions related to reflexive verb use, as it’s virtually nonexistent in English. It’s also funny, engaging, original and concise. And it’s a familiar kids’ song that most of your students will know!
6. “Cómo usar saludos y despedidas en español” by Spanish Learning Lab
This video is short yet arguably the most comprehensive greeting video out there, as it corrects common errors new learners frequently make (i.e. saying buenas días instead of buenos días). It reviews informal vs. formal greetings and provides useful, variations such as ¿Qué tal? or ¿Cómo te va? so students don’t only greet with ¿Cómo estás? (the generic “how are you?”).
It provides context about the use of estar (to be) and covers possible greeting responses in depth as well as the variations that often perplex students, such as the difference between Es un gusto (it’s a pleasure to meet you) and Mucho gusto (it’s very nice to meet you), or hasta pronto (see you later) and nos vemos pronto (see you soon).
The music, awesome graphics, unique attention-grabbing fonts and basic dialogues demystified make it not only good, but downright spectacular!
7. “Cognates vs. False Cognates” by iUniversity Prep
Have you heard that 30-40% of words in Spanish have the same origins as words in English, based on their root language, Latin? Learning cognates is highly useful, and this is the most concise cognate video yet. This is an important topic too, because what student hasn’t fallen for false cognates?
8. “EEM4 Nueva edición – Unidades 1 y 2“ by SGEL ELE Español para extranjeros
This video covers a lot of ground in 3 minutes! Aside from the music, Eva’s Spanish is clearly articulated, subtitled and she takes us through her life in Ponferrada, Spain.
This video is distinct from the rest in that it focuses more on native interactions and cultural nuances than it does on Spanish language instruction.
9. “Conditional Tense Conjugation (w/ Ser, Estar & Ir)” by The Spanish Dude
This video is super funny, lightens the mood in any class and mitigates anxiety of speaking “wrong” by welcoming mistakes.
It’s humbling because The Spanish Dude is overtly not a native speaker, and models comfort and confidence despite knowing he once spoke and often still speaks awkward Americanized Spanish.
He’s clearly not afraid of erring and has been successful accordingly with Spanish as a result! This can be encouraging for students as they attempt to pronounce new words and struggle with tongue twisters and frustration.
Lesson Ideas with Spanish Videos for High School Students
Start a Video Blog
Video assignments are a great alternative to written homework. For example, if the topic is “food”, your students can create a video covering this topic just as they would with their written work, but with the creative freedom to do this in the most original way possible.
One of my students recorded himself while having dinner with his family, and everyone found it hilarious!
This is a fantastic way of practicing for the topic of “clothes.” There are many examples on YouTube to show you exactly how to do it.
Encourage your students to get crazy with designs, opt for different fashion styles and have a lot of fun with the whole project! Back when I was studying French, we didn’t have easy access to recording devices, but I remember that our teacher got us to work in groups and perform a fashion show in class. It was memorable and got all of us really excited to complete the project!
Spanish Music Videos
Many famous singers have their songs translated to Spanish, which provides a great opportunity for our students to come up with new versions of the video clips!
When everyone went all crazy about “Frozen”, my class came up with great ideas for the movie’s musical numbers, which we enjoyed watching with some popcorn during our lesson. Another great success some time ago was Carly Rae Jepsen with her song “Call me Maybe.”
If none of that works, we’ll always have Shakira to look to for inspiration!
Over the summer period last year, I got my students to produce a video about their real or ideal holidays.
They could choose to recommend a country and produce a presentation with pictures, or to actually film themselves on holiday and act as tour guides. This was planned as a review assignment, covering everything we’d learned during the year. I didn’t want them to forget everything over vacation!
Their videos included every possible topic that we’d covered in the previous year, including free time, food, clothes and even weather.
Nothing is easier to adapt to video than a weather report! I mean, weather reports are already on the television all the time. Students are familiar with the style and format of such a report.
Students can choose to do this in front of a map or they can get out there and actually film themselves in different weather conditions. My favorite suggestion is to introduce some grammar by asking them to talk about the weather in different tenses.
This is another great idea that’s been tried by many teachers in the past in many different ways. One option is to provide your students with a Spanish recipe and ask them to film themselves while they prepare the dish, just as if they were one of those famous cooks on TV!
Alternatively, you can ask them to choose a recipe by themselves. Either way, have them bring their final products (the delicious, homemade dishes) to class so you can all enjoy eating them while watching the videos. This is a great way to spice up the topic of food.
I came up with this idea when my older students were learning about environment-related language and the use of the verb deber. I asked them to pretend that they were candidates in the next presidential election and to prepare scripts explaining the problems in their city. They also had to talk about what sort of things should be done to solve them.
They then had to give a speech and convince the rest of the class to vote for them as the future President. They recorded each other, we watched all the videos and then they voted for the best one. It was great fun and it turned a potentially dull topic into something much more exciting!
Film Soap Operas or Short Films
You can include some drama in your lessons by getting students to produce their own plays in Spanish!
Instead of just asking them to work on the script and perform, encourage them to film themselves. The result will be much better, as they’ll have more time to correct mistakes and reflect on pronunciation. And, as always, all the class will have a lot of fun watching the finished videos!
Create a Song or Sketch for any topic
A fantastic option at the end of the year is to provide your students with a project whereby they’ll review everything that’s been studied already. They can come up with a commercial, a song or a funny sketch that’s inspired by the topics. The key to this idea is comedy and giving your students creative freedom. It’ll be a great way to finish the term!
Appeal to Shy Students
Now you might be thinking, “what about my shy students? The ones who’ll hate being in the spotlight?”
The majority of students love to get their phones out, film themselves and take it very seriously, but some can find this very challenging and disruptive to their studies. Especially if you teach teenagers, some of them are extremely shy.
The idea of having the whole class watch their videos just makes them want to escape Spanish class forever.
For those students, Voki could be a great option! Voki allows you to create an avatar that does all the talking for you. You can personalize it, enter the script and let Voki show off all your Spanish!
Another option is Xtranomal, which enables you to come up with your own animated short films and record your own voices for each character!
By taking the focus off of the students a bit, you’ll ensure that even your shyest students practice their speaking in a creative and innovative way.
Why In-class Videos Are More Than Just Fun
- Videos develop their writing and speaking skills.
Of course, it’s not just about getting in front of a camera. It’s about putting together a script, rehearsing, memorizing lines and practicing pronunciation, all with the ability to go back and film a scene over again or add content if they think they can make their final product better.
- Videos encourage reflection and offer great tools for peer assessment.
The fantastic thing about videos is that they can be watched over and over again.
I used to make students perform little role plays in class. Now, I ask them to film themselves and we watch their work together. The first reflection process takes place before the submission date, as I know the majority of my students will watch what they’ve recorded and film specific scenes again after checking how they can improve their spoken Spanish for the video.
- Videos provide plenty of opportunities to link content and culture.
As every other language teacher, I love to make culture part of my lessons, but this isn’t always an easy task. However, videos are a great way to do it.
As you’ll see when you have a look at the list of video activity ideas, this resource enables students to practice their Spanish while they cook typical food, research about different countries or explore Spanish music.
- Videos promote student-led lessons and are a great support for their revision sessions.
Working in a mixed ability class has made me realize that a homemade movie can be a great tool to generate student interaction.
A video gets students to explain things to each other. For the ones that understand certain topics featured in videos, video-related activities help with their confidence and deepens their thinking. Plus, they provide them with an opportunity to reflect on what they know and how to explain this knowledge to others.
For the ones that don’t understand the grammar point well, having a fellow student explain the content usually means that they will feel more comfortable asking questions. In addition to this, pupils usually share a common way of expressing themselves. This will probably mean they understand each other better than they understand us!
- Videos engage students and break them out of the routine.
Students love to have the opportunity to do something different. They go crazy when they’re given the chance to take their phones out and actually use them during lessons.
You’ll be amazed by the impact this has on your lessons. Students will arrive to Spanish class excited for a change of pace and some fun learning time!
I hope you and your students enjoy not only watching these videos but weaving them into Spanish lessons.
If you’re feeling really inspired, you should upload your class’s creations for the rest of the Spanish-learning world to enjoy online.