Learning a new language can be downright challenging. And if you’re just learning a new language fun, you can take it easy and enjoy the process. But what if you have to move to a foreign country? Or, what if your job requires you to be fluent in another language? The pressure’s on, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, watching TV is an excellent way to learn a new language. In fact, here are three TV tips to make the learning process both fun and productive.
Melissa Baese-Berk is an associate professor of linguistics at the University of Oregon, where she’s also the director of the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Program. She’s seen how people can learn a new language simply by watching the TV. From Israeli girls learning Spanish, to English speakers learning Japanese, to Latin American athletes learning English by watching the hit series, Friends.
It sounds too good to be true, but this is considered to be a pretty common, transnational phenomenon by experts. But how does it work?
According to Baese-Berk, the best way to learn a new language is via active and passive learning. And television is one medium that enables these two learning methods.
And in order to learn a foreign language by watching TV, Baese-Berk offers three simple hacks.
Choose an engaging show
Don’t watch what you think you “should” watch. Watch what you want to watch. The more invested you are in the series, the easier it will be to acquire a second language.
No, this isn’t cheating. When you hear a new word, you can translate it in your original language if necessary.
Watch predictable stories
It’s probably not a good idea to watch super intellectual shows. Instead, watch series that have a predictable plot.