Video clips useful for teaching

Prompted by a suggestion made by Tim Halkowski (Wisconsin) Ruth Parry (Loughborough) and other colleagues, here’s a list of  clips from TV shows and so on that might be used to help get across language-in-interaction concepts to students.

More recent suggestions nearer the top. More always welcome (send to me at

Alexa Hepburn (Rutgers) :

Alexa has been updating her assignments “to make them more fun for all our stressed out students in my UG class. One will involve basically building off of Liz Stokoe’s ‘interactional breaches’ paper (we’ve had fun with breaching experiments and learned some basic CA skills so far). As part of it, I’ve transcribed a few of the Friends extracts (some I did a while back at Lbro), and also a long request sequence from the Schitt’s Creek sitcom”. The documents are here.


Simon Stewart (Southampton):

This clip from Friends features a nice pragmatic incongruity:

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 13.23.03

The key sequence starts at 15 seconds and is a two turn exchange:

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 13.27.19

Simon writes: “it is a hilarious example of doing rejection in a way that highlights doing a dispreferred response, but then deviates from it by offering an unwillingness account instead of an inability account.”



Uwe Küttner

Cherishable moment:

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 13.29.53

Ruth Parry:

More clips useful for teaching, suggested by Adam Brandt (Newcastle-upon-Tyne):

One from Cade Bushnell (University of Tsukuba):

Another set of video clips useful for teaching language in interaction, this time from Edward Reynolds (University of New Hampshire):

Jenny Mandelbaum offers these videos that she and colleagues use in teaching CA at Rutgers:

Jenny adds that YouTube has a free downloader, called YTD Video Downloader, available at

My own favourites:

  • Emily Hofstetter has two lively and highly accessible tutorials on her CA youtube channel: on repair and on response relevance.
  • More comedy routines: this (rather ancient) one from the British comedy duo Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker (both now deceased), is useful for illustrating the power of Grice’s maxim of relevance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s