Video Enhanced Observation for Language Teaching

by Paul Seedhouse, Newcastle University, UK.

How can you use the latest digital technology to record the spoken interaction in your classroom setting, tag, analyse and evaluate the talk and use it as the basis for reflection and professional development? At Newcastle University we have published a book which explains how to do this, covering how and why the Video Enhanced Observation (VEO) app was designed and built, what it can do, how you can use it and how you can adapt it to improve your own professional practice. Video tutorials on the accompanying website give you a hands-on introduction to using the app and making the most of all of its features. Book chapters provide detailed case studies tracing how teachers in many different settings have used VEO with digital video for recording, evaluating and reflecting on lessons. The chapters provide clear research evidence of the professional development of many education professionals from around the world.  This can be very helpful if you’re thinking of doing a qualification, if you’re delivering teacher development or if you just want evidence of what’s happening in your classrooms.

The book, which I edited, is ‘ Video Enhanced Observation for Language Teaching’ and was written by experts in education, educational technology and applied linguistics from around the world. The book explains the principles and procedures involved in app use, enabling professionals in a range of contexts to integrate digital video and the VEO app into their own environment and practice in the same way. If you are a teacher and want to use the latest digital technology to record the spoken interaction in your teaching and learning setting, tag, analyse and evaluate the talk and use it as the basis for reflection and professional development, then this is the book for you!

In-depth research studies show how the system was actually implemented in 7 different countries (Chile, Finland, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UK), using 5 different languages and with a wide range of types of learners and subject areas. There are numerous photographs of the app in use. There is also evidence of the ways in which many users around the world integrated VEO into their professional practice and models and flowcharts, illustrating how anyone can apply VEO to their own context. So teachers can learn from the experiences of others and apply VEO to their own situation.

What’s in the book? Section I provides all of the relevant background and history to the Video Enhanced Observation (VEO) app. Section II provides case studies of how the VEO app has been used in practice in a wide range of countries and educational settings. Case-studies and personal stories show how in all cases there has been a visible shift from teaching to learning, on the part of the leader, the teacher trainer, the teacher trainee, the teacher and pupils. Section III explains to readers how to make the most of using the most of the VEO app in their own contexts, introducing a framework for the use of digital video, and the VEO app in particular, for professional development and reflective practice. In addition, a framework for researching using the VEO app is provided. Chapter 4, written by VEO Group co-founders Haines and Miller, provides a practical introduction to how the app works and can be used for reflection and professional development. The introduction is written for beginners with no previous experience of using the app, or digital video for teacher development, and is illustrated by photos and screen shots. So the book helps teachers and teacher trainers maximise the use of the VEO app for reflection and development, delivering better learning and teaching.

The companion website contains useful free resources for teachers, including : training modules;  best practice resources (videos on our YouTube channel); a series of case studies; research outputs.  A film of our VEO book research event can be seen on Youtube.

Editor’s note: We are delighted to announce that Paul will be one of our speakers during the online seminar on “Media Supported Language Teaching” taking place on 17 February, more information here.


Paul Seedhouse, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of ilab:learn at Newcastle University, UK


The book is based on the VEO Europa project, an EU Erasmus+ funded project (2015-1-UK01-KA201-013414) which involved 6 partners in 5 countries: Newcastle University (UK); EdEUcation Ltd (UK); Paedagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany); Lapland University (Finland); Hacettepe University (Turkey); Regionalen inspectorat po obrazovanieto-Haskovo (Bulgaria).