When you’re attempting to learn a new language, there are several tools that you can use to help the process along. Internet classes, classes at your local community college, and books on tape are just a few ways you can learn a brand new language. But what many people don’t realize is that watching television is one great way to become competent in another language. TV shows and movies can capture your attention and arouse your curiosity, two methods that will give you a positive attitude toward what you are learning. You’ll also be a more active participant when you watch a show on television, keeping you motivated to learn.
Of course, learning a language through television is still a little easier said than done. You could watch a whole movie in another language and only pick up a couple of important words. Let’s look at some tips that will make it easier for you to pick up a new language when you are relaxing with a show.
Check out the body language and audible noises
One of the best benefits that arise from using television and movies to learn a different language is the fact that you will be given a visual context to go along with the words. This gives you a framework that allows you to cling to the language. As an example, a film can help you understand a foreign word or phrase by giving you a few auditory and visual clues. These include body language, facial expressions, and paralinguistic respiration (signs, moans, or gasps).
Seeing these visual clues can help you comprehend what the person is saying. When you are watching a foreign film without the subtitles on, it may be possible to pick up on a few words. However, with the help of different visual effects, it is more likely that you will grasp what they are saying. These visuals can fill in the gaps you find in language.
Understanding the words from the sounds
Television shows and films can provide more than a visual aspect, however. When it comes to narrative and mood progression, sound is also a very important factor. As scenes change, background music and different effects can help you make predictions about the plot and the type of language the actors and actresses are using.
A useful tip for developing your listening skills is to ignore the visuals and instead describe what you see based on the different sounds you can hear. Listen to the pitch, inflection, and intonation of the voices you hear to identify and understand the emotions coming from the characters. This allows you to gain exposure to the language you are attempting to learn while giving you a chance to understand the language and tone that occurs in different emotional situations.
Understanding accurate pronunciation through television
When you try to learn a new language from a coursebook or class, the conversations are usually very simple and straightforward. For example, Amy may say to Carrie, “How are you today?” Carrie then responds with “I am well, thank you.” In reality, most men and women don’t speak in such a simple way.
When you watch television and movies, you will be exposed to natural conversation throughout a variety of situations. This allows you to learn more about the natural sayings and expressions of the language. It can also help you learn about proper articulation and intonation.
Using TV and films will also help you learn different dialects and pronunciations. Hearing native speakers talking in specific pronunciation patterns will help you mimic the sounds they are making. Over time, your pronunciation will improve as you hear the various ways words and phrases are pronounced.
Television and films are a great way to learn a new language, so don’t discount them as a learning tool. You can always enjoy a good television show while you’re learning- a win for everyone!