Works on: Listening, Learning New Words
Effectiveness: 8/10 Fun Factor: 6/10
Research has shown that being engaged and interacting with the content you are learning is considerably more effective than simply observing. Makes sense, right? Watching movies and television can be a powerful tool to learn languages, but it may also require a bit of work on your part to be truly effective. There are a number of ways you can interact with the content you watch for language-learning purposes. In this post, we’ll talk about one of the easiest and effective ways to do so.
In any given language, some words are much more important than others. When watching movies and television for language-learning purposes, you will hear some of these words over and over again. In fact, some of them are so frequent that they become annoying to hear when you don’t know what they mean. Learning these important words will make a big difference on how much material you can actually grasp.
As you’re watching something in your target language, try to pay attention to the frequently-used words and write a few of them down. When you’re done watching, look them up in a dictionary and write down their meaning. Try to remember what they mean and watch the same material again immediately. This can be powerful because you’re interacting with the words in multiple ways, which helps a lot with memory. By actively listening and writing these important words, you will learn tons of words from everything you watch.
Meet Kenny Dodo Junior. Kenny just watched the Spanish-dubbed version of The Empire Strikes Back; his favorite movie, like, ever. When watching the opening scenes, he heard the Spanish words “también” and “porque” consistently. He wrote those words down, paused the movie and looked them up. After learning the meaning of these important words, Kenny watched the opening scene again with an enlightened feeling. The best part is that when Kenny watched The Return of the Jedi, he noticed them again and again, which strongly reinforced what he had learned previously. Plus, Kenny actually enjoyed learning these new words.
You can also choose content to steer your learning where you want it to go. Some words are mentioned a lot more in specific content. For example, if you decide to watch Jaws, the word “shark” will come up very often. It is unique to that movie. You will hear it again in other videos, but not nearly as often (unless of course you decide to watch Sharknado). That’s where you can guide your learning towards your most important needs. If you are a doctor and wish to learn a language to help you in your field, watch lots of videos related to medicine and write down those frequently used words. In normal learning conditions, it can be very long to learn the word for “stethoscope”. Sorry doctors, we didn’t include it in Ouino, but you can practice with movies and television to learn countless new words. May the force be with you.
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Fair Use: All rights to their respective owners. Some images used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for educational purposes. Star Wars is a trademark of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC. Timon and Pumbaa are copyrighted characters owned by The Walt Disney Company.
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