Engaging learners with videos: our partnership with the BBC

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Engage students with BBC videos Pearson English

There’s no question, young learners love watching videos. They’re fun, immersive and students often see them as a “break” from traditional classroom work. But far from just being filler content, great educational videos can have a big impact on learning – providing real-world contexts, natural language, engaging storylines and relatable situations. 

These are just some of the reasons why we partner with the BBC. Using their content we produce exciting video content to keep your learners engaged and help them achieve their goals. 

Today we speak to CBeebies Series Producer Rachel Bazeley about why video content is so effective when teaching children. She also takes you behind the scenes, so you can see how the BBC creates children’s shows. 

We hope these interview clips also give you more insight into the role of video in the classroom and how it can spark curiosity and teach learners about the world around them. 

Rachel Bazeley: 20 years of creating TV shows for children

Rachel Bazeley is a Series Producer for Children’s BBC, working out of BBC Scotland in Glasgow. She has worked at the BBC for 24 years and she’s been creating children’s television shows for 20. 

Rachel has produced many different programs, from studio to live-action productions and documentaries. Some of the titles she worked on include Same Smile, My Story, My Pet and Me and Down on the Farm

Learning through play: How you can educate and entertain children

In this clip, Rachel explains the significance of learning through play. Children can pick up skills and little bits of knowledge while they’re having fun, so it’s important to keep them entertained while learning. 

As an example, she cites a factual entertainment program she made a few years ago for CBeebies. 

Rachel believes that the kinds of videos CBeebies creates can help non-native English speakers learn about the world around them. It’s actually one of their main objectives. As long as they contain content that’s engaging from a child’s perspective, any child can enjoy and learn from them, regardless of their language skills. 

Watch the video below: 

How the BBC creates children’s shows

Here Rachel takes us behind the scenes of the BBC’s children’s shows and describes the production processes unique to this genre. For example, we find out that to come up with new concepts for children’s content, the BBC often looks at what’s already out there and adapts ideas from shows aimed at adults. 

According to Rachel, the elements that separate a successful pilot episode from a failed one are writing, casting and narrative/storytelling. She also talks about the challenges that producers face when working on a new show, especially with regards to reconciling their ambitions with the production’s budget. Finally, she lists all the common elements of successful children’s shows. 

Watch the video below: 

Learn more about the BBC

In the last clip, Rachel wraps up with a few interesting facts about the BBC and its history of producing children’s programs. She also talks about her own experience in children’s television.

Watch the video below: 

How to use children’s video content in your teaching

Are you ready to make videos a part of your teaching routine, but don’t know where to start? Let us help you! 

Watch this video with Amanda Davies on how to teach culture with BBC content, complete with lesson examples from the GoGetter course. We’re sure it will give you lots of ideas and a big dose of inspiration!

About our partnership with the BBC

The videos we produced in partnership with the BBC are included in some of our most popular courses, such as Now I Know!, Go Getter and Wider World. They are also used in our Live Classes.

Now I Know!, for instance, comes with authentic BBC video content in openers and throughout every unit. This six-level course builds on children’s natural curiosity and provides an exciting learning environment, where inquiry-based challenges take centre stage. The course is complemented by varied real-world content from the BBC. 

Download a sample now.

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